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WV Bar Association hosts 127th annual meeting

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The West Virginia Bar Association recently hosted its 127th annual meeting at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va.

The seminar included discussions on trial practice issues in federal court, effects of shale gas drilling in the Mountain State and modern ethical issues confronting lawyers. The seminar concluded with its annual business meeting, where members elected new president Jim Gardill.

"I think the meeting was very successful," said Patrick Deem, previous president of the association. "This is the first one where we had federal judges. … This organization, what makes it different is we have the West Virginia State Bar, which everyone has to belong to. It's the mandatory bar.

"This is the West Virginia Bar Association and this is what we call a voluntary bar. What we strive to do as the voluntary bar is to present programs that interest our lawyers and also promote collegiality among lawyers and judges. … We can take positions on current issues where the state bar cannot."

Deem said attendance for this year's seminar increased 20 percent from last year.

"Again, it's a voluntary bar and people don't have to be here," Deem said. "But there are people who are interested in what we're doing."

So why did the meeting take place in Virginia? Deem explained the association generally signs a two-year contract with facilities. Next year, the meeting will take place at The Greenbrier.

"We've been other places other than these two places but they're places that members like to come to," Deem said.

At the meeting, Lee Floyd, an attorney with Jackson Kelly, announced a new program geared toward recently-graduated lawyers.

Although the program is not yet set in stone, Floyd said it would take place Jan. 17-19 at The Greenbrier and could include discussions on e-discovery and the importance of Facebook,

"This is the first for the West Virginia Bar Association," Floyd said. "We're very excited and hope that the members of the association support it."