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4 W. Va. St. B. News 1 (1972-1975)

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VOLUME 4                        WEST VIRGINIA STATE BAR NEWS                           NUMBER I


Bar Responds To Cal


  On February 26, 1972, a wall of
water roared down Buffalo Creek
Hollow in Logan County after a
coal mine refuse pile broke and re-
leased an impoundment of water
held behind it. At least 118 persons
died and more than 4,000 area resi-
dents were left homeless.
  Recognizing that the survivors of
the disaster would face many ques-
tions of law, Governor Moore
named Forest J. Bowman, Execu-
tive Director of The West Virginia
State Bar; Charleston 1 a w y e r
Ralph C. Dusic, Jr.; and Fred L.
Davis, Jr. of Parkersburg; to a
three-man task force to provide
needed legal services to the sur-
vivors of this flood.
  Bowman immediately wrote to
every active member of the West
Virginia State Bar asking whether
they could help by giving one or
more days of free legal service at
Buffalo Creek Hollow. Within two
days of the mailing of this letter
enough lawyers had volunteered
their services to staff a legal assis-
tance office for three weeks.
  The office was opened on Monday
morning, March 27, and has re-
mained open six days a week since
then. Lawyer-volunteers are being
flown by National Guard helicopter
to Man, at the mouth of Buffalo
Creek Hollow, daily. When flights


  Charles V. Wehner, of Kingwood, Elmer H.
Dodson, of Charleston, and Ralph C. Dusic, Jr., of
Charleston, prepare to board a helicopter for
Buffalo Creek Hollow.
are prohibited by weather the law-
yers have been making the two-
and-a-half hour drive from Char-
leston to Man. A Charleston hotel
has provided a free room for two
lawyers per day during the period
of the Buffalo Creek service.


Donley Retires From Law Faculty


  Judge Robert T. Donley, who
taught courses in Contracts and
Coal, Oil and Gas to hundreds of
West Virginia University College
of Law students in a teaching span
that reaches back to 1929, has re-
tired as professor of law. The Board
of Regents has granted him the
status of Professor Emeritus.
  Judge Donley, who received his
A.B. from West Virginia University
in 1924 and his LL.B. from WVU in


1926, began teaching at the College
of Law on a part-time basis in 1929.
He taught until 1936 and again from
1946 to 1971, with the exception
of 1958, when he resigned to ac-
cept an appointment to the Su-
preme Court of Appeals of West
Virginia.
  Judge Donley is a recognized au-
thority on coal, oil and gas law and
is the author of The Law of Coal,
Oil and Gas in West Virginia and
Virginia.


I For Help


Legislature Approves
Legal Corporations
  Legislation adopted at the 1972
Regular Session of the 60th Legis-
lature permits lawyers to organize
and become shareholders of legal
corporations. The new    statute,
which does not modify the attor-
ney-client relationship or affect the
lawyer's personal liability for his
professional acts, permits lawyers
to take advantage of certain tax
benefits available only to corpora-
tions.
  The new act provides that The
West Virginia State Bar may re-
quire that lawyers under its au-
thority obtain its prior authoriza-
tion before beginning to act as a
legal corporation and may require
a fee to form such a legal corpora-
tion. The act also provides that
the State Bar may adopt rules and
regulations governing legal cor-
porations.
  At the April 29th meeting of the
Board of Governors of the State
Bar the matter was referred to a
special committee of the Bar for
recommendations regarding action
by the West Virginia State Bar.
The next issue of the State Bar
News will carry a full report on
the status of professional incor-
poration by lawyers in West Vir.
ginia.

      ORDER OF THE COIF
  Dean Paul L. Selby, Jr., of the
West Virginia University College
of Law, has announced the election
of the following 1972 law graduates
into the Order of the Coif: Michael
Anthony Albert, Wheeling; Carl
Nicholas, Weirton; John Richard
Frazier, Charleston; James Mac-
Dougall Henderson, II, Beckley;
Dennis  Charles  Sauter, Akron,
Ohio; Stephen   Patrick Swisher,
Charleston; and Jeffrey Jay Yost,
Berkeley Springs.


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