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Litigation Practice Area

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Your case, no matter how large or how small, is important to you, and so it is important to us.

The Litigation Practice Area at Robinson & McElwee is the firm’s largest practice group. We handle a wide variety of matters, from modest contract disputes to class actions, mass tort and complex litigation involving hundreds of millions of dollars. We staff every case with the litigation lawyers and support personnel who have the right experience.

Unlike the large mega-firms, we do not staff our cases depending on who is available, nor do we shuffle cases among less experienced lawyers, moving cases from lawyer to lawyer as associates come and go or transfer to other cases. At Robinson & McElwee, an experienced attorney is designated as lead counsel and will see your case through to its completion. Other attorneys and personnel are assigned as needed to staff the case consistent with your wishes and the requirements of the litigation, keeping in mind always that you deserve value for the trust you have placed in us.

Our West Virginia general litigation department includes a superb support staff composed of experienced paralegals, paralegal assistants, secretaries, and information services personnel. Our conference room suite is designed for mediation, and we are equipped with the latest law firm technology to best serve our clients.

Robinson & McElwee handles a wide variety of matters, including:

  • Appellate litigation
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights
  • Business and contract disputes
  • Class actions and mass tort litigation
  • Election and campaign finance
  • Financial services litigation
  • Insurance coverage and bad faith litigation
  • Real estate litigation
  • Securities litigation
  • State and local taxation litigation
  • Transportation, trucking and motor carrier matters
  • Underground storage tank (UST) and flexpipe litigation
  • White collar criminal defense litigation
  • Wills, trusts and estates litigation

Robinson & McElwee’s attorneys are involved in a wide array of litigation, but many focus in the following areas:

 

For more information regarding our West Virginia general litigation practice, please contact Richard W. Gallagher at rwg@ramlaw.com or (304) 326-5319, John C. Palmer IV at jcp@ramlaw.com or (304) 347-8324, or Joseph S. Beeson at jsb@ramlaw.com or (304) 347-8326.

Robinson & McElwee handles major oil and gas commercial litigation. Our representative clients include Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas and EQT Corp. Robinson & McElwee also represents coal industry clients such as Eastern Associated Coal. The firm handles timber matters, including flood litigation (personal injury and property damage), for clients such as Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser.
“Deliberate Intent” litigation, sometimes known as Mandolidis litigation, involves cases brought by employees against employers in an effort to avoid the employer’s workers’ compensation immunity, a type of personal injury action unique to West Virginia jurisprudence. In such claims, a plaintiff asserts that an employer’s “deliberate intent” as specifically defined in the Workers’ Compensation Act, caused the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.
Your business needs experienced litigators, and sometimes you do, too. Robinson & McElwee provides domestic relations services for its clients to help them work their way through divorce, child custody and support issues, adoptions and property disposition. This discrete service is limited, but is offered as part of our commitment to fully serving our clients. Robinson & McElwee’s litigation lawyers have earned the respect of their clients and colleagues. Their outstanding litigation skills have been repeatedly demonstrated by successful resolution of disputed matters before trial, at trial, and through the appellate process.
Our attorneys handle a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including injuries from car or truck accidents to toxic exposure cases and other complex injury and disease cases. Our asbestos defense practice is one of the largest in the state, and we are actively representing clients in hundreds of asbestos claims.
The firm handles major personal injury litigation due to alleged exposure to toxic substances. Toxic tort cases include asbestos litigation, as well as cases involving mercury, lead, formaldehyde, silica, acrylamide, perchlorethylene, and other cases involving other chemicals, toxic substances and causal agents. In the various areas of tort litigation in which the firm is involved, Robinson & McElwee attorneys represent clients who are sued on both product liability and premises liability theories.

Participating Lawyers

Mr. Beeson received his Bachelor of Arts degrees (Business Administration and Psychology) from Washington and Jefferson College and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University. Mr. Beeson has experience with securities law, arbitration and related litigation. Mr. Beeson also has experience handling disputes concerning the application of trusts and estates.
Mr. Beeson received his Bachelor of Arts degrees (Business Administration and Psychology) from Washington and Jefferson College and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University. He litigates cases including property damage, trespass, mineral ownership disputes, products liability, personal injury, “deliberate intent” and breach of contract claims. Mr. Beeson also has experience handling Benzene and “float-sink” chemical exposure cases. Mr. Beeson is a member of the Kanawha County Bar Association, the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and the Defense Research Institute, and regularly prepares the ALFA International State Law Compendium for the Products Liability Practice Group.
Mr. Beeson has nearly 40 of years experience in the practice of civil litigation with an emphasis on the defense of toxic exposure cases involving such materials as asbestos, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, silica, etc. He was recently named “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants in Charleston, W.V. by Best Lawyers in 2013 and he is “AV 5/5” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and listed among “West Virginia SuperLawyers,” “West Virginia’s Best Lawyers” and “Best Lawyers in America.” Mr. Beeson received a Bachelor of Arts degree (History, cum laude) from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University (Order of the Coif). He formerly served as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of West Virginia Wesleyan College and currently serves as Chairperson of West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities.
Mr. Gallagher is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has defended major companies during the past 30 years in a variety of labor and employment litigation matters involving both class actions and individual claims alleging violations of both federal and West Virginia wage, hour and discrimination statutes. These major companies have included those in the communication, manufacturing, forestry, wood products and chemical industries.
Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has defended large and small companies in major injury, construction, predatory lending, insurance and toxic tort matters at both the trial and appellate levels. These cases have included allegations of overweight truck accidents, defective construction, manufacturing injuries, defective automotive claims, intentional injury causes of action and toxic torts involving environmental and property damage claims.
Mr. Gandee has nearly 30 years of experience in the practice of civil litigation. His experience includes significant transportation industry accidents, professional malpractice, insurance coverage disputes, product liability, wrongful death, serious personal injury and commercial litigation. Mr. Gandee has been awarded both a Masters of Business Administration and Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University. Mr. Gandee is a contributor to the ALFA International Transportation Law Compendium and has been appointed to the Officials Advisory Board for the WVSSAC as the Basketball Official Representative.
Mr. Gandee has nearly 30 years in civil litigation practice and has experience in the areas of electrical contact, electrocution and the National Electrical Safety Code; tractor trailer accidents; oil and gas leases; oil and gas trespass; HVAC issues; wrongful death actions; deliberate intent actions, West Virginia mandolidis matters; automobile accidents; vehicle accident investigation; vehicle accident reconstruction; product failure; product liability; breach of contract.
Mr. George is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. George has practiced law for 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. George is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. George has practiced law for 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb has more than 40 years of experience in issues of real estate broker and salesperson liability, real estate title matters, corporate acquisitions and transactions, timber and mineral law matters, energy and mineral ownership issues. He has broad trial experience and has acted as an expert witness in significant matters involving real estate, gas, oil and mineral titles as well as lawyer malpractice/professional liability cases. Mr. Hamb has earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and an LL.B degree from West Virginia University.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law
Mr. Hayes' practice primarily involves representing corporate defendants in product liability, toxic and mass torts, class actions and other complex and serious personal injury actions. Mr. Hayes maintains more than 25 years of defense experience, and has regularly appeared before a variety of state and federal courts in West Virginia and Kentucky. Mr. Hayes has served as lead responsible counsel for numerous bench and jury trials. In addition, Mr. Hayes has often appeared before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Fourth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeals. Mr. Hayes represents a variety of clients across several industries including large and small manufacturers, oil and gas companies, distributors, service providers and railroad and trucking companies.
Mr. Kennedy graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and graduated Order of the Coif from the West Virginia University College of Law. He also served four and one-half years as an Army officer with an expertise in weapons of mass destruction. He has litigated various employment and labor cases in West Virginia’s state and federal courts. He has also litigated various personal injury cases, products liability cases, and premises liability cases. His practice also extends to Pennsylvania, where he has represented a major financial company in various diverse litigation matters throughout the Commonwealth. He has also “first-chaired” appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a former law clerk to the Honorable Irene M. Keeley, United States District Judge, Northern District of West Virginia, and served as a Substantive Liaison to the DRI Professionalism and Ethics Committee.
Mr. Kimble has more than 23 years of experience in general civil litigation including commercial disputes, personal injury, “bad faith,” real property, eminent domain, right of way, covenant disputes, boundary disputes and insurance coverage disputes.
Mr. Kimble has more than 24 years of experience litigating matters throughout West Virginia in State and federal courts. Having extensive experience in defending personal injury and products liability matters, including manufacturing equipment, household appliances and exercise equipment, he also has significant experience with insurance-related issues and coverage disputes. Recently, Mr. Kimble’s practice has developed a particular emphasis on commercial and real estate litigation.
Mr. Lannan has more than 25 years of experience in the handling of environmental criminal defense litigation, environmental audits, environmental issues arising in connection with commercial transactions, disputes related to the contamination of real property, environmental compliance, enforcement, contribution and all aspects of environmental regulatory compliance. Mr. Lannan has experience in drafting significant environmental legislation and regulations, as well as representation of national clients in Superfund practice, including defense of cost recovery cases, enforcement actions and administrative matters. Mr. Lannan received a Bachelor of Arts degree (History, magna cum laude) and Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University, as well as a Master of Arts degree (Applied Theology) from Wheeling Jesuit University.
Mr. Lannan, in more than 25 years of practice in the energy and environmental law area, has represented a broad array of individuals, industrial, energy, petroleum, recycling and manufacturing clients with regard to all aspects of environmental law. Mr. Lannan serves as chair for Robinson & McElwee's Energy & Environment Department. His particular areas of involvement have been state and federal programs involving air, water, solid and hazardous waste, Superfund, environmental excellence and sustainability, underground storage tanks, brownfields, corrective action and the common law of negligence, nuisance, trespass and strict liability relating to environmental issues.
Mr. Lannan is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Lannan has practiced law for more than 20 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law
Mr. Palmer has 41 years of experience involving complex litigation, securities fraud, toxic torts, antitrust violations, coal mining, industrial accidents, catastrophic property damage, white collar crime, defamation, malicious prosecution, admiralty law, oil and gas matters, railroad accidents, “tortious interference” claims, construction disputes, wrongful death, personal injury, employment matters, lender liability, patent infringement, predatory lending, ERISA violations, fidelity bonds, consumer claims, conversion, copyright infringement and class actions. Mr. Palmer is a past member of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia Board of Governors as well as the organization’s president (1991-1992).
Mr. Palmer is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Palmer has practiced law for more than 40 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Palmer is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Palmer has practiced law for more than 40 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Health Care practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Price has over three decades of experience in the litigation of labor and employment cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, and in state and federal courts throughout West Virginia, in addition to high risk personal injury, wrongful death, “deliberate intent” and significant class actions. He has presented more than 200 employment cases at trial (jury and non-jury) and arbitration, including “wrongful discharge,” discrimination cases (all types), ERISA claims, employee benefits litigation, FMLA cases, Unfair Labor Practice cases (before the National Labor Relations Board and on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), MSHA discrimination cases, cases before the West Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals, injunctive proceedings, labor dispute cases and damage claims arising out of work stoppages. Mr. Price has authored numerous articles concerning employment law issues and is AV 5/5 rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed as a "Top Rated Employment & Labor Lawyer" in the SuperLawyers publication.
Mr. Price has over 30 years of experience in the litigation of labor and employment cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, and in state and federal courts throughout West Virginia, in addition to high risk personal injury, wrongful death, “deliberate intent” and significant class actions. Mr. Price serves as Chair for Robinson & McElwee's Labor & Employment Department. He has presented more than 200 employment cases at trial (jury and non-jury) and arbitration, including “wrongful discharge,” discrimination cases (all types), ERISA claims, employee benefits litigation, FMLA cases, Unfair Labor Practice cases (before the National Labor Relations Board and on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), MSHA discrimination cases, cases before the West Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals, injunctive proceedings, labor dispute cases and damage claims arising out of work stoppages.
Mr. Price has over 30 years of litigation experience. In addition to employment cases in state and federal courts throughout West Virginia, he has served as first chair in high risk personal injury, wrongful death, deliberate intent trials. His work has included, representing a major metal products company in a significant class action brought by more than 700 workers against their former employer seeking pension and welfare benefits. He has presented more than 200 cases at trial (jury and non-jury) and arbitration. He has served as trial counsel before the National Labor Relations Board in unfair labor practice cases, including a three-week hearing involving seven separate cases that the Board had combined for trial. Mr. Price served as a member of the litigation team defending a significant class action brought against a major oil company, and successfully defended a petroleum processer against claims brought by an employee who alleged he had been discharged for reporting environmental violations.
Mr. Russo has more than 24 years of experience in the litigation of employment cases (including “wrongful discharge,” discrimination cases, ERISA benefits cases, federal black lung cases and others) and cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, West Virginia Human Rights Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Russo also acts as counsel in high risk personal injury and death cases, complex class actions, environmental and regulatory issues, cases involving complex insurance and reinsurance issues, (particularly arising in the oil and gas industry). He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (Italian Literature) from Bowdoin College and received his legal training at Oxford University, Corpus Christi College, England. Mr. Russo serves as a member of the Democratic Executive Committee, City of Charleston.
Mr. Russo is a member of the Labor & Employment practice area. Mr. Russo has practiced law for 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Russo is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Russo has practiced law for 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Sorrells is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area, with almost 25 years of experience representing creditors, corporate debtors, and defendants in preference action in United States Bankruptcy Courts.
Mr. Sorrells is a member of the Litigation practice area, with almost 25 years of experience in all aspects of litigation and appellate work in state and federal courts.