Revised Eligibility Affidavit Released

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has updated the form used to determine eligibility for appointed or public defender counsel that streamlines and clarifies information. The revised form is also fillable and will automatically calculate totals. You can download the form here. It’s also always available on our homepage under the Quick Links on the right […] Continue reading

New Juvenile Practice Manual Now Available!

After nearly two years of hard work, a compact practice manual on defending youth in delinquency proceedings is now available. This manual is designed to be a portable reference and a starting point for working these types of cases. This manual includes law, procedure and strategic tips as well as relevant social science information. It […] Continue reading

Parental Rights: II

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) was passed by the United States Congress to encourage the adoption of children who have been in foster care placements and to emphasize permanent living placements as quickly as possible. Specifically, a State must file a petition for termination of parental rights after a child has […] Continue reading

Parental Rights: Part I

Suzanne Sellers, in a January 5, 2019 Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, thanks the paper for its apology to “crack mothers” who were demonized through journalism and the media with the popular tagline that stigmatized many substance using women and their children, “crack babies.” Ms. Sellers notes that she had been […] Continue reading

Redemptive Language

In capital case mitigations, carefully determined language choices are emphasized because words can be the only thing to remind a jury that your client is human, has remorse, and can change for the better despite committing a horrific crime. Word choices can help mitigate the effect of the harm caused to the victims while reminding […] Continue reading

WV Overdose Fatalities: Numbers are the Tool for Alternative Sentencing

West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health conducted a fatality review (2016 West Virginia Overdose Fatality Analysis) into all overdose deaths from 2016. Acknowledging that West Virginia has the most overdose deaths per capita, this evaluation and analysis was intended to better understand the gaps in service, missed opportunities, and […] Continue reading