West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

The Process of Divorce

The Process of Divorce

For a relatively brief period in my 30+ year career as an attorney, I agreed to handle a limited number of “family law” cases. I have never exactly understood why we call it “family law,” when in reality what we are talking about is the death of the family, but that is a question for greater minds than mine. Suffice to say that in the few years it took for me to get my fill of family law, I saw and learned enough to know that there are many, many great misconceptions about divorce law and what it entails. Accordingly, I thought it might be a good idea to put together a short list of information and suggestions for those who may become involved in the process of divorce.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is not illegal in all states, but it is deadly in every state. I thought I would begin with that HUGE statement. Don’t be a statistic. Distracted driving and texting related accidents are on the rise. Texting on your cell phone and now talking as well while driving, without a hands free device, is ILLEGAL in West Virginia. It is also illegal in: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam & the U.S. Virgin Islands. All drivers must use a hands free device for their cell phones while driving.

I have listed below a few cell phone apps that you can download: AT&T Drive Mode, Live2Txt, DriveOff and Canary. I am sure there are others, but these are just a few that I discovered online.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I think we often forget how much we are watched by our children and grandchildren. At a very young age, they watch us and mimic us. That is how they learn about the world and about how to treat others. Children build their worlds around those that are close to them. They admire and want to be just like mommy and daddy, grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle. Little ones are like sponges, they soak up everything they see and hear.

Free Don Blankenship?

Free Don Blankenship?

The 2010 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 coal miners. The 2014 Freedom Industries chemical leak left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without usable water for a month. Over the past year, the major architects of these disasters, Don Blankenship and Gary Southern have found themselves indicted for their crimes. Blankenship's involve deliberate indifference to safety in pursuit of profit. Southern's are similar, but include a healthy dose of fraud charges for attempting to cheat the victims out of compensation.

Before these indictments came in, Massey settled civil "deliberate intent" cases brought by the families of the miners who needlessly lost their lives. Freedom Industries, grossly underinsured and undercapitalized, went to bankruptcy to try to protect its corporate partners rather than even attempt to pay for the catastrophe it caused. But as most West Virginians knew from the start, there was criminal wrongdoing at the heart of both cases.

Should I Be Receiving Overtime?

Should I Be Receiving Overtime?

Overtime laws in West Virginia are designed to prevent workers (particularly those in blue-collar industries) from being exploited by their employers.

West Virginia, like most states, has closely based its overtime laws on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The FLSA qualifies certain types of workers for overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a single week. If your work involves manual labor (such as factory worker, trade worker, attendant, cashier, etc.) you are typically entitled to overtime pay. Certain categories of workers are offered specific protection under the FLSA, including first-responders, such as police, paramedics, and firefighters, along with practical nurses and paralegals, who have historically been exploited and endured long hours of work.

Seeking Advice

Seeking Advice

In my early years, my older sister, Linda, and I were Air Force brats. Before our father retired after 22 years in the Air Force, we lived in places like Japan, Okinawa and Marquette, Michigan, to name a few. Living the military life, you rely on family more than usual. My sister, though four-and-a-half years older, was my constant companion. She always had the best ideas for adventure, like the best places to hike, how to make a "spook house" in the basement (this involves a big imagination - peeled grapes were eyeballs, cooked spaghetti was brains, you get the picture), how to make Barbie evening gowns out of Grandpa's old neckties, and how to go out in the woods to chop down a Christmas tree for our grandparents, only to realize we forgot to take something to cut with. Have you ever twisted a large pine branch round and round until you could peal it off the tree? Yes, it was the "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree, but I always looked up to my big sister and relied on her leadership.

What to Know When Calling an Attorney

What to Know When Calling an Attorney

What basic information should I be prepared to give when I call an attorney's office?

Many people never consider that they may need to speak to an attorney. Certainly, many people hope that they never do. As a result, those who call an attorney's office to discuss a potential case are often unsure what to expect during the telephone call. You may wonder, why is the attorney asking me these questions? What could this possibly have to do with my potential case? Here are some of the common, basic questions an attorney will ask during a conversation about a potential case, and the reasons that this information is important for the attorney to have.

What The Frack? West Virginia Doubles Down on Poisoning Our Water

What The Frack? West Virginia Doubles Down on Poisoning Our Water

This past Friday, state commerce officials opened bids to allow natural gas drilling just one mile underneath the northern section of the Ohio River. The bids allow companies to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to stimulate the wells, posing a significant risk to the Ohio Valley's primary water supply. Not only that, but there is a fault line located amidst the proposed Ohio River drilling site. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have directly linked an increase in earthquakes to fracking and these "fracquakes" have already happened in our neck of the woods. Officials say other West Virginia rivers are next, and wildlife preserves are on the table for drilling too.

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2014

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2014

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. Coinciding with awareness week is the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (October 7, 2014). These mental health awareness efforts are not possible without organizations such as The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Those Hectic Weeknights

Those Hectic Weeknights

Let me first begin by saying, I love where I am in life. I have a very fulfilling career, a great husband, and some awesome kids. However, juggling the three can be challenging-especially now that the kiddos are back in school and the hubby is on the dreadful 12-hour night shift. My schedule is very hectic. I have roughly an hour commute to work, so it's getting up at 5:00 a.m., kids up at 6:00 a.m., pack the school lunches and out the door by 6:45 a.m. I arrive back home around 6:00 p.m. to do a quick "drive by" to pick up my son for football practice, then I hang out at the field until 8:00 p.m. and head back home to make dinner. Oh, let's not forget dishes, homework, showers, and the "Hey by the way, can you wash my uniform for tomorrow's practice?" and well...crash-all to do it over again the next day. Would I change it for the world? Absolutely not! But, with the way my family's schedule is, I am ALWAYS in search of some quick dinner recipes that make things a little easier for me in the evenings. I am certain that many of you who are reading this are in the same boat and know exactly what I'm talking about.

Here are a couple quick and easy recipes that you can whip up on a weeknight and maybe allow yourself a few minutes of free time to wind down before hitting the sack. Hope you enjoy!

recent verdicts & news

Winning Experience: Read about our Appellate Decisions, as well as our Verdicts and Settlements.

Recent cases: Kilgore v. Bedi, (Ohio County, West Virginia, 2013) - Medical Malpractice, Personal Injuries - nearly $900,000 Verdict

-- Turkoly v. Gentile et al., Verdict, $5,100,000.00(Medical Malpractice, Mahoning County, Ohio, 2013) -- Cox v. Personal Service Insurance Company, (Belmont County, Ohio, 2012) - Bad Faith Insurance Practices - $10,000,000.00 Verdict;