Litigation 2021

Litigation 2021


Accredited for up to 11.3 WV MCLE hours, including 2.9 Ethics hours.

Accredited for up to 9.5 VA MCLE hours, including 1.5 Ethics hours.


  • Monica Haddad, Esq., Monica Haddad Mediation
  • Don O’Dell, Esq., O’Dell Law | Mediation PLLC
  • Jessica Haught, Esq., Director, Fitzsimmons Litigation Center and Teaching Professor
  • Jeff Brandt, Chief Information Officer, Jackson Kelly PLLC
  • Professor Marjorie McDiarmid, Steptoe and Johnson Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
  • Amy Cyphert, Esq., Lecturer in Law, WVU College of Law
  • Amber Hanna, Esq., WV Judicial Lawyer Assistance Program
  • Honorable Frank W. Volk, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • Jonathan Marshall, Esq., Director, Center for Consumer Law and Education
  • Olubunmi Kusimo-Frazier, Esq., Director, Magistrate Court Services for the Supreme Court of West Virginia
  • Tom Hurney, Esq., Jackson Kelly PLLC

Course Information:

  • Current Trends in Mediation

Monica Haddad and Don O’Dell will discuss the latest trends in mediation with a focus on how mediations are conducted in light of COVID-19 and widespread adoption of Zoom. They will also provide tips and strategies for effective advocacy within the mediation process.

  • 10 Tips for A Better Brief, Part II: Before and After Magic

Last year, Professor Jessica Haught, Legal Writing Professor at WVU College of Law, discussed 10 tips for a better brief. Attendees loved it and asked for more. She continues that discussion on effective writing for a cold reader and includes more sample briefs with revisions to help you make sure that your writing will get the job done.

  • Technology and Your Ethical Law Practice: Blockchains and Crypto coins and Ransomware, Oh My!

The rules of professional conduct require lawyers to maintain tech competence in their practice. The term blockchain is almost synonymous with crypto-currency. The technology behind it has fueled ransomware attacks and caused a massive increase in attacks the last few years. Because they are vulnerable, litigation practices are often targeted. If you read the latest press, it’s ready to disrupt everything.  Lately it has been associated with “smart contracts.”  But what is it exactly?  Is it the savior of all technologies or just a technology in search of a legitimate use? Join us for a discussion on blockchain and related technologies and how to protect your law practice from attack.

  • Think Fast: An Interactive Evidence Game

In this interactive session, Professor Marjorie McDiarmid asks you to think through evidentiary issues and respond quickly! She will then walk attendees through the analysis of these issues pursuant to the West Virginia and Federal Rules of Evidence, noting any places where the rules may diverge.

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Practice of Law

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now at use throughout the legal system, from predictive coding for producing documents during discovery to algorithms that predict recidivism in sentencing defendants to tools that can help draft contracts. As lawyers use these tools, what are some of the implications for their ethical duties, including duties of competence and supervision? This session will provide a brief background in AI in the legal profession and examine best practices for its ethical deployment.

  • Lawyer Mental Health

The practice of law is inherently stressful, and this year has presented many new challenges and stressors in the life of attorneys. This session will address the mental health crisis in the legal profession and outline resources available to lawyers. Further, it will suggest practical ways in which litigators can help each other stay well.

  • Your Federal Court Practice: 2021 Update

Judge Volk will discuss a potpourri of items to consider when appearing in Court or interacting with chambers. The multimedia presentation will have plenty of opportunities for interaction and perhaps even a prize or two.

  • Consumer Law Update 2021

2020 proved to be an eventful year in consumer law—not only were there major shifts and pressing issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the election brought changes at the federal and state levels. This one-hour session will discuss consumer law trends at the state and federal level so that your practice can adapt quickly to the changing landscape of consumer law.

  • Magistrate Court Practice Guide for Litigators

This session will introduce the WV Magistrate Court System and provide insight to avoid common pitfalls of bar members’ civil practice in the magistrate court system.

  • Opening Statements and Closing Arguments in West Virginia

This presentation will discuss rules and cases in West Virginia state and federal courts related to opening statements and closing arguments and offer a suggestion or two about what works and what doesn’t work.