Wheeling Regulation Agency Calls for Texas-Based mostly Lawyer Cease Speaking About Hummel | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

WHEELING – An area regulation agency says it’s investigating claims a Texas-based lawyer has made towards Marshall County Circuit Choose David Hummel, however that lawyer mentioned Friday she isn’t planning to go quiet.

The Fitzsimmons Regulation Agency despatched a letter to lawyer Lauren Varnado stating it’s investigating her statements about Hummel – together with that he allegedly pointed a gun at her in court docket – and the affect of her feedback on his repute.

Varnado claims Hummel intimidated her in court docket whereas she is representing EQT, an oil and fuel firm, in a case concerning royalty fee disputes.

She claimed at one level in court docket that Hummel, whereas speaking about court docket safety, pointed his gun at her and her colleagues after which laid the gun down with the barrel pointing towards her on March 12.

Since then, she has mentioned the allegations with a number of media retailers, together with these nationwide in scope like Individuals.

Fitzsimmons’ letter to Varnado states that the agency “calls for that you just stop and desist publishing false statements regarding Choose Hummel.” The agency requested that Varnado additionally “protect all proof” associated to Hummel and the “Huey litigation,” aka the EQT case.

“Failure to stick to those requests could also be thought-about an intentional act of proof spoliation,” in response to the letter signed by Bob Fitzsimmons and Mark Colantonio with the agency.

Spoliation, in response to Westlaw, is the destruction or alteration of proof ensuing from a celebration’s failure to protect proof related to a litigation or investigation.

Varnado believes Hummel’s alleged conduct is said to her making an attempt to have him dismissed from overseeing the case. She believed he can be biased due to a doable battle of curiosity. Varnado believes Hummel has family who obtain oil and fuel lease royalties.

Fitzsimmons declined to touch upon its letter to Varnado.

“As required by West Virginia’s Guidelines regarding attorneys’ conduct, we don’t strive our instances within the media. Response by Choose Hummel can be made within the correct discussion board on the applicable time,” Bob Fitzsimmons mentioned Friday through e mail.

Varnado mentioned she was “shocked” by the letter, however mentioned she didn’t plan to answer it as a result of there is no such thing as a authorized authority hooked up to it.

“I took it as a risk, as a type of intimidation. As to what case they’re referring to is just not precisely clear,” she mentioned.

Varnado added Fitzsimmons is implying that her statements concerning Hummel are false. She famous the agency’s demand for her to cease speaking has no authorized grounds.

“I haven’t been quiet up to now. I’m not that simply scared. … They know the occasions of that day will not be false. The folks investigating this realize it,” she mentioned of the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Fee. “It’s regarding that the agency is making false accusations of their letter.”

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