West Virginia Supreme Court to hear cases at WVU Law on March 4

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MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will convene at the West Virginia University College of Law on Wednesday, March 4, to hear five cases. The hearings will begin at 10 a.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating begins at 9 a.m.

The first case to go before the court will be SER Ralph A. Lorenzetti, Jr., Prosecuting Attorney v. Honorable David H. Sanders, Judge; and Elizabeth Shanton. In this case, the prosecuting attorney seeks a writ of prohibition challenging a Circuit Court order dismissing 53 of 54 counts against Elizabeth Shanton. Shanton has been indicted on 53 counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a State Purchasing Card and one count of fraudulent schemes.

The second case is Gary W. Rich v. Joseph Simoni, et al. It deals with the following question certified by the District Court: Are the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct statements of public policy with the force of law equal to that given to statutes enacted by the West Virginia Legislature?

In the third case, Tug Valley Pharmacy, et al. v. Plaintiffs in Mingo Civil Actions, the justices will hear arguments pertaining to two questions certified by the Circuit Court in December 2013. The first questions is “May a person maintain an action if, in order to establish the cause of action, the person must rely, in whole or in part, on an illegal or immoral act or transaction to which the person is a party?” The second question is “May the doctrine of in pari delicto [in equal fault] be employed as a bar to tort claims under West Virginia law?”

The fourth case before the justices will be Highland Mining Co. v. West Virginia University, School of Medicine. Here, the Petitioner is appealing the award of summary judgment to the respondent in its action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief related to petitioner’s requests to the respondent to produce documents pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

The final case of the session is David Ballard, Warden v. Patrick J. Meckling. In this case, the Petitioner is appealing the order of the Circuit Court of Ohio County, entered February 4, 2014, granting respondent’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Attendees to the Supreme Court hearings at the College of Law should be seated by 9:50 a.m. Business attire is expected and backpacks/book bags are not allowed in the courtroom. Visitors must enter or exit the courtroom between cases to avoid undue disruption.

The justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia are Margaret Workman (Chief Justice), Justice Robin Jean Davis, Justice Brent D. Benjamin, Justice Menis Ketchum II, and Justice Allen H. Loughry II. Justices Davis, Workman, and Ketchum are WVU College of Law graduates.

-WVU-

jj/02/25/15

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