The special virtual 10th Annual Lunch and Laughs With Legal Legends honoring Ellie and Ed Flowers was held on Friday, October 23, and was a very successful event. Pictured above at the Lunch, from left to right, are presenter Law School Professor Emeritus Jack Bowman, Master of Ceremonies Ellen Cappellanti, presenter WVU President Gordon Gee, Ellie and Ed Flowers, presenter former Career Services Director Dr. Carroll Morrison and Bar Foundation President Harry “Chip” Shaffer. A small socially distanced and masked group of Flowers’ family and close friends attended the Lunch in person at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown where they were joined by a few Sponsor/Contributor representatives. Able to participate virtually were almost 100 judges, lawyers and community leaders from all over West Virginia and several states, who witnessed an enjoyable blend of humorous and poignant episodes from the lives of these two legends in the legal profession and the judicial system. A surprise guest was U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who was at the top of the list of Flowers’ invitees, and planned to attend in person. However, duties at the Nation’s Capitol forced her to send a personal video message on the day before the Lunch that was shown during the Lunch. All the presenters’ remarks centered on Ellie’s distinguished service as the Assistant Dean for Career Services at the WVU College of Law for more than 20 years where she advised and guided thousands of judges and lawyers as they began their lives in the legal profession and the judicial system, and on Ed’s leadership positions in WV as a practicing lawyer, a top state government official, a Supreme Court Justice, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge and a WVU Vice President. He was selected as a Bar Foundation Fellow several years ago. The Flowers selected the Black Law Students Association and the Career Services Center at the WVU College of Law to receive the net proceeds from the Lunch and Laughs in combination with the Bar Foundation grants program. Those distributions will be made in the near future. It was a Good Time for Good Causes to honor two Exceptionally Good Legal Legends during this extraordinary pandemic! LUNCH AND LAUGHS SPONSORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
The Lunch and Laughs was very successful from a financial standpoint due to the generous donations made by a long list of outstanding Sponsors and Contributors. These caring individuals and law related entities are: Jackson Kelly Robert P. Simons, Esq. Steptoe and Johnson WV Bar Foundation WVU College of Law WVU President’s Office Judge Irene Keeley Judy and Rob Fisher, Esq. Kay Casto & Chaney Curtis “Hank” Barnette, Esq. David Howell and Irene Berger Ann Flowers, Esq. Lucien Lewin, Esq. Myla and Jack Bowman, Esq. Dr. Carroll and David Morrison, Esq. D. Lyn Dotson, Esq. These valued contributions will support the important programs that have been selected by the 2020 Legal Legends, Ellie and Judge Ed Flowers. The two organizations are the Black Law Students Association and the Career Services Center at the WVU College of Law. A Big, Big Thank You to the Sponsors and Contributors!
Bar Foundation Fellows are those judges and lawyers “whose professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession with the individuals selected reflecting the diverse nature of the legal profession in West Virginia.” There are approximately 400 Fellows who have previously been selected from the more than 6,000 judges and lawyers here in West Virginia. Those Fellows have been contacted and asked to nominate other judges and lawyers who meet the important qualifications mentioned above. The deadline for making nominations for the 2021 Fellows class is October 28, 2020. The Bar Foundation Fellows Dinner has been set for Thursday, April 22, 2021 at the Charleston Marriott Hotel. The 2020 Fellows class and 2021 Fellows class will both be honored at that Dinner, since the 2020 class dinner scheduled for April 23, 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.