Elliot G. Hicks is a trail-blazing West Virginia attorney inspired by the lawyers who were leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.
As an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, Hicks became the school’s first African American elected to the Executive Committee of the Student Body — although he ultimately earned his B.A. (1978) and his J.D. (1981) from West Virginia University.
Hicks spent the earliest part of his career as a solo practitioner before joining Kay Casto & Chaney in 1984. At the time, he was just the second lawyer of color in the state, by two months, to be hired by a large firm. Fourteen years later, Hicks became the first African American president of the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors.
In practice, Hicks developed a reputation as a top litigator with expertise in product liability defense, premises liability law, employment law, insurance law, and higher education. Over the course of his career, he was a partner at several firms, including Spilman, Thomas & Battle.
His current focus is on mediation and arbitration at his own firm, Hicks Resolutions. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, an organization of leading mediators and arbitrators. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, elected to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Foundation and the West Virginia Bar Foundation.
Hicks has long been a leader in public service. He has served on the Kanawha County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Board of the Legal Aid Society, and he now serves on the West Virginia Humanities Council and the Daymark Foundation Board, among others.
For six years, he was on the board of the West Virginia Bar Foundation, including serving as chairman of the IOLTA Committee that administers millions of dollars to provide legal services to the poor.
Two former West Virginia governors — Earl Ray Tomblin and Joe Manchin — appointed Hicks to the Board of Governors of Concord University, which he chaired for four of his eight years. Two other former governors — Cecil Underwood and Bob Wise — appointed him to the Higher Education Policy Commission, where he was vice-chairman.
In 2019, the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission presented Hicks with the Governor’s Living the Dream Award, in part for his work as a champion of justice, scholarship and civil rights.