Charleston, WV
600 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
T: (304) 347-1776
F: (304) 347-1746

Practice Areas

  • Law Clerk to Honorable John A. Field, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1977-1979)

J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1977)

  • National Moot Court Team

B.A., Michigan State University (1973)

  • With High Honor
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
Photo of Howard E.  Seufer, Jr.

Howard E. Seufer, Jr.

Partner

Howard Seufer has practiced in the area of education law for more than 35 years.  During his career, he has served all 55 of West Virginia's county boards of education, all eight of its regional education service agencies, the West Virginia Center for Professional Development, the State Department of Education, West Virginia community colleges and other institutions of higher education. As counsel to the West Virginia School Board Association, he is state liaison to the National Council of School Attorneys.

Howard leads the Bowles Rice Education Law Group, ranked #1 in West Virginia School Law by The Best Lawyers in America® and listed as "Top Tier" in West Virginia for Education Law by U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Best Law Firms.  In addition, Best Lawyers in America has designated Howard as its 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Education Law in the metro area encompassing southern West Virginia.

Within the Education Law Group, Howard advises and represents clients on issues involving governance, policy, business operations, students and human resources (including grievances).  He counsels governing boards on relations with their superintendents and presidents, the Ethics and Open Meetings Acts, and compliance with state and federal rules.

A trained facilitator, Howard is frequently engaged as a presenter and panelist on school law issues, emphasizing preventive legal advice and practical action steps for education leaders and administrators.  He is co-founder of the Bowles Rice invitation-only Signature Series Workshops. For more than a decade, the workshops have provided focused legal instruction to education administrators and their staffs in interactive, small group settings.

Howard is an emeritus director and past chair of the nation’s first statewide education fund, the Education Alliance. He also serves as vice chair of the West Virginia University Diversity Visiting Committee.

Professional Highlights

  • Leader, Bowles Rice Education Law Practice Group
  • Counsel for over 25 years to the West Virginia School Board Association
  • Co-founder, Signature Series Workshops

Representative Cases

  • Monongalia County Board of Education v. American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia, AFL-CIO, No. 15-0662,  2016 WL 6560057 (2016) (RESA interventionists in the schools)
  • Yatauro v. Calhoun County Board of Education, No. 15-0903, 2016 WL 5030280 (2016) (state-ordered contract reductions without hearings)
  • Sayre v. Mason County Board of Education, No. 15-0336, 2016 WL 143435 (2016) (lengthening the workday)
  • Lemasters v. Jackson County Board of Education, No. 15-0339, 2016 WL 2977336 (2016) (teacher duty outside the school day)
  • Adkins v. Cabell County Board of Education, No. 14-1213, 2016 WL 3435749 (2016) (accused felon’s suspension)
  • Sayre v. Mason County Board of Education, No. 15-0336, 2016 WL 143435 (2016) (lengthening the workday)
  • Williams v. Raleigh County Board of Education, No. 14-0958, 2015 WL 6181485 (2015) (service employee reclassification)
  • Smith v. Berkeley County Board of Education, No. 15-0062, 2015 WL 7628692 (2015) (administrative fact finding)
  • Staats v. Jackson County Board of Education, No. 15-0227, 2015 WL 6181438 (2015) (hours worked)
  • Smith v. Berkeley County Board of Education, No. 14-0851, 2015 WL 2364292 (2015) (unemployment compensation and "other gross conduct")
  • Eisentrout v. Preston County Board of Education, No. 12-1464, 2013 WL 3242868 (2013) (summer service positions)
  • Patterson v. Board of Education of the County of Raleigh, 231 W.Va. 129, 744 S.E.2d 239 (2013) (uniformity of pay and benefits)
  • Anderson v. Board of Education of the County of Gilmer, No. 11-1235, 2012 WL 5834898 (2012) (student attendance areas)
  • Boards of Education v. Public Employees Insurance Agency, No. 11-0243, 2011 WL 9373981 (2011) (OPEB)
  • Alderman v. Pocahontas County Board of Education, 223 W.Va. 431, 675 S.E.2d 907, (2009) (employee speech)
  • State ex rel. Board of Education of County of Putnam v. Beane, 224 W. Va. 31, 680 S.E.2d 46 (2009) (circuit court jurisdiction)
  • Wines v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 213 W.Va. 379, 582 S.E.2d 826 (2003) (discharging substitutes)
  • Baker v. Hancock County Board of Education, 207 W.Va. 513, 534 S.E.2d 378 (2000) (continuing versus probationary contracts)
  • Flint v. Harrison County Board of Education, 207 W.Va. 251, 531 S.E.2d 76 (1999) (uniformity of employee benefits)
  • Pendleton Citizens for Community Schools v. Marockie, 203 W.Va. 310, 507 S.E.2d 673 (1998) (rural school consolidation)
  • Boner v. Kanawha County Board of Education, 197 W.Va. 176, 475 S.E.2d 176 (1996) (independent contractors)
  • Byrd v. Mercer County Board of Education, 196 W.Va. 1, 467 S.E.2d 142 (1995) (excess levies)
  • Board of Education of County of Wood v. Enoch, 186 W.Va. 712, 414 S.E.2d 630 (1992) (extended year employment)
  • State ex rel. Melchiori v. Board of Education of County of Marshall, 188 W.Va. 575, 425 S.E.2d 251 (1992) (professional RIF “bumping”)
  • Lincoln County Board of Education v. Adkins, 188 W.Va. 430, 424 S.E.2d 775 (1992) (teacher planning periods)
  • Winkler v. State School Building Authority, 189 W.Va. 748, 434 S.E.2d 420 (1990) (School Building Authority bonds)
  • Brown v. Wood County Board of Education, 184 W.Va. 205, 400 S.E.2d 213 (1990) (teacher evaluations)
  • Keith D. v. Ball, 177 W.Va. 93, 350 S.E.2d 720 (1986) (student discipline)
  • Thomas v. Staats, 633 F.Supp. 797 (1985) (statute of limitations in special education)
  • Martindale-Hubbell ® Overall Peer Rating: AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0
  • Named Best Lawyers’ 2016 Education Law Lawyer of the Year in the southern West Virginia region
  • Best Lawyers in America ® since 2003 (Education Law)
  • West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow
  • West Virginia University College of Law Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • National School Boards Association - Council of School Attorneys (NSBA-COSA)
  • Education Law Association (ELA)
  • U.S. Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • West Virginia State Bar (Education Law Committee)

Current

  • Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors
  • The Education Alliance: Business and Community for Public Schools (Emeritus Director; Member, Research & Outreach Committee; Past Board Chair)
  • West Virginia Mansion Preservation Foundation, Inc. (Board and Executive Committee Member; Treasurer)
  • West Virginia University Diversity Visiting Committee (Vice Chair)
  • West Virginia Read Aloud Volunteer (Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School)

Past

  • S.W. Resources, Inc. (formerly the Sheltered Workshop of Wood County, West Virginia) (Board Member; Committee Chair; Board Chair)
  • Blennerhassett Historical Park Commission (Commissioner)
  • Blennerhassett Historical Foundation (Board Member; Secretary; Committee Chair)
  • Parkersburg YMCA (Board of Directors)
  • St. Michaels Parish (Finance Council)
  • West Virginia University Social Justice Visiting Committee (Chair)
  • WV eMentoring (eMentor to students in grades 8-12)
  • Vision Shared (Education Committee)