Business and industry litigation in West Virginia occurs frequently in administrative forums, where outcome is often complicated by statutory mandates that mitigate outcome in favor of the employees. Likewise West Virginia’s professionals are regulated by administrative boards that investigate complaints against their licensees, including medical doctors, psychiatrists, dentists, nurses, and lawyers. Governed generally by West Virginia’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and, in particular, by regulations adopted by each agency, litigation before each of these tribunals is often narrow in scope and broad in application of outcome. Unlike traditional litigation, in administrative cases, the discovery options and motions practice are limited, but the range of penalties and damages is not. Seen by many as an insider’s game, administrative litigation done right is an opportunity for employers and professionals to change outcome and set precedent and practices, often with a reduced commitment of time and resources.
Shuman McCuskey & Slicer’s lawyers practice regularly before administrative tribunals that include the Public Service Commission, the Human Rights Commission, Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges, the WorkForce Board of Review, Surface Mine and Environmental Quality Boards, Workers’ Compensation Board of Review, and licensing boards such as West Virginia’s Board of Medicine, Board of Examiners for Registered Nurses, and Board of Dental Examiners.
SMS lawyer Charlotte Lane served on the West Virginia Public Service Commission (WVPSC), regulating all utilities in the state, including water, sewer, electric, gas, and telecommunications. The WVPSC is also responsible for truck and railroad safety. Ms. Lane relies upon this wealth of experience in advising SMS’s utility and motor carrier clients on regulatory matters. SMS lawyer Christopher D. Negley practiced directly for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of the Attorney General prior to joining the firm, giving him strong backgrounds in workers’ compensation, bankruptcy, and regulatory law issues involving surface mining (state and federal), the Clean Water Act (state and federal), and oil and gas (state). SMS lawyer Roberta F. Green’s employment law practice takes her regularly before the Human Rights Commission (HRC), where for decades she has defended employers from allegations of discrimination against individuals with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. Additionally, Roberta Green works regularly, as do other SMS lawyers David L. Shuman, John F. McCuskey and Elizabeth S. Lawton, to defend professionals whose licenses and practices have come under the scrutiny of their regulatory boards.
Business in West Virginia does and will include appearances before administrative bodies, and SMS’s team of lawyers have the experience and know-how to provide meaningful service to employers and professionals in these arenas.