J. ZAK RITCHIE
J.D., West Virginia University College of Law. Order of the Coif; Senior Managing Editor, West Virginia Law Review
B.A., West Virginia Wesleyan College — summa cum laude
Zak focuses on complex commercial and government litigation. He also enjoys handling appeals for new clients, having successfully briefed and argued cases in state and federal appellate courts. Zak joined the firm after working at Bailey & Glasser LLP and as assistant solicitor general in the Office of the West Virginia Attorney General. In his work as an assistant solicitor general, Zak concentrated on administrative, energy, and criminal law cases. He also played a critical role in the State of West Virginia’s ultimately successful effort leading over 25 States challenging EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” in the U.S. Supreme Court. In particular, Zak led efforts to coordinate legal strategy with an array of national trade organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the National Mining Association, among others.
A native of Ravenswood, West Virginia, Zak graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University College of Law. Following law school, Zak served as a law clerk to the Hon. Stephanie D. Thacker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Hon. John T. Copenhaver of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Trial counsel in successful defense of Supreme Court Justice in first impeachment trial in West Virginia since 1875
Representing the State of West Virginia in challenging the U.S. EPA’s regulation under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (en banc) and the U.S. Supreme Court
Appellate litigation in complex business dispute concerning corporate governance, breach of fiduciary duties, and shareholder derivative law
Lead trial counsel defending constitutional challenge to the State of West Virginia’s Right-to-Work statute
Appellate litigation concerning products liability and pharmaceuticals
Appointed Special Assistant Attorney General to represent the State of West Virginia in bringing antitrust claims against the asphalt paving industry
Defending the State of West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection in a federal constitutional challenge to the State’s flat-rate lease statute
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
Attorney, Bailey & Glasser LLP, Charleston, WV
Assistant Solicitor General, Office of the West Virginia Attorney General
Law Clerk, Hon. John T. Copenhaver, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Law Clerk, Hon. Stephanie D. Thacker, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Memberships and Affiliations
Vice Chair, The Committee on the Unlawful Practice of Law, West Virginia State Bar
Member, Committee on the Revision of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure
Former Member, The Continuing Legal Education Commission, West Virginia State Bar
Not From Around Here: Is the Fourth Circuit Wrong That West Virginia’s Long-arm Statute is “Coextensive” with Due Process?, The West Virginia Lawyer, Issue 46 (Summer 2020).
State Courts Should Discard the “No Set of Facts” Test When Deciding Rule 12(b)(6) Motions, The West Virginia Lawyer, Issue 40 (Winter 2018)
The Separation of Powers and the Judicial Rulemaking Power, The West Virginia Lawyer, Issue 38 (Spring 2018)
Making a Plausible Claim, The West Virginia Lawyer, Issue 36 (Winter 2017)
A Fresh Look at an Old Tort: Litigating Slander of Title in Mineral Disputes, 115 W. Va. L. Rev. 1097 (2013)
A Tie That Binds: Forum Selection Clause Enforceability in West Virginia, 113 W. Va. L. Rev. 95 (2010).