Panelist Biographies

Allen, Loren

Loren Allen is General Counsel and the Director of Government Relations for the West Virginia Bankers Association. Before joining WVBA in 2016, Allen served as deputy general counsel of the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions. He has worked closely with the West Virginia Legislature in matters of public policy development and review, as well as with federal regulators and representatives of Congress. He received his J.D. from WVU Law.

Arthur, Damien

Dr. Damien Arthur is an assistant professor in Marshall University’s Department of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from West Virginia University in 2013. Before joining the faculty at Marshall in 2014, he served as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Virginia State University. Recently, he was appointed to the endowed position of Distinguished Scholar and Director of the West Virginia Center for Consumer Law and Education. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Community-Based Learning Program in the Center for Teaching & Learning. He also co-directs the CORTEX Center. Dr. Arthur is currently writing the definitive political biography of Senator Robert C. Byrd, contracted with Oxford University Press.

Baker, Casey

Casey W. Baker serves as Assistant Professor of Legal Environment in the Division of Accountancy and Legal Environment at the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University. He teaches topics such as legal environment of business and business law, government regulation, health care law, and entrepreneurial law. His research covers a variety of commercial and corporate law topics, including debt collection and bankruptcy, corporate governance, securities, and energy and natural resources. In addition, Prof. Baker maintains a practice of law in West Virginia and Ohio, focusing on governance and transactional matters for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Baker, Kevin

Kevin Baker is the City Attorney of Charleston, WV. In this role, he represents the City and gives legal advice to the Mayor and City departments. He previously served as counsel to the WV Senate Judiciary Committee and as Counsel to the Senate Minority Leader, where he analyzed and drafted legislation and provided legal and policy advice to members of the WV Senate. He received his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Bastress, Robert

Robert Bastress is the John W. Fisher II Professor of Law at WVU College of Law, specializing in constitutional law, employment law, and local government law. His publications include The West Virginia Constitution; Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiating: Skills for effective Representation; and Cases and Materials on West Virginia Constitutional Law. He earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt University and an L.LM. from Temple University.

Bluestein, Frayda

Frayda Bluestein joined the University of North Carolina School of Government in 1991. Her publications include books and articles about local government structure and authority, public contracting, conflicts of interest, and transparency laws. She is a frequent contributor to the School's Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law blog, writing on topics including North Carolina local government authority, annexation, public records, open meetings, conflicts of interest, and First Amendment issues affecting local government. Prior to joining the School, she worked in private law practice, focusing primarily on municipal and land use law, and for one year in the Legislative Drafting Division of the North Carolina General Assembly. Bluestein earned a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and a JD from the University of California at Davis.

Brobst, Jennifer

Jennifer A. Brobst is an Associate Professor of Law and the Interim Dean for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  She teaches courses in Criminal Law, Evidence, Property, Ethics, and various health law courses.  Her scholarship focuses on the intersection between criminal law and public health law, with a strong emphasis on privacy and technology.  She is also the continuing author of two practitioner treatises for Thomson-Reuters in their state practice series:  Admissibility of Evidence in North Carolina, and Criminal Offenses and Defenses in Alabama.  Prof. Brobst received her B.A. with honors in Archaeology and Social Anthropology from University of Cape Town in South Africa; J.D. from University of San Diego School of Law; and LL.M. by thesis from Victoria University at Wellington, New Zealand.  She is licensed to practice law (inactive status) in California, Indiana, North Carolina, and before the United States Supreme Court.

Byrne, Genevieve

Genevieve Byrne is a staff attorney for the Farm and Energy Initiative in the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. Her experience includes American Farmland Trust, where she worked on agricultural land conservation and legislative research, and the Vermont Office of Legislative Council, where she focused on energy legislation. At VLS, she specializes in energy policy as related to agriculture, including farmland solar siting, anaerobic digestion, and biogas. She spent five years in public interest environmental litigation, representing citizen and nonprofit plaintiffs in suits related to nuclear and solar energy permitting and regulation. Genevieve holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark College of Law in Portland, OR, where she also received a Certificate in Natural Resources Law.

Davis, Matthew

Matthew is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Birmingham City University School of Law in the United Kingdom and is a Ph.D. candidate affiliated with the Centre for American Legal Studies at Birmingham City University. He teaches constitutional and administrative law and criminal law. Matthew’s doctoral research focuses on the role that pressure groups, like the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council, play in efforts within state legislatures in America to preempt local governments from regulating firearms. The aim of this research is to contribute to the attempt to uncover the links between ALEC, the NRA and state legislative processes and thereby contribute to the emerging literature which extends studies of federalism beyond the federal government-state government dynamic to explore the internal dynamics of intrastate localism versus central control.

Hope DeLap

Hope DeLap is the 2018-20 Franklin D. Cleckley Fellow in WVU Law's West Virginia Innocence Project Law Clinic. Hope was a judicial extern for the Honorable John Z. Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Hope also worked as a summer intern for Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights litigation firm in Chicago on cases involving police misconduct and prisoners’ rights, and she drafted two civil wrongful conviction complaints. Hope was a staff member on the Chicago Journal of International Law. Additionally, Hope served as a member of the Independent Review Committee for the University of Chicago Police Department. As an undergrad, Hope interned for The Justice Policy Institute in Washington, DC, where she collected correctional data and crime statistics for Justice Policy reports and wrote opinion pieces for the Just Policy Blog.

Diller, Paul

Paul Diller teaches State and Local Government, Property, Public Health Law, and other related courses at Willamette College of Law. Professor Diller's professional work focuses on the legal structures, including federalism and gerrymandering, that constrain or empower local policymaking. Diller has directed Willamette Law's Certificate Program in Law and Government since 2014. Putting his scholarship into action, Diller is a leading law professor in the national effort to preserve and promote local authority in the face of more frequent and aggressive preemption. In September 2017, Diller authored an amicus brief on behalf of several leading municipal organizations in a Supreme Court case challenging gerrymandering of state legislative districts. In Oregon, Diller is an active participant in the legislative process, advocating for legislation that promotes the public health and economic fairness. Prior to entering academia, he was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he litigated constitutional, employment discrimination and Freedom-of-Information-Act cases, among others.

Dorosin, Mark

Mark Dorosin is a Managing Attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Mark was the Managing Attorney of the UNC Center for Civil Rights for 9 years. While at UNC’s Center, Mark helped developed the Inclusion Project and helped focus the docket on housing discrimination, environmental justice, restrictions on political participation, and racial disparities in education. Mark teaches Political and Civil Rights and State and Local Government at UNC Law School. Mark has also taught at Duke University Law School, and worked for Self-Help, a leading North Carolina community development corporation. After law school, Mark was a partner at the Chapel Hill civil rights law firm McSurely, Dorosin & Osment. He was elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in 2012, where he served as Chairman from 2016-2018. Mark gradgraduted from UNC Law in 1994.

Ellis, Paul

For the last 10 years Mr. Ellis has been the designated expert/representative called on at the local and state level to provide necessary insight on all major issues affecting municipalities in WV. Paul Ellis provided legal advice and representation to the Mayor, City Council, and other City Officials and City Departments. He is a graduate of the University of Charleston and The Ohio State University College of Law.

Fox, Sarah

Sarah Fox joined the NIU Law faculty in 2017. Her primary research and teaching interests are at the intersections of environmental law, property and land use. Before coming to NIU, she worked as a clinical teaching fellow in the environmental law clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she represented numerous non-profit organizational clients and supervised student work on cases addressing environmental issues in state and federal court. She was also a litigation associate in the New York offices of Jones Day and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. Professor Fox is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, from which she was also awarded an L.L.M. in Advocacy. She holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma.

Humway-Warmuth, Rosemary

Rosemary Humway-Warmuth has served as the City Solicitor for the City of Wheeling, West Virginia, for twenty-two years. She worked in the State Attorney General’s Office prior to moving into her current role. She is the only attorney in the State of West Virginia to be certified and re-certified as a Local Government Fellow by the International Municipal Lawyers Association which provides local governments a reliable benchmark for identifying experienced and knowledgeable local government legal practitioners. Humway-Warmuth also previously served as the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) State Chairperson for West Virginia and currently serves as a Board Member and she has been a moderator and participant on several panels at the national conferences. She is the President of the West Virginia Municipal Attorneys’ Association and a member of the Ohio County and West Virginia State Bar Associations. She attended Bethany College and Western Michigan Cooley Law School where she served as an Assistant Editor of Law Review and received awards for Outstanding Service to the Law Review as well as numerous American Jurisprudence Awards. She has also taught Introduction to Law, Forensic Evidence and Trial Techniques as an Adjunct Professor at Bethany College in West Virginia and has been an adjunct faculty member and seminar speaker at numerous local, state and national conferences.

Lawson, Kathy

Kathy Lawson is General Counsel of the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions. Prior to this position, she was Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Resources and General Counsel of the West Virginia Lottery and the West Virginia Department of Revenue. She received her J.D. from WVU Law and her B.A. from American University.

Jonathan Marshall

Jonathan Marshall is the Director of Center for Consumer Law and Education at WVU Law. The center is the only one of it’s kind on the East Coast. Marshall’s responsibilities include coordinating the activities of the center with partner organizations, researching consumer law issues, preparing consumer law and policy publications, and providing training and educational opportunities to the public and other partner organizations. A partner with Baily Glasser, Marshall has led federal and state mass tort and class action litigations in a dozen states. In addition to runing the CCLE, he teaches Introduction to Consumer Law. Marshall earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from West Virginia University in 2003 and 2007.

McKinney, Ralph

Ralph E. McKinney, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University. McKinney has authored a number of publications concerning cryptocurrency, economics, forensic business practices, human resource management, indigent criminal defense, and poverty. He holds degrees from Aston Business School at Aston University in Birmingham, England (DBA), Marshall University (MBA) and West Virginia State University (RBA). Additionally, he is a licensed Private Investigator.

Jesse Richardson

Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. is the Lead Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic and Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before coming to WVU, Jesse was an Associate Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, teaching land use law, environmental law, urban growth management and real estate. His research and experience focuses on land use law and water law. Prior to his academic endeavors, Jesse was in private practice in his home town of Winchester, Virginia, first with a large law firm, then as a solo practitioner. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Agricultural Law Association, the Universities Council on Water Resources and the National Cave and Karst Research Institute.

Robertson, Heidi

Heidi Gorovitz Robertson is the Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Student Success at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. She holds a joint appointment with Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, where she is Professor of Environmental Studies. Professor Robertson’s courses include Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, Property Law, Legislation and the Regulatory State, and other environment and energy-related courses and seminars. Professor Robertson has published numerous law review articles on environmental law, energy law, and property law topics. She is currently working on the second in a series of articles concerning regulatory issues shale oil and gas development. In addition to teaching in the U.S., she has taught both graduate and undergraduate law students in England, Russia, Sweden, India, and Spain. She practiced environmental law at Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco, California and Washington, D.C. She earned her B.A. degree from Tufts University, her J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin and her LL.M and J.S.D. degrees from Columbia University.

Schneider, Andrew

Andrew Schneider, as Executive Director of Fairness West Virginia, has led the effort to advocate for effective lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender policy changes in West Virginia. Prior to joining Fairness, Andrew served for seven years as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut where he was a leader in the successful state campaigns to win transgender civil rights, abolish the death penalty, and legalize medical marijuana. Before that, he was the Executive Director of the ACLU of West Virginia for six years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in European History from Washington and Lee University.

Simon, Sheila

Sheila Simon rejoined the Southern Illinois University School of Law faculty after serving as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois from 2011 to 2015. Since returning to the school she has taught Property, Torts, Legal Writing, Advanced Real Estate Transactions, Children and the Law, Government Ethics, and a seminar on Crime Victims and Witnesses. As Lieutenant Governor she worked on many issues including education policy and secure funding for rape crisis centers. In addition to her experience in state government and local government, Simon was the first staff attorney for the Domestic Violence Clinic. Before joining the faculty, she was an assistant state’s attorney for four years, with two of those years spent prosecuting domestic batterers. She also served on the Carbondale City Council from 2003 to 2007. Her civil law experience includes five years as a staff attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, and three years in private practice. Simon graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center, and from Wittenberg University.

Simonton, Ryan

Ryan P. Simonton is a member of Kay Casto & Chaney PLLC and practices in the firm’s Morgantown office. Mr. Simonton serves as City Attorney for The City of Morgantown and represents clients in matters involving municipal law, regulatory law, government relations, commercial law, and employment law.

Usman, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Usman is an Associate Professor of Law at the Belmont University College of Law. Professor Usman is a frequent contributor to scholarly journals. His published works have been relied upon by other scholars in books, treatises, and law review articles. He teaches Constitutional Law I & II, Criminal Constitutional Law, First Amendment and State Constitutional Law. Professor Usman also serves as a faculty advisor to Belmont’s Law Review and Legal Aid and Criminal Law Societies. A member of the Tennessee Bar, Professor Usman serves on the Tennessee Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee. Professor Usman has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Professor Usman received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, his Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School, and his Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.

James Van Nostrand

Professor James M. “Jamie” Van Nostrand joined the faculty of WVU Law in July of 2011 as the Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development. He came from the Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, where he served as Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center. Prior to the spring of 2008, Professor Van Nostrand had a successful career as a partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group of a large law firm based in the Pacific Northwest. In his 22-year career in private practice, Professor Van Nostrand represented energy clients in state regulatory proceedings in eight western states, as well as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He was recognized by the Energy Bar Association as the 2007 State Regulatory Practitioner of the Year.

Wagner, Jennifer

Jennifer Wagner is a Co-Director of Mountain State Justice, where she represents low-income West Virginians in consumer cases and civil rights, health care, and workplace safety litigation. Jennifer joined Mountain State Justice in the summer of 2008 as a Skadden Fellow. She is a Consumer Fellow to the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association and has testified before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance about mortgage regulation. Prior to joining Mountain State Justice, Jennifer clerked for Judge M. Blane Michael on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an advocate for HIV+, mentally ill, homeless adults in New York City. She graduated with honors from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.

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