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Jane Peak: West Virginia Elections Corrupted by Dark Money - Gazette

Wed, 02/11/16 - 15:33

West Virginia Gazette, November 2, 2016--In 1774, John Adams said, “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle and fed and clothed like swine and hounds.”

Our Founding Fathers understood this. They established the United States as a republic, with a representative government elected by the people. In our Bill of Rights, they guaranteed our right to trial by jury.

Under our Constitution, there are two places where every American is supposed to be equal — at the ballot box and in our courtrooms. Today, both are seriously threatened and are on the brink of destruction. Who would want to destroy rights so fundamental to our country and her citizens?

Our Founding Fathers knew the answer more than 200 years ago.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln echoed Jefferson and wrote, “The money powers prey upon our nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of diversity. [They] are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes.”

Our election process has been corrupted. While it’s still one person, one vote, true equality no longer exists. Billion-dollar corporate special interests and their millionaire CEOs spend big money to elect lawmakers who will do their bidding. They get policies that benefit them; the rest of us get nothing. They get to increase their corporate profits and earn millions more in salaries; taxpayers are left holding the bag.

Jane E. Peak Elected as President of The West Virginia Association for Justice - WV Record

Tue, 25/10/16 - 20:34

 

West Virginia Record, June 23, 2016--Morgantown attorney Jane E. Peak has been elected the 2016–2017 president of the West Virginia Association for Justice

Originally from Hurricane, Peak has practiced with the Morgantown firm of Allan N. Karlin and Associates since graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1996.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to be named president of the West Virginia Association for Justice and represent the lawyers who are members of our association," Peak said in a press release. "Our members promote justice and protect the rights of West Virginia’s consumers, workers and small businesses.

“At the same time, it is also a huge responsibility because that right to trial by jury is threatened by corporate special interests who believe their profits are more important than our constitutional rights. Most West Virginians don’t understand how important that right is until they need it. Educating West Virginians about the importance of that right and what they can do to protect it is critical. They need to act now before it is too late.”

Peak’s practice areas include employment law, medical negligence and workplace and personal injury cases. She is a past president of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, and in 2005 was named Practitioner of the Year by the WVU College of Law’s Women’s Law Caucus.

Prior to law school, Peak worked in television for more than 10 years. She earned her undergraduate degree from Marshall University in Speech Broadcasting. She began her career with two West Virginia stations. She later worked at stations in Fresno, Calif., and Cincinnati. Ohio. It was while she was in Cincinnati that she decided to return to West Virginia and enter law school.

Peak first became active with the West Virginia Association for Justice, then the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, while in law school at WVU."

Read the original article in the West Virginia Record.

 

Allan N. Karlin Receives Highest Honor from the WVU College of Law

Tue, 25/10/16 - 20:25

"Attorney Allan N. Karlin and retired professor Robert Lathrop have received the Justitia Officium Award from the West Virginia University College of Law.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession. Established in 1978, the Justitia Officium is the highest honor bestowed by the WVU College of Law faculty.

Karlin came to West Virginia in 1975 to work in legal aid. He later opened his own practice in Morgantown to represent victims of unlawful discrimination, workers who were wrongfully discharged, West Virginians victimized by civil rights violations, and those killed or injured in unsafe work places.  

He has successfully represented victims of race, gender and other forms of discrimination, injured workers and individuals denied constitutional rights. His work has established important legal precedents in the field of employment law.

In 2006, Karlin was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellowship of the best trial lawyers in the nation. In 2007, he was named a Fellow of The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers as one of the country's most accomplished attorneys in that field. 

Karlin helped found and teach the first course in pretrial litigation at the WVU College of Law. He earned his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, and his B.A. from Yale University.

Wrongfully Convicted of Rape, Joseph Buffey Is Freed From Prison After Nearly 15 Years

Thu, 13/10/16 - 19:23

On Tuesday, October 13, 2016, Joe Buffey walked out of the Harrison County Courthouse a free man for the first time in nearly 15 years. Allan N. Karlin and others in his firm, along with attorneys from the Innocence Project, represented Mr. Buffey in obtaining a landmark decision from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which set aside his conviction and held that a prosecutor's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence extends to the plea bargaining stage of a criminal proceeding.   

According to the victim’s contemporaneous statements to the police and sexual assault nurse, this was a one perpetrator crime.  Yet, as early as 2002 the State knew that the DNA evidence excluded Joe Buffey as that perpetrator, but that evidence was not disclosed to him or his counsel prior to his plea and, even after it was disclosed, the State refused to recognize that it established that the perpetrator was not Joe Buffey.  Even after the decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals setting aside his conviction, the State insisted on taking the case to trial on a theory that the victim was mistaken and that, unbeknownst to her, she was sexually assaulted by two perpetrators rather than one.  

Prior to the trail, attorneys from Bailey Glasser joined the defense team and, along with Allan N. Karlin and the Innocence Project, negotiated Joe Buffey’s path to freedom.

Joe Buffey's Freedom Is a Victory for All of Us - WV MetroNews

Joseph Buffey Agrees to Plea Deal, Freed After 15 Years in Prison - Charleston Gazette-Mail

Buffey Pleads Guilty, But Not to Sex Crimes, and Doesn't Give Factual Basis - The Exponent Telegram

Man Walks Free - WBOY

Judge Rules to Allow Black Lung Lawsuit Against the Law Firm of Jackson Kelly to Proceed

Mon, 08/09/14 - 03:16

The Honorable Judge Kirkpatrick of Raleigh County ruled to allow three lawsuits filed by the families of miners who were denied black lung benefits, and later died from the disease, to proceed.   Read the article here.

Fight Continues to Free Innocent Man, Joseph Buffey

Thu, 05/06/14 - 16:04

Allan N. Karlin & Associates, together with the Innocence Project, is hopeful in their appeal of the June 3, 2014 Harrison County Circuit Court decision denying Joseph Buffey's Habeas Petition.  "We feel optimistic that the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will have a more objective view of this case and eventually set him free," said Allan N. Karlin.  Buffey has been in prison since December 6, 2001, for pleading guilty to the rape of  an elderly woman.  Unfortunately, however, "the criminal justice system's reliance on guilty pleas has resulted in far too many people pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit," said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project.  Despite the fact that the court accepted Buffey's guilty plea before the analysis of the DNA evidence in 2002 – which conclusively excludes him as a donor – and despite the fact that because of this Habeas Petition and the advances in DNA science the true perpetrator has been identified, Buffey remains imprisoned, biding his time until justice prevails.

Watch WDTV's coverage here and here

Read more from the Charleston Gazette

Press Release: Joseph Buffey, an Innocent Man

Thu, 05/06/14 - 15:57

Innocence Project Will Appeal Decision of West Virginia Court Which Refuses to Reverse Guilty Plea of Man Who Has Served Over a Decade for a Rape DNA Evidence Proves He Didn’t Commit
Prosecution Pushed Guilty Plea While Withholding DNA Test Results Excluding Defendant

(Clarksburg, WV --  June 3, 2014) A West Virginia court issued a decision today letting stand the 2001 guilty plea of Joseph Buffey despite DNA evidence pointing to his innocence of the rape and robbery of an elderly widow whose son was a local police officer.   The court refused to reverse the guilty plea even though the Innocence Project uncovered evidence that law enforcement had possession of DNA testing excluding Buffey of the crime before he entered the plea but never turned it over to the defense as required.      
    “The DNA evidence is definitive evidence proving that Mr. Buffey is innocent of this single perpetrator rape,” said Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law. “Judge Bedell refuses to acknowledge that the criminal justice system’s reliance on guilty pleas has resulted in far too many people pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit.  While we wish the outcome had been different, it’s clear that courts outside of Clarksburg will need to review this case in order for Mr. Buffey to receive justice.”        
    Buffey was just 19 years old when he entered a guilty plea to the rape and robbery of an 83-year-old Clarksburg woman.  Faced with a sentence of 200 to 300 years in prison if convicted at trial, Buffey took the plea on the advice of his attorney.  In exchange for his plea, the state agreed to dismiss charges from several unrelated break-ins of local businesses.  Buffey immediately regretted pleading guilty to a crime he didn’t commit and filed his own motion for DNA testing and to withdraw his plea.  He also sought the services of the Innocence Project, which took his case. 
False Confessions and guilty pleas are common among DNA exonerations.  In fact, innocent defendants have made incriminating statements, confessions and or plead guilty in approximately 25% of the 316 DNA exonerations.  Innocent defendants have pled guilty in nearly 10% of the DNA exonerations.

Fight Continues to Free Innocent Man, Joseph Buffey

Wed, 13/11/13 - 04:37

Allan N. Karlin & Associates, together with the Innocence Project, is hopeful in their appeal of the June 3, 2014 Harrison County Circuit Court decision denying Joseph Buffey's Habeas Petition.  "We feel optimistic that the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will have a more objective view of this case and eventually set him free," said Allan N. Karlin.  Buffey has been in prison since December 6, 2001, for pleading guilty to the rape of  an elderly woman.  Unfortunately, however, "the criminal justice system's reliance on guilty pleas has resulted in far too many people pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit," said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project.  Despite the fact that the court accepted Buffey's guilty plea before the analysis of the DNA evidence in 2002 – which conclusively excludes him as a donor – and despite the fact that because of this Habeas Petition and the advances in DNA science the true perpetrator has been identified, Buffey remains imprisoned, biding his time until justice prevails.

Watch WDTV's coverage here and here

Read more from the Charleston Gazette

 

Online Resources

Wed, 28/11/12 - 16:47

Courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit The federal courts are divided into "circuits." West Virginia is in the Fourth Circuit.

United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia This is the federal district court that covers the northern part of the state with courthouses in Clarksburg, Elkins, Martinsburg, and Wheeling.

Allan Karlin has a passion for the law

Mon, 13/02/12 - 15:41

"After working at a job for almost 40 years, some people might be ready to kick back and take it easy.  Not so with attorney Allan Karlin, who has earned a statewide reputation for his hard work, especially in the field of employment law."


“Anytime I represent a person who has lost their job due to harassment, retaliation or discrimination in the work place, and I am able to achieve something for them — those are the most special moments for me,” Karlin said. “It’s a passion that has me in the office for long hours.”

Read the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram Article   Attorney Allan Karlin has a passion for the law
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