Effective July 1, 2010, the administration of the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts program was transferred from the WV Bar Foundation to the WV State Bar. The state becomes the third state, after California and North Carolina, to have a statewide bar association operate the IOLTA program. The transfer was contained in an Order of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals. During the Bar Foundation’s administration of the program since its inception by a Supreme Court Order in 1990, the program generated more than $13.5 million for the provision of civil legal services for low income citizens in West Virginia. The IOLTA Advisory Committee, a diverse group of providers, citizens and lawyers, will continue to serve as the supervisory entity for the successful endeavor to improve the administration of justice.

During the Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors meeting and the Annual Meeting in June, new leaders were selected as the policy makers for the organization. Serving as the Officers for the 2010-11 fiscal year are President Tracey A. Rohrbaugh (Martinsburg), Vice President J. Franklin Long (Bluefield) and Secretary/Treasurer Steven K. Nord (Huntington). Elected to three year terms as Board members were Judge John P. Bailey (Wheeling), Barbara H. Allen (Charleston), Thomas V. Flaherty (Charleston), Ancil G. Ramey (Charleston) and Steven F. White (Charleston).

For the past several months, the Bar Foundation has been engaged in negotiations with the Lawyer Disciplinary Board/Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the State Bar regarding the leases and continued utilization of the two buildings owned by the Bar Foundation at 2006 and 2008 Kanawha Blvd., East, in Charleston. They were purchased in 1989 and 2001, respectively. The discussions included meetings with the Supreme Court Justices in January and again in June. The three groups made proposals to the Court on July 1. The Bar Foundation’s Board has stated its intention to act in the best interests of the organization, which was confirmed by a formal legal opinion that it received.