In the News: West Virgina personal injury lawyer named Legal Leader of 2016
CHARLESTON – A Charleston-based personal-injury attorney has been nominated as one of 2016's Legal Leaders.
Charles “Rusty” Webb has been nominated as a Legal Leader for the year 2016 in The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal and Corporate Counsel, by Law.com.
“Of course it's a privilege and an honor to be named as a Legal Leader,” Webb told The West Virginia Record. “I am very grateful for the award.”
For the past 25 years, Webb has worked as a West Virginia-based attorney and politician. His career began in 1987, when he received a doctor of juris prudence from the West Virginia University College of Law.
“Initially, I got into the law because I thought it was an appropriate pathway into politics,” Webb said. “I thought that being a lawyer would be the best avenue for getting into politics.”
His next step was to work in the law firm of Goodwin and Goodwin; there he developed a background practicing corporate and insurance defense law, and where he specialized in the area of class-action asbestos defense litigation. Several years later he joined the law firm of Pepper and Nason, where he worked primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, personal injury and criminal defense law.
In 1996, his political ambitions bore fruit, that was when he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates and where he would go on to serve for four terms. Recently he was appointed to the Charleston City council and he said he is still debating whether to run for his current seat again.
He founded his own legal firm, Webb Law Firm PLLC, slightly over a decade ago. There he practices a wide range of law including family and divorce, personal injury, accidents, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, serious medical malpractice, product liability, prescription drug recall, and nursing home abuse and neglect.
“I am now doing many mass tort class actions,” Webb said. "And I am at my proudest when large groups of the public put their trust into me to represent them against entities, such as powerful corporations, that are larger than all of us combined.”
In the 25 years of his legal career, has successfully presented a number of petitions for appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on a wide variety of issues, including breach of trust, criminal defense, child custody modification, spousal support and distribution of marital assets.
Over the course of his career, Webb said he has seen the legal environment in West Virginia become increasingly hostile to tort law.
“Citizens are being denied access to the state's courthouses through legislation on the state and federal level," he said. “The state legislature is very active in what it calls 'tort reform' and what I call the regression of the people's ability to use their courts.”
Webb said that when he thinks about the future he is looking forward to spending his retirement years building a nonprofit organization designed to provide support for underprivileged and foster children and to help them get an education and go to college.
The West Virginia Record
By: John Myers