West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association
 West Virginia's Advocates for Employee Rights

WVELA News

2017 Annual Conference at Lakeview Golf Resort

WVELA held its 2017 Annual Conference on October 6 and 7, 2017, at the Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown, West Virginia. The lion's share of the work in organizing the conference was done by 2016-2017 WVELA President, Nicole Saunders-Meske (with Saunders-Meske PLLC). She did a fantastic job in making this conference a great success.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2017-2018

Sam Petsonk (with Mountain State Justice) was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on October 7, 2017, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2018.

The WVELA members also elected the President for the 2018-2019 term, Steven S. Wolfe of Wolfe, White & Associates.

Nicole Saunders-Meske (with Saunders-Meske PLLC) will occupy the position of Past-President.

Upcoming 2017 Annual Conference at Lakeview Golf Resort

WVELA's annual conference will be on October 6 and 7, 2017 (Friday & Saturday), at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown, West Virginia. Attendees will earn nine West Virginia CLE hours (including one ethics hour). The cost for the conference is $150 for WVELA members and $175 for non-members, Click here for a PDF of the registration form, and click here for a Micrososft Word copy of the registration form. The registration form also contains the application form to become a WVELA member. The registration form contains all of the instructions for getting the completed form and check to us.

2016 Annual Conference at the Bavarian Inn

WVELA held its 2016 Annual Conference on October 7-8, 2016, at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The lion's share of the work in organizing the conference was done by 2015-2016 WVELA President, Susan Thompson, and her assistant, Sari Jennings. They did a fantastic job in making this conference a great success.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2016-2017

Nicole Saunders-Meske (with Saunders-Meske PLLC) was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on October 8, 2016, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2017.

The WVELA members also elected the President for the 2017-2018 term, Sam Petsonk (with Mountain State Justice)

Speeches and Articles for 2016 Conference

Here was the 2016 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

  • Applying the Rules of the Road to an employment case--Drew Capuder
  • Employment Law 2016, Revisiting Conventional Wisdom--Lonnie Simmons
  • Litigating Federal Employment Law Claims--Sam Petsonk
  • Update on Employment Law--Robert M. Bastress, John W. Fisher II Prof. of Law at West Virginia University College of Law
  • The Holistic Practice of Law Part II--Susan Thompson, Attorney at Law
  • Labor Law Update --Anne Marie Lafaso, Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law
  • Acting Workshop – Ed Herendeen, Shepherd University Theater CATF
  • Employment law 101: A review of fundamental employment law concepts--Panel discussion

 

2015 Annual Conference at the Stonewall Resort

WVELA held its 2015 Annual Conference on September 18-19, 2015, at the Stonewall Resort near Roanoke, West Virginia.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2015-2016

Susan Thompson was re-elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on September 19, 2015, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2016.

Speeches and Articles for 2015 Conference

Here was the 2015 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

  • Gender Participation and Diversity in the Legal Profession by Paige Flanagan, Esq., West Virginia Association for Justice President and attorney at Sanders Austin Flanigan & Flanigan
  • Update on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia by The Honorable Justice Brent Benjamin
  • Perspectives from a Management Lawyer/ Employment Litigation in Healthcare/Trends and Q&A by Beth Walker, Esq., Associate General Counsel at West Virginia United Health
    System, Inc.
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Memorandum Decisions by Walt Auvil, Esq. of Rusen & Auvil, PLLC
  • Update on Employment Law by Robert M. Bastress, John W. Fisher, II, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Legislative Changes to the West Virginia Human Rights Act and Wage Payment and Collection Act by David Hammer, Esq. of The Law Offices of Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni
  • Panel discussion on new legislation's impact on employment law practice/client selection/case evaluation
  • Improv for Lawyers by Susan Thompson, Attorney at Law
  • Recent Developments in Labor Law – Who's an employee, Who's an employer and What's Social Media got to do with it? by Anne M. Lofaso, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Panel discussion on Scope of Employment, Joint Employers, and "On-call" Litigation

 

2014 Annual Conference at the Stonewall Resort

WVELA held its 2014 Annual Conference on November 7-8, 2014, at the Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center near Davis, West Virginia.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2014-2015

Susan Thompson was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on November 8, 2014, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2015.

Speeches and Articles for 2014 Conference

Here was the 2014 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

  • Holistic Practice of law–Susan Thompson
  • Gandhi’s Life as a Lawyer--Chuck DiSalvo
  • The Honorable Justice Brent Benjamin
  • Collecting Judgments--Dan Booth
  • Maximizing your damages–Mark Atkinson
  • Employment Law 101 series -- part I -- intake, screening, social media, e-discovery, marketing, Panelists:   Jane Peak, Amy Crossan, Lonnie Simmons, Drew Capuder
  • NLRB--Anne M. Lofaso, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Update on the law--Robert M. Bastress, John W. Fisher, II, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Employment Law 101 series -- part II -- intersection among disability, FMLA, pregnancy, etc., Panelists:   Al Karlin, Andy Katz, and Barbara Fleischauer

2013 Annual Conference at the Stonewall Resort

WVELA held its 2013 Annual Conference on October 11-12, 2013, at the Stonewall Resort near Roanoke, West Virginia.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2013-2014

Gary G. Geffert was re-elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on October 12, 2013, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2014.

Speeches and Articles for 2013 Conference

Here was the 2013 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

  • Fair Housing Act discrimination: Bob Leslie
  • The Affordable Care Act: Perry Bryant
  • Attorneys fees and offers of judgment: Panel discussion with Kris Whiteaker and Sarah Montoro
  • A matter of ethics: Renee Frymyer
  • Discovery and Defense Tactics: Panel discussion with Al Karlin, David Grubb, and Kay Bayless
  • Exhaustion of administrative remedies and Legislative issues: Roger Forman, Walt Auvil, Drew Capuder, and Pat Cadle
  • Update on employment law: Robert M. Bastress, John W. Fisher, II, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law
  • NLRB Issues: Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Employment Law 101: Factors to be considered in evaluating whether to take a case and Marketing: how do clients get to your office–Lonnie Simmons, Jane Peak, and Kay Bayless

 

2012 Annual Conference at Adaland Mansion

WVELA held its 2012 Annual Conference on November 9-10, 2012, at the Bridgeport Conference Center on November 9, and at the historic Adaland Mansion near Phillipi, West Virginia on November 10, 2012.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2012-2013

Kristina Thomas Whiteaker (with The Grubb Law Group) was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers serve for one year, starting with their election on November 10, 2012, and continue until WVELA's next annual conference in around October 2013.

Speeches and Articles for 2012 Conference

Here was the 2012 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

Speakers Topics (2012 Conference)
Paul Sheridan Update on the West Virginia Human Rights Act and Human Rights Commission
Dave Hammer Discovery, discovery, discovery
Sarah Montoro What do you do when your client or client's medical providers gets a subpoena rather than a Discovery request?
Roger Forman Exhaustion (of remedies)
Kay Bayless Drug testing and termination
Drew Capuder Update on employment law (article prepared by Bob Bastress)
Walt Auvil, Lonnie Simmons, and Jane Peak Thinking of representing more than one party in a case? Practical tips on how to avoid ethical dilemmas and unhappy clients.
Anne Lofaso Social media in the work place
Bob Bastress Use of military tribunals in West Virginia labor disputes

 

2011 Annual Conference at Waterfront Place Hotel

WVELA held its 2011 Annual Conference on October 28-29, 2011, at The Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Election of Officers for 2011-2012

Kathleen Abate (with The Law Office of Kathleen Abate, Esq.) was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Dave Hammer (with Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni) was elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers served for one year, starting with their election on October 29, 2011, and continued until WVELA's next annual conference which took place on November 9-10 2012.

Program for 2011 Annual Conference

Here was the 2011 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

Speakers Topics (2011 Conference)
Anne Lofaso An Inconvenient Truth: Boeing's Decision To Move Jobs from Washington to South Carolina and the Rule of Law
Dr. Susanne Choby How to deal with difficult, stressed, or depressed individuals?
Emily Goodwin Kime Using technology to prepare and present your next case.
Justice Brent Benjamin Update on the West Virginia Supreme Court, followed by a Q and A session.
Harry Deitzler Arbitration and Public Justice
Jane Peak, and panel discussions Employment Law 101: “Client problems”
Al Karlin and Lonnie Simmons Mediation Panel: Strategy, pointers, and ideas for resolving cases
Bob Bastress State and federal case law update
Paul Sheridan What is going on at the West Virginia Human Rights Commission and how is the West Virginia Supreme Court analyzing inferences?
Candace Gorman Upholding the rights of prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay
Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn and Jane Peak Social media and ethical considerations
Drew Capuder, Dave Hammer, Kay Bayless, and Walt Auvil Discovery and Settlement Issues, Panel Discussion

 

2010 Annual Conference at Oglebay Park

WVELA's 2010 Annual Conference took place at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia on October 29-30, 2010 (the picture below was taken at Oglebay Park during our conference).

The annual conference included several presentations and panel discussions by its members on current issues of employment law, along with the election of new officers.

Oglebay Park, view of golf course from Wilson Lodge

Election of Officers for 2010-2011

Drew Capuder (with Capuder Fantasia PLLC) was elected as President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers served for one year, starting with their election on October 30, 2010, and continued until WVELA's next annual conference in October 2011.

Program for 2010 Annual Conference

Here was the 2010 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

Speakers Topics (2010 Conference)
Jane Peak, Frank Duff Employment Law 101 Panel Discussion: nemployment Compensation and Wage Payment Claims
Rory Perry An Appeal of Right: The Revised West Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Appellate Procedure
Paul Sheridan What is going on at the West Virginia Human Rghts Commission
Bob Bastress Helping your employment clients by litigating consumer credit and protection claims
Lonnie Simmons State and federa case law update (with article prepared by Bob Bastrress)
Arbitration Panel Recent developments in the law and strategies for dealing with arbitration
Panel discussion An open discussion of any cases or issues the members are addressing in their daily practice, ranging from evidentiary issues, strategic decisions, mediation strategies, types of cases accepted, to dealing with clients with serious psychological issues
Drew Capuder Protection of employees against unlawful retaliatory discharges
Harry Waddell, Drew Capuder, and others Keeping up with changing technology: Effective Uses of Twitter, Facebook, Other Social Media, iPad, smart phones, and scanning in the modern law office

 

2009 Annual WVELA Conference at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown

WVELA held its 2009 Annual Conference on October 2-3, 2009 at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Election of Officers for 2009-2010

Harry Waddell (with Waddell Law Offices) was elected President. Walt Auvil (with Rusen & Auvil PLLC and The Employment Law Center) was re-elected as Treasurer. Lonnie Simmons (with DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLCC) was re-elected as Chair of WVELA's Amicus Committee. The officers served for one year, starting with their election on October 3, 2009, and continued until WVELA's next annual conference in October 2010.

Speeches and Articles for 2009 Conference

Here was the 2009 conference's program of speeches and panel discussions:

Speakers Topics (2009 Conference)
Linda Batiste
Principal Consultant Job Action Network (“JAN”)
What can JAN do for you?
Lonnie Simmons Defeating qualified immunity, public duty doctrine and the resurrection of Pittsburgh Elevator
Drew Capuder Sexual Harassment Law in West Virginia
Mark Atkinson Trying an employment case
Andrea Hinerman
W. Va. Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Employment related ethics issues
Anne Lofaso
WVU College of Law
E-mail Organizing in the Real and the Virtual Workplace
Kathleen Abate & Kay Bayless Schoolin’ us on school law
Judge Randy Minor
Family Law Judge, Monongalia Co.
How family law may affect your practice
Judge Susan Tucker
Circuit Court, Monongalia County
The view from the other side of the bench
Bob Bastress
WVU College of Law
Update on employment law
Jamie Alley
W. Va. Assistant Attorney
General, Civil Rights Office
Update on the West Virginia Human Rights Commission
Jane Peak, Walt Auvil W. Va. Employment Law 101
Donna Lenhoff
National Employment Lawyers Association
What NELA’s up to in Washington DC