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WV Association for Justice picks new President

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The West Virginia Association for Justice has picked its new president.

Bernie Layne, a partner with Mani Ellis and Layne in Charleston, was elected earlier this month to the position. He's one of the youngest presidents in the association's history, the association recently announced.

"It is a great privilege to serve as president of the West Virginia Association for Justice," Layne said in the news release. "For more than 50 years, our association has represented the very best attorneys practicing in West Virginia, and it has led the effort to promote justice in our courtrooms and protect the rights of every West Virginian.  Some of our past presidents have been among the best lawyers who have ever practiced in our state, and it is an honor that WVAJ's members have elected me to follow in their footsteps."

Layne, originally from Williamson and raised in Parkersburg,  earned his law degree in 1999 from the University of Dayton College of Law.

Following graduation, he returned to the Mountain State, starting his legal practice with the Charleston firm of John E. Sutter.

In 2007, he became a partner at Mani, Ellis and Layne.

Through his career, Layne has represented injured plant workers and pipe fitters against asbestos manufacturers and also has represented miners and their families following accidents.

 "I enjoy representing people who are up against big insurance companies and corporate interests," Layne said in the release. "It's David versus Goliath.  I love being on the side not necessarily picked to win, and I hate to lose. More important than that, however, is that when I represent these workers, consumers and families, I am ensuring that they have an equal voice in our courtroom regardless of where they're from or how much money they have.  It's the most important thing I do."