An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A high-profile lawsuit against a West Virginia nursing home settled out of court this spring before the state Supreme Court issued its decision in the case.
But for at least one defense lawyer, repercussions from the case continue — all because he made the mistake of raising a legitimate question of one of the Supreme Court justices.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the body overseeing conduct of lawyers licensed to practice in the state, is still investigating a local attorney after Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis referred his name to the office.
She did so after defense counsel asked her to recuse herself from the case based on her husband’s sale of a private jet to Michael Fuller, one of the attorneys suing the nursing home. The transaction came to light last December after an investigation by ABC News.
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Davis declined to recuse herself, writing a 29-page opinion that an Indiana University legal ethics expert said “dwelled on tangents” and “never seemed to address the relatively straightforward core issue” of whether Fuller’s purchase of the airplane was a favor to Davis’ husband.
Her decision to remain on the case raised eyebrows, but it is her referral of the defense attorney to the disciplinary board that raises questions…