Martinsburg, WV
101 S. Queen Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
T: (304) 264-4225
F: (304) 267-3822

J.D., Yale University Law School (1974)

B.S., magna cum laude, West Virginia University (1968)

  • Beta Gamma Sigma, Business School Honorary
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
Photo of Michael E.  Caryl

Michael E. Caryl

Of Counsel

Michael Caryl primarily practices in the areas of tax planning and tax controversy work at all levels — federal, state and local.  He served as West Virginia State Tax Commissioner from 1985 to 1988 and was president of the 12-state Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators, 1987-1988.  In 2009, he was named a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow.

Prior to serving as Tax Commissioner, Mike practiced tax law with a Martinsburg, West Virginia, law firm for 10 years.  He has served as chairman of the State Bar Committee on State and Federal Taxation, as president of the West Virginia Tax Institute, Inc. and as the official reporter for the West Virginia Law Institute’s 1992 Property Tax Appeals Reform Project. From 1994 through 2002, he served as chairman of the Taxation of Business Committee of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.  In 1995, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.  He served as vice-chair of the Governor’s Commission on Fair Taxation (1997‑1999). He is an Income Tax Affiliate Member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT).

He was named by The Best Lawyers in America ® as Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates (2016), Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2015, 2013) and Litigation and Controversy - Tax (2014) in the northern West Virginia region. He has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, named in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and recognized by West Virginia Super Lawyers.

Professional Highlights

  • President, Tri-State Estate Planning Council (2007-2008)
  • Chairman, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Taxation of Business Committee (1994-2002)
  • Vice-Chair, Governor’s Commission on Fair Taxation (1997-1999)
  • President, West Virginia Tax Institute (1993)
  • President, Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators (1987-1988)
  • West Virginia State Tax Commissioner (1985-1988)
  • Chairman, State Bar Committee on State and Federal Taxation (1984)
  • Former adjunct lecturer at the West Virginia University College of Law
  • Served on the faculty of the Institute for International Training, Trade and Development, Inc. at Shepherd University, in connection with its Russian Tax Officials Training Program

Administrative and Legislative Policy Advocacy

  • Actively engaged in administrative and legislative policy advocacy on behalf of the Council on State Taxation (COST) and the Organization for International Investment (OFI) to ameliorate the potentially adverse corporation income tax effects of West Virginia’s adoption of aggressive Multi-State Tax Commission (MTC) positions on various combined reporting issues, including overreaching water’s edge rules. See, e.g. Senate Bill 386, 2012 Acts of the W.Va. Legislature, Chapter 192, amending W.Va. Code §11-24-13f.

Legislative Reform

  • Made critical contributions to efforts of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce to obtain long-needed legislative reform of the procedures by which proposed property values are administratively and judicially reviewed for ad valorem property tax purposes.  See, Senate Bill 401, 2010 Acts of the W.Va. Legislature, Chapter 185, amending W.Va. Code §§11-3-1 et seq. and 11-6K-1 et seq.

Representative Reported Cases

  • Born, et al v. Longview Power, LLC, et al
    Lead counsel in design, negotiation and implementation,  and co-counsel in court defense, of a payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) agreement and the related arrangements which were integral components for the development of a  $1.8 billion, 700 megawatt merchant electric power generation plant in Monongalia County. See, Born, et al v. Longview Power, LLC, et al,  Cir. Ct. of Monongalia County, WV, Case No. 030-C-560 (April 12, 2005)
  • Gilbert Imported Hardwoods, Inc. v. Commissioner
    Successfully challenging, on behalf of natural resource producers, excessive and legally dubious severance privilege tax assessments at both the administrative and judicial levels.  See, e.g. Gilbert Imported Hardwoods, Inc. v. Dailey, 167 W. Va. 587, 280 S.E.2d 260 (1981)

  • Griffith v. ConAgra Brands, Inc.
    Lead counsel in successfully advocating,  in a case of first impression, a judicial challenge to the State’s use of “economic nexus” as the basis for imposing corporation income tax on multi-state enterprises. See, Griffith v. ConAgra Brands, Inc., 229 W. Va. 190, 728 S.E.2d 74 (2012)

  • Syncor International Corp. v. Commissioner
    Lead counsel in successful judicial challenge of the State’s policy of denying sales and use tax exemption for  bulk purchases of prescription drugs and appliances which ultimately led to the payment of millions of dollars of  refunds to institutional health care providers throughout West Virginia. See,  Syncor International Corp. v. Palmer, 208 W. Va. 658. 542 S.E.2d 479 (2001)

  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America ® (2007-present)
  • Named Best Lawyers’  Lawyer of the Year in the northern West Virginia region (2018, Trusts and Estates; 2016, Trusts and Estates; 2015 & 2013, Mergers and Acquisitions Law; and 2014, Litigation and Controversy - Tax)
  • Peer-Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Corporate/Commercial: Tax
  • Recognized by West Virginia Super Lawyers (Tax), 2007-2010, 2014-2016  
  • Affiliate Income Tax Member, Institute for Professionals in Taxation (2010-present)
  • Fellow, West Virginia Bar Foundation (2009-present)
  • Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel (1995-present)