WVU College of Law Seal

Introducing the West Virginia Law Review Online

As the only law review in our state, the West Virginia Law Review takes seriously its obligation to serve both academia and our state’s legal community. We serve those interests by publishing articles that are nationally relevant along with articles that address issues in West Virginia. Historically, this Law Review has published special issues such as the National Coal Issue and the Energy and Sustainability Issue, reflecting the unquestioned importance of those areas of law to our state. However, we recognize that our state’s legal community is well-served by academic analysis of all areas of law. We also recognize that research specific to West Virginia can be difficult to find through major commercial avenues. As such, Volume 117 of the West Virginia Law Review is proud to launch the West Virginia Law Review Online.

Justice Diseased Is Justice Denied: Coronavirus, Court Closures, and Criminal Trials

On December 31, 2019, health authorities in Wuhan, China, confirmed that an unidentified pathogen was the likely cause of twenty-seven recent cases of pneumonia identified across the region.[1] Just a week later, internal and external pressures forced Chinese authorities to announce the discovery of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan.[2] Despite efforts at containment, the virus jumped from Wuhan to countries across the globe in the following months.[3] By January 21, 2020, the United States had confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus in Washington state.[4] The virus spread rapidly across the continent, resulting in thousands of infections and hundreds of fatalities before the end of March.[5] Federal, state, and local governments responded with varying degrees of efficiency and efficacy, generally stressing the value of “social distancing” in slowing the spread of the disease to afford hospitals precious time to respond to new cases.[6] Private and public institutions largely shuttered, with universities sending students home to their parents and restaurants switching to takeout-only models.[7] Medium-to-large gatherings of any sort were discouraged or banned,[8] and some grocery store shelves were left empty.[9]

Read Full Article

The West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act: Providing “Sweeping Immunity” From Common Law Tort Claims in Employment Discrimination Cases

The history of the ideas and practices underlying workers’ compensation laws is varied. While many commentators attribute their origins to Prussian Germany in the latter half of the 1800s,[1] others have found early models of scheduled payments for loss of body parts under Hammurabi’s Code, which provided a set of rewards for injuries and their permanent impairments.[2] Regardless of when (or where) they began, workers’ compensation laws often have a unifying feature: in exchange for compensating an employee for work-related injuries without examination of fault, the employer is entitled to immunity from being sued under common law.[3] This quid pro quo concept has a significant role in employment discrimination cases.

Read Full Article

Practitioner's Guide to Attorney Fees in West Virginia

I.              Introduction

            One of the most important considerations for any attorney is attorney fees: whether obtaining them or making sure that one does not have to pay them. This Article is a guide on how to navigate these important considerations. Specifically, this Article is a guide to practitioners and the judiciary on the general topic of attorney fees, the American rule, and the exceptions thereto. The first part of this Article examines the foundational principles of the American rule: i.e., that each party is responsible for their own attorney fees. The second part of this Article examines the myriad of exceptions to the American rule. This Section specifically addresses all of the exceptions that have emerged in the jurisprudence as well as the rules and statutory provisions that allow for the award of attorney fees, in spite of the American rule.

Read Full Article

About Volume 123

Back to Top
Back to Top