Best Lawyers® Names 10 Bowles Rice Attorneys “2016 Lawyers of the Year”

August 17, 2015

The newly released 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America® recognizes ten Bowles Rice attorneys as “Lawyers of the Year” in ten different practice areas, including corporate law, litigation and education law.

Charleston attorneys Julia A. Chincheck, Leonard B. Knee, Sandra M. Murphy, Howard E. Seufer Jr., Melody A. Simpson and Gerard R. Stowers were selected as “Lawyers of the Year” for the area that encompasses southern West Virginia. 

Ms. Chincheck was named for her work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. She concentrates her practice on creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law, with additional emphasis on complex commercial transactions and business work-outs for banking and other commercial lenders, and commercial litigation.

Mr. Knee was recognized in Environmental Law. He is leader of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group, and his experience encompasses all facets of environmental law and litigation. He has substantial experience with the legislature in developing and lobbying environmental laws and regulations. He regularly counsels clients about environmental issues associated with transactions, including due diligence considerations and allocation of environmental liabilities.

Ms. Murphy was named for Financial Services Regulation Law. She focuses her practice in banking, commercial and financial services, and securities law. Her practice includes representing clients in all aspects of business transactions, and assisting clients with various compliance, corporate governance and other legal issues that arise in the operation of banks and other businesses.

Mr. Seufer was recognized for his work in Education Law.  He 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.

Ms. Simpson was named for her work in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law. She concentrates her practice in the areas of employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA, with particular emphasis on qualified retirement plans (including governmental plans) and executive compensation, including 409A non-qualified deferred compensation issues.

Mr. Stowers was honored for his work in Litigation - Construction. He has 38 years of experience in all aspects of business and civil litigation and focuses his practice on insurance coverage disputes, construction law, business disputes, legal malpractice defense and coal, oil and gas litigation. Mr. Stowers litigation experience includes more than 100 civil jury and bench trials in federal and state courts, as well as appeals before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Four Bowles Rice lawyers in the firm’s Martinsburg office were recognized as Lawyers of the Year in northern West Virginia. They are Michael E. Caryl (Trusts and Estates), David A. DeJarnett (Corporate Law), Charles F. Printz, Jr. (Bet-the-Company Litigation) and Floyd McKinley Sayre (Litigation and Controversy - Tax).

Mr. Caryl’s primary areas of practice are 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 is a former president of the 12-state Southeastern Association of Tax Administrators.

Mr. DeJarnett concentrates his practice in trusts and estates law, federal and state taxation, and corporate, LLC and partnership law. His estate and trust planning practice also includes federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning and state estate and inheritance tax planning.

Mr. Printz’s practice includes all aspects of civil litigation, including business litigation, commercial disputes, financial services, employer liability, employment law, condemnation and wrongful death/personal injury. During his legal career of more than 35 years, he has tried more than 80 jury trials to verdict and argued more than 40 appeals before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the Fourth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals. 

Mr. Sayre practices in the areas of tax, commercial and finance law, municipal law,  government relations, real estate, gaming and hospitality and small business development, representing businesses and individuals throughout the region.  He currently serves as the city attorney for Martinsburg, West Virginia, and is a member of the West Virginia Home Rule Board. He also is a certified public accountant. 

According to Best Lawyers in America, only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making the accolade particularly significant.    It reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Bowles Rice is a full service, regional law firm with offices in Morgantown, Charleston, Martinsburg, Parkersburg and Wheeling, West Virginia; Southpointe, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; and Winchester, Virginia. Firmwide, 53 lawyers were named to the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America® in 50 practice areas.

The ten Bowles Rice attorneys named 2016 Best Lawyers in America “Lawyers of the Year” are:

Michael E. Caryl, Martinsburg:  Trusts and Estates

Julia A. Chincheck, Charleston:  Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

David A. DeJarnett, Martinsburg:  Corporate Law

Leonard B. Knee, Charleston:  Environmental Law

Sandra M. Murphy, Charleston:  Financial Services Regulation Law

Charles F. Printz, Jr., Martinsburg:  Bet-the-Company Litigation

Floyd McKinley Sayre, Martinsburg:  Litigation and Controversy - Tax

Howard E. Seufer, Jr., Charleston:  Education Law

Melody A. Simpson, Charleston:  Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Gerard R. Stowers, Charleston:  Litigation - Construction