Schrader Byrd & Companion, PLLC

Schrader, Byrd & Companion, PLLC, has a distinguished history of providing exceptional legal services for almost a century to clients in litigation, labor and employment, bankruptcy, real estate, estate planning, and other practice areas.

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Firm Overview

We provide skilled legal services and representation in a cost-effective and efficient manner for individuals and businesses alike. The firm represents plaintiffs and defendants, buyers and sellers, debtors and creditors, lenders and borrowers, and testators and heirs. Our diverse client base includes Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, steelworkers, and the indigent. The firm also serves as local counsel for some of the world's most prominent law firms.

Our firm was founded on October 1, 1925 by Carl Schmidt, Wright Hugus and Albert W. Laas. In 1927, the offices of Schmidt, Hugus and Laas were located in the then brand new Central Union Building on the corner of 14th and Market Streets in downtown Wheeling. The firm was located in the Central Union Building for 55 years until June 1, 1982 when it moved to the Hawley Building. The firm moved to its present offices in the Maxwell Centre in 1997.
Our Founders

Carl Oscar Schmidt was born on January 21, 1891 and died on September 8, 1959. His father served as mayor of Wheeling. Carl attended Linsly Institute, then a private, all-male, military school. He attended Washington & Jefferson College where he received an AB degree. He then attended the University of Virginia where he received an LLB degree from its College of Law. He then attended West Virginia University where he received a Masters of Law degree. He was very active in the business, political and social affairs of Wheeling.

Wright Hugus was born in Ohio County on November 8, 1890 and died on April 23, 1958. His father had served as Judge of the Criminal Court of Ohio County. Wright attended Wheeling High School. He received an AB degree from Dartmouth College and an LLB degree from Harvard Law School. He served as President of both the Ohio County Bar Association and the West Virginia Bar Association (1935-36). He served several terms in the West Virginia State Senate. His seminal legal achievement was the merger of Wheeling Glessner Company, Wheeling Steel & Iron Company and Ackerman Manufacturing Company to form Wheeling Steel Corporation in 1920.

Albert W. Laas was born in Benwood, West Virginia on December 30, 1896. He died on June 17, 1970. He attended public schools in Benwood. He received both an AB degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from West Virginia University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and to the order of the Coif while at WVU. He began his legal career in association with J.H. Brennan until Judge Brennan's election to the Circuit Court bench in 1924. Albert was a director of Valley Camp Coal Company.

Henry S. Schrader
The firm continues to honor the name and memory of one of its most prominent and influential members Henry Stifel Schrader. Mr. Schrader was born October 18, 1909 in Wheeling. He died on August 8, 1996. He was educated in the Ohio County public schools. He enlisted in the United States Army after graduating high school. After military service, Henry attended West Virginia University where he received his Bachelor's Degree in 1931 and his law degree in 1934. He began practicing law with the firm in 1934. His legal practice was interrupted when he returned to the military and served his country during World War II. At his death, Henry bequeathed much of his estate to Oglebay Institute. With his bequest, the largest in its history, Oglebay constructed the Henry S. Schrader Environmental Education Center, the Stifel Fine Arts Center's state-of-the-art dance and art studio and significant upgrades to Oglebay's Towngate Theater. Henry also bequeathed more than $1 million to Wheeling Jesuit University for the restoration of WJU's Troy Theater. Henry also bequeathed $250,000 to the West Virginia University Foundation. The firm established a memorial scholarship fund in Henry's honor with the West Virginia University College of Law.

Prominent Members
Through the years, many members of the firm past and present have been called to serve the public and their profession in the executive and judicial branches of government both state and federal. Seven former members have been appointed or elected to the bench. Two present and two former members have served as United States Attorneys.

Hon. Justice Thomas Miller was elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1976 where he served until his retirement in 1994. Following his retirement he returned to the firm where he practiced until his death in 2008.

Hon. Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. practiced with the firm for more than two decades. He was the firm's senior partner in 1990 when he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. He served as Senior Judge for the District from 1994 to 2001. He has served as a senior status member of the Court since 2006.
Main Office

Main Office
32-20th Street, Suite 500
Wheeling  WV  26003

Phone
  • 304-233-3390
Litigation
The firm handles a wide variety of civil litigation on both the plaintiff and defense side.
Included are cases dealing with accident, personal injury, products liability, insurance coverage, employment, ERISA, commercial, medical and other professional malpractice, consumer protection, class actions, and toxic tort. Various members of the firm belong to plaintiff and defense professional organizations and associations and practice in the state and federal courts of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The firm also has experienced attorneys who are skilled in appellate practice and are admitted to the Supreme Courts of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Sandra Law

Professional Experience
Employment litigation, including discrimination, wrongful termination and discharge, sexual harassment, wage and hour disputes, disability claims, family medical leave, pregnancy discrimination and unemployment claims. Also, personal injury, toxic tort, products liability, insurance bad faith, ERISA and general litigation.

Education
Bethany College, Bachelor of Arts Degree
Summa Cum Laude
Duquesne University School of Law, J.D. Degree
Duquesne Law Review
Authored "The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990: Burden on Business or Dignity for the Disabled"

Bar Admissions
West Virginia
Pennsylvania

Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Practice Areas
Litigation, Labor & Employment, and Social Security

Professional Honors and Associations
BV DistinguishedMartindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. BV Distinguished is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Ohio County Bar Association

Community Activities
Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish of Northern West Virginia 2001-2007
Advisory Board 2008-Present
Education
  • Duquesne University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

Ray A. Byrd

Professional Experience
Commercial, business practice involving corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies; personal planning, including tax, wills, estates and trusts; probate; real estate and general litigation involving estate administration, personal and general commercial business matters.

Education
University of West Virginia, B.A. Political Science
West Virginia University College of Law, J.D.
West Virginia University Law Review, Board of Editors

Bar Admissions
West Virginia
Pennsylvania

Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
United States Tax Court

Practice Areas
Corporate, Real Estate, Tax & Estate Planning

Professional Honors
AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Selected for inclusion in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Best Lawyers in America

Lecturer at Tri-State Tax Institute
President, Ohio County Bar Association, 1983-1984

Professional Associations
West Virginia State Bar
American Bar Association
West Virginia Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association

Community Activities
Member of Session for Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church
Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of The Upper Ohio Valley, Inc.
Board of Director and Treasurer West Virginia University Alumni Association
Education
  • West Virginia University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate

James A. Byrum, Jr.

Professional Experience
Civil and criminal litigation, including class actions, bankruptcy and consumer litigation, real estate, domestic relations, wills and estates. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Special Prosecutor for Ohio County, West Virginia. Currently, Fiduciary Commissioner for Ohio County, West Virginia overseeing the administration of estates and adjudicating claims made against estates.

Education
Cornell University, B.A. Government
West Virginia University College of Law, J.D.

Bar Admissions
West Virginia

Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United Stated District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Practice Areas
Litigation, Bankruptcy, Real Estate, Tax & Estate Planning, Domestic Relations

Professional Honors
Fellow, National College of Advocacy
Professional Associations
American Bar Association
American Association of Justice
West Virginia Association of Justice
American Bankruptcy Institute
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

Military and Community Service
Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard Reserve, 1969-1979
Former President, West Virginia Legal Services Plan
Former Board Member, House of the Carpenter
Former Chairman, City of Wheeling Civil Service Commission
Education
  • West Virginia University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate

James F. Companion

Professional Experience
Civil litigation, banking law, business law, corporation law, real estate and estate planning

Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, 1973-1976
Chair of the Litigation Section

Education
Bethany College, B.A.
University of Michigan Law School, J.D.

Bar Admissions
West Virginia
Ohio
Pennsylvania

Court Admissions
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Practice Areas
Litigation, Bankruptcy, Corporate, Real Estate, and Tax & Estate Planning

Professional Honors
AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
Selected for inclusion in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 West Virginia Super Lawyers

Selected for inclusion in 2011, 2012, 2013, with an Attorney Top List recognition in 2013; and 2014 Best Lawyers in America

Professional Associations
Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
Member of the Ohio County, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations
West Virginia State Bar
Defense Research Institute
Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (Past President 1992-1993)
National Association of Bond Lawyers
American Bankruptcy Institute

Community Activities
West Virginia House of Delegates, 1968-1970
Trustee and past Chairman, Bethany College
Past President of Wheeling YMCA and Ohio County Unit of American Cancer Society
Member, Knights of Columbus
Military
United States Army Reserves,1966, became a commissioned officer and resigned as a First Lieutenant in 1972
Education
  • University of Michigan Law School
    Juris Doctorate

Frank X. Duff

Professional Experience
30 years of civil litigation experience including extensive trial experience in employment, personal injury, products liability and warranty cases.
Assists clients in West Virginia and Ohio with oil and gas issues relating to Marcellus and Utica Shale, including mineral rights, leasing, negotiating and reviewing contracts, and mediating and litigating disputes on these issues.

Education
Wheeling Jesuit University, B.A. English
Member of Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society, selection based on scholarship, loyalty and service
Loyola University College of law, J.D.

Bar Admissions
West Virginia
Ohio
Pennsylvania

Court Admissions
United States District Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Practice Areas
Litigation and Labor & Employment

Professional Honors
BV DistinguishedMartindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. BV Distinguished is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
Selected for inclusion in 2011, 2012, and 2013 West Virginia Super Lawyers
Selected for inclusion in 2014 Best Lawyers in America
Selected as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in West Virginia by the National Trial Lawyers
Recipient of the Exemplary Service to Indigent Clients Award from the West Virginia Legal Services Plan

Professional Associations
West Virginia Employment Law Association

Community Activities
Advisory Board for The Lazarus House, a non-profit community-based organization providing shelter and support for men in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction
Advisory Board for Mary and Martha's House, a non-profit community-based organization providing shelter and support for women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction
Education
  • Loyola University College of law
    Juris Doctorate

M. Jane Glauser

Professional Experience
Administrative proceedings before the various workers compensation agencies and appellate bodies for the state of West Virginia, including complex medical issues involving medical care and medical impairment.

Education
Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, B. A., English
Summa Cum Laude, Comprehensives with Distinction
University of Virginia, School of Law, J.D.

Bar Admissions
West Virginia

Court Admissions
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

Practice Areas
Workers Compensation, Social Security, and Adoption

Professional Honors
BV Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. BV Distinguished is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Selected for inclusion in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Best Lawyers in America
State Journal, West Virginia's Top Lawyers for Workers Compensation (2008, 2009)
Kaufmann Individual Award for Pro Bono Services (1992)

Professional Associations
Ohio County Bar Association
American Bar Association
West Virginia State Bar

Community Activities
Auxiliary, Wheeling Symphony
Education
  • University of Virginia, School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

Melvin W. Kahle, Jr.

Professional Experience
General practice of law, including civil litigation, personal injuries, estates, wills and real estate.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia from November 19, 1999 to April 20, 2001

Involved with United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia as a:
1. Member of the Local Criminal Rules Committee 2000 and 2001;
2. Panelist on "Covering the Courts" 2000;
3. Member of the Full-Time Magistrate Judge Merit-Selection panel 2000.

Involved with the Attorney General of the United States as a:
1. Member Executive Committee HIDTA;
2. Member Department of Justice Firearms Working Group.

Prosecuting Attorney of Ohio County from 1993 to 1999.
Former JAG Officer with Staff Judge Advocate, TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
Former Instructor Real Estate at West Virginia State College.
Former Special Counsel to the West Virginia Commissioner of Finance & Administration.
Former Administrative Assistant Central National Bank of Cleveland, Ohio.

Education
Cleveland Marshall College of Law School, Juris Doctor.
West Virginia University, A.B. in History and English. AFROTC, Varsity Tennis and Freshman Basketball.
Linsly Military Institute; President National Honor Society, Cadet Captain, 6th in Class, Varsity Basketball, Football and Tennis.

Bar Admissions
West Virginia

Court Admissions
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

Practice Areas
Litigation, Tax & Estate Planning, Real Estate

Professional Honors
BV Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. BV
Distinguished is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
Commendation Medal USAF Air Defense Command crew member of the month
Co-Special State Prosecutor of the year WV Prosecuting Attorneys' Institute 1997
David B. Cross Victims of Crime Award 1998
Criminal Justice Service Award from the WV Prosecuting Attorneys' Association 2000
Honorary member of WV Prosecuting Attorneys' Association 2002
U.S. District Court of the Northern District of WV Distinguished Service 11/19/99-4/20/01
Awards from Department of Justice, U.S. Marshal Service, FBI, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, EPA, Postal Inspectors and WV State Police for Outstanding Service 1999 to 2001.

Professional Associations
Ohio County, State Bar Associations
Former Board Member West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute
Former Board Member West Virginia Association of County Officials
Reserve Officers Association, Past State President
Iola Club, Cave Club, Beta Theta Pi and Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

Community Activities
Former President, Ohio County Board of Education.
Chairman, Ohio County School's Master Plan.
Member, Board of Directors, Y.M.C.A.
Former Board Member, Crittenton Services, Inc.
Past Chairman, Secretary Wheeling Municipal Auditorium and Parking Authority.
Former Tri-Chairman, Citizens' Advisory Committee, Ohio County Schools.
Former Judge, WVU Law School Baker Cup Moot Court Competition.
Former Coach, young ladies softball, 8th grade, college intramural and U.S.A.F. Basketball teams.
St. Michael Parish.
Former President, Holy Trinity Parish Council.
Former Vice President and Treasurer, local P.T.A.

Military Service
Major U.S.A.F. RET., Staff Judge Advocate's Office, Tactical Air Command.
Former 1st, Lt. Navigator 444th FIS Radar Interceptor Officer and Member of first 2-Man Crew to successfully crash-land a F-101B Fighter Interceptor, without the main gear extended, helping save the U.S.A.F. millions.
Education
  • Marshall College of Law School
    Juris Doctorate

Yolonda G. Lambert

Professional Experience
Litigation experience in state and federal courts in West Virginia, including the defense of personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability and employment cases.

Education
West Virginia University, B.A. History
West Virginia University College of Law, J.D.
Moot Court Board

Bar Admissions
West Virginia

Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Practice Areas
Litigation and Labor & Employment

Professional Honors
BV Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories legal ability and general ethical standards. BV Distinguished is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Professional Associations
West Virginia Law Institute

Community Activities
Board of Directors, Home for Men, a non-profit organization which maintains a residence for elderly men.
Education
  • West Virginia University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate
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