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How Far Does Free Speech Extend into the Workplace?

Everyone who lives in the United States has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But how far does that right extend into the workplace? First, it is important to understand the general limitations that apply to the freedom of speech. A person’s First Amendment rights only apply if the government is attempting to restrict Read More

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Will an Arbitration Agreement Hold Up in Court?

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case of Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis. The case dealt with the issue of whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) has more authority over arbitration agreements made between employers and employees than the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This issue featured three similar Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Favors Employer in Another Case Addressing Deliberate Intent

FirstEnergy Generation LLC recently appealed the December 2016 order of the Circuit Court of Harrison County following an adverse jury verdict in a “deliberate intention” action filed by the plaintiffs, James and Carol Muto. The West Virginia Supreme Court sided with FirstEnergy, stating that “the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to establish two of Read More

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Has the Fourth Circuit Reversed Its Position on the Use of Handcuffs in Search and Seizure Contexts?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently heard the case of E.W. (a minor, case filed through mother T.W.) v. Rosemary Dolgos (a school resource officer) and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department. The case involved a circumstance in which Dolgos decided to handcuff a compliant, calm elementary school child who had been fighting Read More

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Will Violations of Internal Policies Dissolve State Agencies’ Qualified Immunity Defense?

In the recent case of Bill J. Crouch v. Eric Gillispie, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Crouch, who serves as the secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Gillispie is the administrator of his daughter’s estate. He filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the DHHR, Read More

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What Happens to the Fee-Shifting Provision of the Wage Payment and Collection Act When Wage Claims Get Resolved Pre-suit?

Cameron Brown recently appealed a Circuit Court of Wayne County order denying his “motion for reconsideration” of the court’s dismissal of his original complaint, arguing that the Circuit Court did not properly interpret the Wage Payment and Collection Act in granting respondent Grayson Assisted Living, Inc.’s motion to dismiss. The West Virginia Supreme Court found Read More

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Where Does the “Open and Obvious” Doctrine Meet the Duty to Keep Premises Reasonably Safe?

In January, the West Liberty University Board of Governors and West Liberty University appealed pretrial rulings in the respondent Stewart Lane’s action for premises liability and/or dangerous conditions. The respondent filed a response supporting the Circuit Court’s order and brought a cross-assignment of error. Upon appeal, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled the facts and Read More

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Public Statements Alone Insufficient to Prove “Publicity” in False Light Claims

On January 5, 2017, the West Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a circuit court’s Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of false light invasion of privacy and defamation claims brought by former high school principal, Clinton Giles, against the Kanawha County Board of Education and one of its board members, Pete Thaw. Our firm was part of the legal Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Reaffirms the Application of Joint Employment Relationship in Claims Against a County Commission

West Virginia has previously held county commission employees may be joint employees of the county commission and an elected county official, including county clerks, circuit clerks, and assistant prosecuting attorneys. The state Supreme Court recently reaffirmed this ruling in Burke v. Wetzel County Commission. Case background Burke began working in the County Assessor’s Office in Read More

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City of Marmet v. Hunter – PFFB&P Wins at the WVSCt

On May 14, 2018 the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the Kanawha County Circuit Court’s denial of our client’s motion for summary judgment based upon the statutory immunity of the City of Marmet and its police officer as governed by the West Virginia Government Tort Claims and Insurance Reform Act found at Read More

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