WV Bar Association to host May 4 spring conference - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Bar Association to host May 4 spring conference

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Attorneys will learn about business disputes, real estate law and trends affecting the coal industry at the West Virginia Bar Association's May 4 conference at Glade Springs.

Jim Russell, a member at Steptoe & Johnson's Morgantown office, explained there will be two separate seminars that morning dealing with resolving business disputes and real estate legal issues. In the afternoon session, speakers will come together to talk in a joint session that poses the question, "Has King Coal left the building?"

"We hope it will be very interesting," Russell said.

The conference runs from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Russell, who practices in business law, says speakers will focus on all aspects of business disputes.

"The biggest development has been the adoption of business courts, and that's the impetus of the morning session," Russell said.

There will be three presentations in the business seminar — challenges resolving business disputes before the business court division, how to get a case referred to business court and a mock exercise using a fictitious case that emulates business disputes and how they can be mediated more creatively.

That afternoon, energy and legal officials will discuss challenges facing the coal industry in the state. The featured speaker is Sen. Joe Manchin.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, will speak on trends affecting the coal industry. West Virginia University College of Law professor Pat McGinley will talk about challenges of obtaining and maintaining permits for coal companies.  

Andre Benjamin, a coal research analyst for Goldman Sachs, will discuss challenges facing the sale and consumption of coal.

Manchin will discuss how the government can help the coal industry and what industry officials can do themselves.

"The purpose is to explore on a big picture level the challenges and issues facing the coal industry in West Virginia in 2013," Russell said.

Following the conference will be a derby party and hat contest, which the association says "has become a tradition." The winner will receive a prize of Avon products.