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Lou Ann S. Cyrus

Ms. Cyrus joined the firm as an associate in June, 1998, was elected a member in January, 2002 and became an equity owner in January, 2014.  Ms. Cyrus’s practice is concentrated in general insurance defense, and includes public entity litigation, with special focus on defense of state agencies and local entities in cases involving civil rights violations, as well as, insurance coverage/bad faith and auto negligence cases.  As a former West Virginia public school teacher certified to teach English-Language Arts 5-12, she also particularly enjoys representing county boards of education, principals, teachers and other school personnel.

Ms. Cyrus has over 20 years’ experience in handling insurance defense cases at both the trial and appellate levels.  She has served as lead counsel in trying numerous cases to defense verdict, including a week-long civil rights trial of alleged sexual assault, and lectures on the topic of avoiding sexual harassment in the workplace.  She also frequently counsels insurers on how to evaluate and handle claims in all aspects of the claims-handling process.  Her standing in the legal community has earned her Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious “AV” Rating, which signifies that peers rank her at the highest level of legal ability and professional ethics.

She has two sons who attend Kanawha County Schools, as well as, two step-sons who are grown, and is married to Dwayne Cyrus, also a member/equity owner of the firm.

12
Number of trips I’ve taken to the Caribbean
'15
Year I last performed as a majorette with my high school band
6
Number of months I was a substitute teacher before starting law school

 

Bar Admissions

Education

  • J.D., West Virginia University College of Law
    • Honors: Governor, 4th Circuit, American Bar Association Law Student Division, American Bar Association Law Student Division’s Bronze Key Award, Recipient of a West Virginia State Bar Auxiliary Scholarship
  • B.S.Ed, cum laude, Concord University
    • Honors: David S. Roth Memorial Outstanding English Major Award as the graduating English Major with the highest grade point average, James B. Shrewsbury JR. Award for Academic Excellence

Representative Cases

  • Keefer v. Ferrell, 655 S.E.2d 94 (W.Va., 2007)
  • Withrow v. Williams, 216 W.Va 385, 607 S.E. 2d 491 (  2004)
  • Stevens v. West Virginia Institute of Technology, 207 W.Va. 370, 532 S.E.2d 639 (1999)
  • Murray v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 203 W.Va. 477, 509 S.E.2d 1 (1998)
  • McCormick v. West Virginia Dept. of Public Safety, Div. of Corrections, 202 W. Va. 189, 503 S.E. 2d 502 (1998)
  • Jeffrey v. West Virginia Dept. of Public Safety, Div. of Corrections, 198 W. Va. 609, 482 S.E.2d 226 (1996)

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • “Understanding Spinal Injuries to Maximize Your Defense,” (3-person panel), ANPAC 20th SIU/MIST/Litigation Conference, Springfield, Missouri, June 24, 2015
  • “Managing Communications to Avoid Bad Faith,” ANPAC 2005 SIU/MIST/LITIGATION 9th Annual Training Conference, Springfield, MO June 9-10, 2005
  • “The Economic Expert in Litigation,” ANPAC 2004 SIU/MIST/LITIGATION 8th Annual Training Conference, Springfield, MO, June 10-11, 2004
  • “Experts: Hiring, Deposing, Cross-Examining,” ANPAC 2003 SIU/MIST/LITIGATION Annual Training Conference, Springfield, MO, June 5-6, 2003
  • Special Education Workshop “Conducting Legally Defensible I.E.P. Meetings, Providing Testimony, and Witnessing,” RESA-V Meeting, Parkersburg, WV, March 5, 2001
  • Special Education Workshop “Conducting Legally Defensible I.E.P. Meetings, Providing Testimony, and Witnessing,” RESA-IV Meeting, Charleston, WV, December 9, 1999

Publications

  • “LEGAL MATTERS: COMBATING CYBERBULLYING” (Co-authored) NAESP, Communicator, March 2015, Volume 38, Issue 7
  • “School Playground Safety: Does your Playground Make the Grade?” Legal Matters, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) – November, 2012

Involvement/Awards

  • 2014 Martindale Hubbell AV Rating
  • 2015 Martindale Hubbell Client Distinction Award
  • Past President, Alum Creek Elementary School’s Local School Improvement Council, 2012-2014

Professional Associations and Memberships