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Professional Responsibility Keyed to Jefferson
Cunningham v. Sommerville
Citation:388 S.E. 2d 301 (W. Va. 1989)
Paula Cunningham (Petitioner), an attorney in West Virginia, brought an action of original jurisdiction in the West Virginia Supreme Court seeking a writ of prohibition against Sommerville (Respondent), a judge in a West Virginia trial court. Cunningham sought to preclude the judge from appointing her to represent indigent criminal defendants until such time, if ever, that Cunningham engaged in the practice of law separate from her employment full-time as in-house counsel for a business incorporation. She maintained that she had no insurance coverage for legal malpractice, and that Sommerville had appointed her to represent 43 criminal defendants in the last several months.
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