Litigation 2020

February 7 & 8, 2020

Canaan Valley Resort, Davis, West Virginia

Registration: $325

Click Here to Register!  

This price includes admission and a digital coursebook. You can purchase a hard copy of the coursebook for $25.

Room Reservation at Canaan Valley Resort -- Call 304-866-4121 or 800-622-4121 and request a room from the WVCLE block. Rooms are available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Reservations made through the WVCLE block will receive a Winter Activities discount card. 

This seminar will be valid for 11.0 WV MCLE Credit Hours, including 2.2 Ethics/Substance Abuse hours. We have applied for credit in PA, OH, and VA. 

Friday, February 7th, 2020 

1:00 p.m.


2:00 p.m.

Evolution of Expert Witnesses: From Retention to Presentation at Trial

During this presentation, Washington and McCartney will discuss communications with current and/or prospective expert witnesses, retention of experts, transmittal of materials to experts, formulation of opinions and the presentation of experts at trials. Within each subtopic, they will include strategy pointers and pitfalls to expert retention.

Alonzo Washington, Esquire 

John McCartney, Esquire
Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC

2:50 p.m.

Emotional Resilience: An Essential Tool for Litigators

Emotional resilience is an essential tool for litigators. But what is it? How can it be developed? And why would a busy litigator care? Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity and stress and is a quality that litigators can develop. Resilience is commonly described as the ability to “bounce back” from life’s inevitable stressors. Litigation practice is stressful, and many litigators face additional demands from family, as well as with finances, health, and relationships. We know this: all lawyers experience stress and loss. It is not a matter of if resilience will be needed; it is a matter of when. This ability to “bounce back” from stress and loss is essential to a successful practice and a happy life. But how can litigators learn to bounce back? Research tells us that people are more resilient when they have caring and supportive relationships in their lives, and these relationships themselves are the primary factor that aid in building resilience. In short, resilience is about trust and support. So, in this workshop, we will talk about some of the ways that litigators can gain the support they need, reduce their isolation, and use their natural resourcefulness to become better lawyers and more resilient human beings.

Jennifer Powell, Director of the Center for Law and Public Service 
WVU College of Law

4:45 p.m.

An Evening with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Our judiciary has undergone a significant transition in the past two years. Justices will discuss with Dean Gregory Bowman the initiatives of the New Court as well as procedural and other tips for effective appellate advocacy. 

6:30 p.m.

Networking Reception Sponsored by Jackson Kelly PLLC

Saturday, February 8th, 2019 

8:00 a.m.

Legal Research in 2020: An Update on Research Tools and Strategies for Litigation

This presentation will update participants on tools and strategies for efficient and cost- effective legal research including demonstrations of new features and tools on commercial research platforms such as Westlaw Edge, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, and FastCase. This session will also discuss reliable and authoritative free sources for legal information and how to evaluate web sources, generally. Research strategies that incorporate authoritative free sources for legal information with the more advanced tools of commercial platforms maximize your research productivity. The session will end with an update on the resources and services available from the West Virginia College of Law library to members of the West Virginia Bar.

Stephanie Miller, Head of Outreach, Attorney Services, and Digital Initiatives
WVU College of Law

8:50 a.m.

Ask the Expert: An Evidence Workshop with Professor Marjorie McDiarmid

Professor Marjorie McDiarmid will solicit input from registrants as to their recent evidentiary issues. During her workshop she will analyze these issues and provide an update on evidence, as needed.

Professor Marjorie McDiarmid 
WVU College of Law

9:40 a.m.

Litigating Motions to Dismiss in Employment Cases

This presentation will discuss trends in 12(b) motions practice in employment cases. It will address how state and federal courts in West Virginia (and beyond) have analyzed motions to dismiss various employment-based claims in recent cases. This presentation will also discuss practical considerations in litigating motions to dismiss.

Grace Hurney, Esquire
Jackson Kelly, PLLC

10:30 a.m.

Winter Activity Break

4:00 p.m.

Ethics Update 2019

Ms. Cipoletti will review the ethics updates of the past year and will review disciplinary opinions issued by the Supreme Court in 2019.

Rachael Fletcher Cipoletti, Chief Lawyer
West Virginia’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel

5:00 p.m.

Ten Tips for a Better Brief

Whether you are an experienced litigator or a new lawyer, all of us are working to be more effective in our writing. This session will help you customize a set of strategic writing principles that you can apply in your practice.

Professor Jessica Haught 
WVU College of Law

5:50 p.m.

Oral Argument:  The Science and Art of Persuading Judges in Trial Courts and on Appeal

While there is no substitute for excellent briefing, oral argument is an important tool to persuade judges. This presentation will focus on strategies for preparing for and presenting oral argument in both trial courts and on appeal. The premise of this presentation is that while these is some art to oral argument, there are sound tactics that all litigators can use in deciding when to ask for argument, what to say, and what to avoid.   

Anthony Majestro, Esquire
Powell & Majestro PLLC

6:45 p.m.

Networking Reception with Cash Bar

Materials: An electronic PDF written materials book will be sent via email prior to the conference. Attendees have the option to purchase a printed copy of the written materials book for $25 during registration.

Tuition Refund Policy: No tuition refunds will be made if football tickets are also ordered. Registration refunds for those who do not order football tickets will be available if the cancellation is received three business days prior to the conference. Refunds are subject to a $50 processing fee. Preregistered attorneys who do not attend will receive MP3 files of the program.

Reasonable Accommodation: If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact the WVCLE office at (304) 293-7255 at least 10 days prior to the program date.