More Greenbrier Valley Lawyers Enter Political Races

Lewisburg Attorney Barry Bruce, of the law firm of Barry L. Bruce & Associates, L.C. – also my former employer – is running for Circuit Judge:

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Barry L. Bruce has announced his candidacy for judge of the 11th Circuit Court, Division 2.

Bruce says he is excited with the opportunity to become a candidate for circuit judge and believes his 30-plus years of experience in litigation and general practice of law qualify him for a position as judge. He is committed to the principles of fairness, respect and following the rule of law to all people involved in the legal system.

Bruce is a 1969 graduate of West Virginia University with a B.S. in business. He pursued an MBA degree at Loyola University in Chicago, and graduated from University of Dayton School of Law in May 1977.

He is licensed to practice law in Ohio and West Virginia. He is admitted to the practice of law in the United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit; West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals; and Supreme Court of Ohio. He opened his law practice in Lewisburg in October 1990; he has practiced in Greenbrier, Pocahontas and surrounding counties since that time.

In 2005 he was named Businessman of the Year by the Business Advisory Council, National Republican Committee.

Before moving with his family to Lewisburg, he lived in Huntington and Beckley and now resides in Ronceverte with his wife, Jane. He is the father of four children, Aaron Bruce of Roanoke, Va., Adam Bruce, U.S. Navy, Oak Harbor, Wash., Sarah Bruce of Greensboro, N.C., and Becky Hayman of Wilmington, Del.

Also running for office is Jim McNeely, the former Prosecuting Attorney for Summers County – against whom I just tried a murder case in December of 2007, more information for which can be found here. Jim is running for State Senate as a Democrat, attempting to fill the seat being vacated by current State Senator Jesse Guills – another lawyer – who is running for Circuit Judge in Greenbrier County, more information for which can be found here.

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Monroe County man announces his candidacy for state Senate

James W. “Jim” McNeely has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the state Senate, 10th District.

McNeely, 61, has lived in Monroe County since 1994, first in Greenville and more recently in Peterstown. He lived in Mercer County from childhood until 1994, with the exception of time spent in the military, in school or working for the state Supreme Court.

He is a 1964 graduate of Bluefield High School and a 1973 graduate of Concord University (B.S. in education). He was president of the Concord Alumni Association for three terms (1989-92), was one of those walking the entire “Quest For Scholars” in 1987 and was the 1992 Alumni of the Year. He is also a 1981 graduate of Virginia Tech (M.A., political science public administration) and received a law degree from WVU in 1986, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and being invited to join the West Virginia Law Review.

McNeely retired in 2007 at age 60 as prosecuting attorney of Summers County after being elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004, and continues to practice law on a limited basis. He has worked as a West Virginia attorney for more than 20 years, practicing in federal/state courts and in administrative law. Operating his own independent practice, he has represented individuals, corporations, local governments, unions, churches and community groups.

Before receiving his law degree, McNeely was an elementary school teacher and a community development director and city police judge for Princeton.

McNeely has considerable legislative experience. He was first elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1974, at the age of 27, and was elected to four terms in the House during the 1970s and ’80s to represent, at various times, Mercer, Summers, Monroe and part of Wyoming counties in the former 19th and 20th districts. His committee assignments included Judiciary and Education, and he served as the chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Education Committee.

In the military, he served as an artillery officer in Vietnam in 1969, and serv-ed in the West Virginia National Guard through the early 1980s. He served as commander of the Hinton/ Ronceverte guard unit in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Considering himself a well-qualified candidate with a wide range of experience in the military, in the private sector and in all branches and levels of government, McNeely says he will bring that wealth of knowledge and experience to the Senate.

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