The official blog of the WVU Clinical Law Program

Garrett Burgess was awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship. Courtesy: West Virginia University

WVU Fellowship Winner Aims To Help Veterans Access Benefits

You might not expect a veteran to be less-than-honorably discharged due to mental trauma...but that’s the issue many veterans are facing today. One student at West Virginia University is going around the state with lawyers to help veterans get access to benefits.

Thirteen percent of discharges from 1991 - 2013 are less-than-honorable, according to a study by Swords to Plowshares in conjunction with Harvard Law School. That’s more than 500,000 veterans, who are less qualified for benefits, and carry a life-long stigma. WVU student Garrett Burgess hopes to help solve that problem. He’s partnering with WVU College of Law’s Veterans’ Advocacy Clinic. Garrett says he plans to enter the military, and that’s is the reason he wants to help the clinic.

WVU student awarded fellowship to work for veterans

A West Virginia University student who wants to assist veterans who may have been wrongly discharged from service has been named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow by the Campus Compact, a national non-profit organization that advances the public purpose of higher education to educate students for civic and social responsibility.

Garrett Burgess is a junior from Clendenin majoring in both political science and world languages, literature and linguistics with a concentration in Russian Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. He is also an Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps flight commander and a student in the Honors College.

Professor Valena Beety and 3L Eric Haught of the Innocence Project

Cabell attorneys argue for new trial in 2007 killing

HUNTINGTON - The West Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments from Cabell County attorneys on Tuesday pleading for a new trial for a man sentenced to life without mercy after a jury found he killed a man over a lost dice game in Huntington in 2007.

Of the eight errors attorneys Connor Robertson and Todd Meadows argued, two essential arguments detail what they allege was suppressed and possibly exonerating testimony and disputable footwear forensic analysis, as detailed in a brief filed by the West Virginia Innocence Project.

How an ACA Repeal Would Devastate Appalachia

Tags: In the News

The Congressional Budget Office recently released a report assessing the impacts of an ACA repeal on, among other things, the national insurance rate and the cost of healthcare premiums. In that report, the CBO assumed that Congress would enact legislation this year repealing the individual mandate and then, in 2019, the premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion provisions of the statute. Under this scheme, the CBO concluded that the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 18 million in 2018, 27 million in 2020, and 32 million in 2026. In other words, 59 million Americans, or 21 percent of the U.S. population, will be uninsured by 2026 even if the ACA is repealed in piecemeal fashion. The CBO also concluded that a staggered ACA repeal would increase non-group market insurance premiums by 20 to 25 percent in 2018 and 100 percent in 2026. Equally concerning, the bi-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Government recently warned that a full ACA repeal could cost up to $350 billion over the next 10 years.

As dire as these predictions appear, reports indicate that an ACA repeal would work an even more detrimental impact on rural American peoples and economies, including those in Appalachia. Pointing to rural America’s increased mortality rates as well as higher rates of chronic illness, obesity, drug overdose, alcoholism, mental illness, and suicide, Professor Greenwood-Erickson writes: “[t]he health of rural America is failing, and a repeal of the [ACA] without adequate replacement could prove disastrous.”

Alex Jonese, left, and Brad DeFlumeri, right.