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WVU Law Appoints First Energy Fellow

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—The Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the West Virginia UniversityCollege of Law has named Beren Argetsinger its first Fellow in Energy and Environmental Law and Policy. The fellowship is a one-year appointment through the summer of 2014.

Argetsinger is a 2013 graduate of Pace University School of Law and he holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His experience includes internships at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement and with the litigation team at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York.

Argetsinger’s recent scholarship has focused on regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act. It’s a priority issue for the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development over the next few months. He has also written in the areas of shale gas development, interest electric transmission facilities, and integration of renewable energy resources.

As the Fellow for Energy and Environmental Law and Policy, Argetsinger will support the research and scholarship of the center’s affiliated faculty, law professors Patrick McGinleyJoshua Fershee, and Alison Peck.

He will assist with the Center’s two major events: the 4th Annual National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition, March 27-29, 2014; and the annual Energy and Sustainability Conference, February 24, 2014.

Argetsinger will also maintain and contribute to the center’s blog, Energy Forward, and help prepare for the College of Law’s new Energy and Sustainable Development Law. Pending approval by the American Bar Association, the LL.M. will be offered in fall 2014.

“We are very pleased to have Beren join us,” said James Van Nostrand, associate professor of law and director of the center. “The field of candidates included graduates from some of the leading law schools in the country. Beren has the impressive academic credentials and experience that will be an asset to the work of the energy center.”

The Center for Energy and Sustainable Development was established at WVU in 2011 to conduct objective, unbiased research and policy analyses; provide a forum for issues to be explored by stakeholders; and to promote policies that strike a balance between the development of energy resources and the protection of the valuable air and water supplies upon which future generations will depend.


WVU Law Professors to Present at Journalism Seminar

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Law professors Patrick McGinley and Robert Bastress are presenting workshops at News Law Training, a seminar sponsored by the WVU College of Law, the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and the West Virginia Press Association, on Wednesday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Martin Hall.

The seminar will cover avoiding and handling subpoenas; legal issues for online and social media; privacy considerations for the media; the Freedom of Information Act and other laws to access government; and defamation law, avoiding lawsuits and handling complaints.

The cost for the seminar is $10 for West Virginia Press Association members and WVU students; $15 for the general public. Lunch and continental breakfast are included. To register, visit

McGinley is the Judge Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law. He is the co-author of the “Open Government Guide: Access to Public Records and Meetings in West Virginia,” published by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. McGinley has served as a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ First Amendment Task Force, has taught courses in public access to government information and has litigated West Virginia FOIA cases on behalf of West Virginia newspapers and the Associated Press. He joined the WVU Law faculty in 1975.

Exhibit honors WVU Law Canine Mascot

Class photos from the past 135 years line the halls of the West Virginia University College of Law, showcasing a long and distinguished history of legal education. Within some of the oldest photos, there is one recurring character: Bob, identified as the “College of Law Mascot.” He was a medium-sized canine with floppy ears and black and tan markings.

The College of Law is honoring Bob by hosting “Bob’s World,” an exhibit about the law school’s former mascot, in the George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library, now through Feb. 20, 2014. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend. 

Bob was a beloved pet and companion of Professor William P. Willey, one of WVU’s first law professors and founder of the West Virginia Law Review (1894). Embraced by faculty, staff and students, Bob was considered the WVU College of Law’s unofficial mascot from 1907 to 1910. Law students at the time described Bob as a “gentlemanly” dog. He passed away in 1910, allegedly poisoned, and no dog has since filled the role of the law school mascot.

The exhibit showcases photos of Bob and his owner, as well as published stories about the dog and the students who loved him. It is curated by , the Special Collections Librarian at the George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library. 



WVU Law lectures to explore Mexican society

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting a series of lectures October 28-31 that will explore Mexican law, politics, and social policy. The discussions will be led by three visiting professors from the University of Guanajuato in Mexico.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. All lectures will be held in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the College of Law. 

Law professor Jim Friedberg is organizing the Mexico Week lectures. He hopes they will provide insight into Mexican society and dispel some of the myths surrounding the country that shares a 2,000 mile border with the United States.

“Mexico has a rapidly expanding economy and population,” he said. “It’s a country with immense human and natural resources and significant problems. We have to be partners in solving the problems of our North American continent.” 

Patricia Begné, a law professor at the University of Guanajuato, will discuss the Mexican legal system at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 28.

Katya Rodriguez will speak on Mexican poverty, welfare, and law reform at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29. She is a social sciences research professor at the University of Guanajuato.

Professor Fernando Patron will address law, politics, and constitutional evolution in Mexico at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30. Patron is the Director of the Department of Public Management at the University of Guanajuato.

The lecture series concludes with a panel discussion about meeting Mexico’s challenges in law, politics, and social policy at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. In addition to the Guanajuato professors, the panel will feature WVU professors Michele Stephens (history), Victor Mucino(engineering), and Arthur Rizer (law).

The University of Guanajuato, established in 1732, has had an academic relationship with WVU and the College of Law for over two decades.

Located in the highlands of central Mexico, Guanajuato was founded in 1559. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been Morgantown’s sister city since 2008.

“The relationship between the two universities and cities has provided exceptional cultural and intellectual opportunities,” said Friedberg, who leads a biennial study abroad trip to Guanajuato with law professors Gregory Bowman and Jena Martin. The next trip will be in May 2014 and it’s open to all WVU graduate students. 

Mexico Week at the College of Law is supported by the Archibald McDougall Visiting Lectureship in International Law, which explores diverse points of view on issues critical to the global legal community. It is co-sponsored by WVU Latin American Studies.

For more information, visit


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