Category Archives: Current Events

WVU Students: Tips for Suspension and Expulsion Hearings

In a recent article featured in The Huffington Post, the author wrote about West Virginia University by stating, “Students and fans at one of the top party schools in the country won a big football game Saturday. So they lit some fires and flipped a car.”

Unfortunately for the West Virginia University community, the idea of students who love to set fires and flip over cars has become almost a tradition of sorts. What many students and their parents may not know, however, is that a student from West Virginia University who participates in these activities may face suspension or expulsion from school. This outcome is life-changing as suspension or expulsion may affect your ability to finish your college degree or secure gainful employment.

Student Disciplinary Hearings – Suspension and Expulsion Hearings

If a student faces suspension or expulsion, the student faces a hearing panel organized by the Office of Student Conduct to determine what action the University is going to take against the student. The hearing panel consists of both faculty and students, and the hearing panel serves as both judge and jury in the matter. The accused student is given an opportunity to present opening and closing statements, testify on his/her own behalf, call and question witnesses, and introduce evidence. If you are a student facing this situation, here are some common sense types for preparing for the hearing:

1) Take responsibility for your actions.

2) Be prepared to explain to the hearing panel your plan for changing your behavior in the future, and how the decision of the hearing panel will affect your future.

3) Be prepared to explain the hearing panel why you are proud to be a Mountaineer, and why it is meaningful for you to be able to graduate from West Virginia University.

4) Provide the hearing panel with character references either by submitting letters of reference to the Office of Student Conduct prior to the hearing, or calling a witness on your behalf at the hearing to talk about your good character.

5) Read the possible sanctions listed in the University Student Conduct Code, and be prepared to suggest sanctions that you think would best help you and be appropriate in the situation.

During hearings for suspension or expulsion, students are entitled to have a lawyer appear on their behalf at the Student Conduct Hearing. Because these hearings involve opening and closing statements, the introduction of evidence, questioning of witnesses, and statements by the accused student — all things present in a court hearing or trial — you may be best served by retaining counsel to assist you throughout the hearing process. Likewise, if the hearing panel has issued a ruling that you do not agree with, you have the right to appeal and you may be best served by seeking the counsel of an attorney to assist you in this process.

Should you face an upcoming suspension or expulsion hearing at West Virginia University, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Adams Legal Group, PLLC,  (304) 381-2166 for assistance.

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by | November 1, 2013 · 12:08 pm

Welcome Back WVU Students

West Virginia University and Morgantown, WV saw an influx of 30,000 or so students, as the 2012-2013 WVU school year gets underway. It is always an exciting time around Morgantown, as most businesses, the city and the University are bustling with activity and commerce. It is also an anxious and exciting time for students, some of whom have left the confines and patriarchal control of their parents home for the first time. As this freedom meets with ample opportunities to explore this great city of Morgantown, WV, we at Adams Legal Group, PLLC hope that most of the new students find constructive outlets for this freedom and to burn off the stress and anxiety of all of the new challenges faced under these conditions.

Unfortunately, the reality sometimes becomes that some students take this new freedom and find opportunities for anxiety- and stress-relief in drinking and partying, instead of burning it off through a good long hike up at Coopers’ Rock in this gorgeous late-Summer & Fall weather. As WVU students bustled into Morgantown WV last weekend, unfortunately the WVU police, the Morgantown City police and the Monongalia County Sheriffs office was confronted with a bustle of activity and arrests. Hundreds of arrests have been made in the past week, already, mostly for public intoxication, obstruction, underage drinking, DUIs, and possession charges. While it is great to be social and find different outlets for social engagement and stress relief, we urge students to exercise prudence in moderating their behavior within legal limits. Keep Morgantown safe for you, your fellow students, and all the members of this great city – don’t drink and drive, moderate your drinking within reasonable limits, be respectful of establishments, other patrons and law enforcement.

IF you are one of the unfortunate WVU students to find yourself in trouble with law enforcement and charged with one of the above offenses – we at Adams Legal Group, PLLC can help! CALL US TODAY for your free consultation at (304) 381-2166 or visit us at Morgantown Criminal Lawyers for WVU Students

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Filed under Criminal Law, Current Events, DUI/DWI, General, Legal Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, WVU

WV Law Banning Texting While Driving Goes Into Effect

WV Law Banning Texting While Driving Goes Into Effect.

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Filed under Accident Law, Car Accident, Current Events, Legal Services, West Virginia

Conservatives’ War on Women?

I simply do not understand the enormous kerfuffle about some, what I would call, “insensitive” remarks by Rush Limbaugh about Sandra Fluke. What is more perplexing is how the ill-thought-out attempt by him at humor, satire or critical analysis (whatever you wish to call it) is being extrapolated by the media as an indication that conservatives are waging a war on women. Rush Limbaugh is NOT the voice of all conservatives. Nor is his satire and commentary, which is for entertainment purposes much more than purporting to be “news,” representative of the firm political doctrine or dogma of the “right,” as the media and pundits on the left seem to imply. Frankly, I personally rarely listen to him, as much of his commentary is silly satire and dumbed down for mass consumption.

Limbaugh’s “commentary” is simply that – the personal opinions and commentary of an entertainer, reflecting his own personal brand. Frankly, I think it is ridiculous that he was forced to apologize, by his PR, the media, politicians, etc. for comments that were clearly satiric and sarcastic, but aimed at causing his listeners to undertake a small amount of critical thinking about the issues addressed by Ms. Fluke. Just as Mr. Limbaugh is merely an entertainment “personality”, so to is Mr. Louis C.K. a purported entertainer. He similarly attempts comedy by commenting on political figures, such as his attacks on Sarah Palin. If you have not heard his commentary on Palin, you can listen to a segment (*WARNING – very foul language*)here, which includes the 30-60 second clip of his comments followed by some additional commentary from the Youtuber who posted it (no endorsement intended or implied). However, the media and politicians did not clamor for apologies from the entertainer for his far more graphic and derogatory, if not out-right disgusting comments about a woman politician. Nor did the media reach even further to extrapolate out some “larger issue” of women-hating by liberals or liberals war against mentally disabled children, or anything of the sort. Bill Maher has similarly made exceedingly derogatory and foul comments about Ms. Palin, which only came to light now, because of the equivalency pointed out as backlash to the media’s double standard.

Listening to Ms. Fluke’s comments in the first place, she entreats that women, or more specifically in her case, law-school students are entitled to thousands of dollars of birth control annually, for recreational purposes, to be provided for free by the government using our tax dollars.

As a conservative, I will not call Ms. Fluke the foul name associated with loose morals, but I will suggest that law-school students or anyone else for that matter, male or female, are not entitled to government (tax-dollar) provided birth control for recreational purposes. With choices come responsibility. If a person chooses to engage in sexual relations, that is their choice and with that choice comes the risk of pregnancy, disease, etc. In making such decisions, one must be accountable for their own choices. Why must the government designate our tax dollars to fund the promiscuity of young college women who wish to have recreational sex? This is not a case of conservatives waging a war against women – it is another instance of conservatives suggesting that people should accept responsibility for their own choices. It is not an instance of preventing women’s access to healthcare, as the media has construed it. Clearly the medicinal use of birth control for more legitimate medical (as opposed to purely recreational) purposes, was not what Ms. Fluke was seeking in her address, nor was it the target of conservative reaction.

Summing it all up – conservative principles demand that people take responsibility for their own choices and actions. The conservative objection to the government using our tax dollars to provide birth control to women for purely recreational purposes is not morally equivalent (or even remotely similar) to preventing access to healthcare for women. Moreover, the phony and hyperbolic outrage of the media and liberal pundits over Limbaugh’s off-color sarcastic comments calling a woman, who wants the government to pay for her recreational sex, a promiscuous woman, should be gauged in the light of the utter silence over similar derogatory comments by liberal entertainers about women (e.g. Bill Maher, Louis C.K., et al.).

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Filed under Current Events

Morgantown Traffic Woes – A Grim Reminder of the Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Morgantown, WV residents are already starting to notice the impacts on our roadways, as a result of the funeral procession for Monongalia County deputy sheriff Sgt. Michael T. May; however, this is a time to reflect on a terrible loss and to remember a fallen officer

Morgantown’s geography (and possibly planning or lack thereof, which is a subject for a later date) has yielded notoriously constrained roadways. Anyone who has found themselves on the Mileground at 5:00 on a Friday, or trying to get anywhere on a WVU football game day knows that of which I speak. Today’s traffic woes are aggravated by a bridge construction project, which has shut down the old Cheat Road for months, blocking one of only two reasonable alternate routes to get to Cheat Lake from the more Westerly parts of Morgantown. I-68 is the only remaining “reasonable” path open to travel between those points, and that route has seen many delays over the past few months on account of accidents and additional highway projects in the area (the latter arguably a result of poor planning). Nonetheless, closures of I-68 at a time when the old Cheat Road is also closed causes major bottlenecks or an absurdity in logistically getting where you need to go.

So today as the funeral procession for Sgt. May plans to block I-68 Westbound traffic beginning at 1:00p.m. on a Friday afternoon, Morgantown residents face a major problem.

Untimely Death of Monongalia County Deputy Sheriff, Sargent May

However, these traffic woes are merely a temporary inconvenience, and as they impact on you and those you know, this offers a good opportunity to reflect — Sargent May was killed on Saturday after a high-speed chase, concluding with a reportedly incapacitated driver (alcohol and prescription drugs have been reported) violently colliding with May’s vehicle. Sgt. May was a well respected officer by all accounts, and his untimely death is indeed very tragic. Sargent May was killed as a result of the alleged recklessness of Jerod Green – who is being charged with murder of a law enforcement officer, criminal homicide, DUI/DWI and other related crimes in causing May’s death. The accounts of what transpired prior to and during the chase are simply astounding, and if proven true would reflect indifference and recklessness of a high degree. However, as you contemplate May’s death and the allegations surrounding Mr. Green’s actions, a deeper reflection is warranted on the multitude of decisions that Green would have had to make prior to the final grizzly and deadly crash.

Drink Responsibly

Please drink responsibly and do not drink and drive. Think ahead if you may be drinking. Plan on having a designated driver or on staying put if you will be drinking. Very strictly limit what, when and where you drink, and the safest bet if you drink at all is to simply not drive. Drinking impairs your judgement, response time, sensory functioning, motor control and your memory, which all impact on your ability to make wise decisions after drinking and your ability to competently drive and handle a vehicle. (Check out this article for more on the Biological Impacts Of Alcohol Use.)

Condolences to Sargent May’s Family & Loved Ones

With this, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Sargent May at a very tragic loss, and hope that as Morgantown travelers sit in traffic today, that we can each offer up a moment of silence, as we contemplate the loss and our choices to drink responsibly.

Author William S. Adams is a Morgantown wrongful death attorney. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a car accident as a result of someone’s negligence or intoxication, please call us to discuss your legal case.

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Filed under Accident Law, Car Accident, Current Events, DUI/DWI, Morgantown, Wrongful Death