Government Powers & Limitations 2017

October 2017

This seminar is approved for 10.0 total WV MCLE AV credits.

Executive Powers to Set Aside The Law 

This session will explore executive authority to give notice it is exempting itself from requirements to comply with major laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Solid Waste Disposal Act, among dozens of others. Such exemptions were recently granted to the Department of Homeland Security in regards to border wall prototypes it hopes to build in San Diego.

James Van Nostrand, Director 
Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, WVU College of Law

Regulation & Tax Preparer Qualifications 

Explores the role of federal budget and taxation policy, and the role it can play in assessing litigation risks, capital markets, and trust and estate law. This session will also review the regulation of the tax and accounting professions from a malpractice perspective.

John Treu, Assistant Professor Accounting 
WVU College of Business & Economics

Representing Civil Disobedients: What You Need to Know 

Given the polarized nature of our politics at present, there is both increased talk of civil disobedience and increased instances of it. Lawyers representing civil disobedients need to know more than the criminal law. They need to understand what civil disobedience is, what its purposes are, and how lawyers can aid, rather than impede, their clients in achieving those purposes.  This lecture will cover those grounds.

Professor Charles DiSalvo 
WVU College of Law

Local Government and Home Rule in West Virginia

This presentation will focus on the concept of “home rule” and its current implementation in West Virginia.  Specific topics covered will include municipal powers and limitations; preemption under federal and state law; and the recent Fourth Circuit decision EQT Production Co. v. Wender..

Elizabeth T. Schindzielorz, Esquire 
Robinson & McElwee, PLLC

No Man's Land and Potential for State Government Shutdown 

Each year, the West Virginia legislature approves a budget close to the end of the fiscal year. Should they fail to approve a budget prior to the end of the year, the implications for state government employees, public service operations, and private corporations doing business with the state could be severe. This session will explore the repercussions of such a shutdown, and what lawyers can do to inform their clients and protect the rights of all involved.

Jason Pizatella, Deputy Chief of Staff 
Office of Governor Jim Justice

False Arrest and Excessive Force Claims: Recent Developments in 42 U. S. C. § 1983 Civil Rights Litigation 

This presentation will cover significant recent developments in the federal case law governing civil rights claims against law enforcement officers for false arrest and excessive force, including wrongful death claims.  Among topics covered will be the continuing viability of qualified immunity for law enforcement officers and the status of parallel federal criminal prosecutions against law enforcement officers for civil rights violations

Robert McCoid, Esquire          
McCamic, Sacco & McCoid, PLLC 

Witch-Hunt Laws and Trials: Salem and Beyond             

In the modern world, witchcraft trials may seem to be a thing of the past, but the reasons behind them continue to be used to justify behavior against those perceived as “different” or “unusual”. This session will explore the history behind this logic, and how panic and suspicion can lead to violent acts against innocent individuals, in the name of state and community security

Mark Podvia, Interim Co - Director of the WVU Law Library          
WVU College of Law

FERC Implications and Practices 

This session will review the actions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and how its decisions implicate compliance programs for efforts such as interstate natural gas pipelines and gas and electric utilities. There are also rate, tariff, and certificate matters, standards of conduct and code of conduct issues that can stem from the Commission’s work, which will be discussed

Kurt Krieger, Esquire 
Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC

Private Speech by Public Employees 

This session will cover the legal rights and obligations of both employers and employees when seemingly offensive speech is made by a public person. Public employees have been suspended for all manner of speech—supporting the shooting of police officers, lauding officers for shooting citizens, criticizing their students or co-workers, mocking minorities or religions and for a litany of other messages on social media. This session will explore how far a public institution may go to protect its image, and whether the First Amendment extends to protect public officials acting outside the scope of their duties.

Professor Robert Bastress 
WVU College of Law