Significant Verdicts/Criminal Defense
- Kanawha County – the defendant was accused of first-degree sexual assault (rape). The case proceeded to a jury trial. The defendant was found not guilty and was acquitted of all charges.
- Putnam County – the defendant was accused of leading a conspiracy to steal automobiles. The case proceeded to a jury trial. The defendant was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges.
- Kanawha County – the defendant was accused of shooting and killing another man in a drug transaction. The charge was first-degree murder which carried a possible sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. The charge was pled down to second-degree murder and the defendant was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. The defendant was expected to be released after approximately 7 years contingent upon time off for good behavior. This result would not have been possible without Mr. Van Bibber’s strong history of not guilty verdicts.
- Kanawha County – the defendant was accused of shooting and killing a Kanawha County man. The charge was first-degree murder which carried a possible sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. State was initially unwilling to allow the defendant to plead to a lesser charge and the case proceeded to a jury trial. After several days of deliberation the jury was unable to reach a decision and a hung jury was declared. The state then allowed the defendant to plead to the lesser charge of second-degree murder and the defendant was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. The defendant was expected to be released after approximately 8 years contingent upon time off for good behavior. Again this result would not have been possible without Mr. Van Bibber’s trial experience which resulted in the initial hung jury.
- Putnam County – the defendant was accused of striking his ex-girlfriend. The charge was domestic battery and although only a misdemeanor, a conviction would have resulted in the loss of the defendant’s gun rights. The case proceeded to a jury trial. Mr. Van Bibber successfully argued to the jury that the case was really a ploy to assist the alleged victim in a long-running custody battle over the parties minor daughter. The defendant was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges.
- Putnam County – Father was charged with domestic battery for striking his son with a weapon. A domestic battery conviction carries a life time ban on gun ownership and Father was a gun collector. Mr. Van Bibber argued self defense and the Jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
- Cabell County – Defendant charged with felony possession of large quantity of drugs. Mr. Van Bibber argued that the search warrant was defective and violated the 4th Amendmant. The Court ruled that the search warrant was defective and excluded all evidence seized under the warrant. The case was then dismissed.
Significant Verdicts/Family Law
- Boone County Family Court. Our firm represented the husband in a hotly contested alimony case. Wife fraudulently testified that she was disabled and had never worked outside the home. The Family Court Judge found for wife and awarded her permanent alimony. Mr. Van Bibber appealed the Family Court ruling to the West Virginia Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed the Family Court based upon wife’s fraudulent testimony and wife ultimately received no alimony. This case is often cited and followed by other attorneys as a textbook example of how to proceed when you are faced with fraudulent evidence or false testimony.
- Putnam County Family Court. Our firm represented the wife. The couple owned multiple valuable closely held corporations. However in the divorce, husband took the position that the marital estate was worthless and that wife was entitled to nothing. Mr. Van Bibber was able to prove that the marital estate had considerable value and secured wife’s equitable share. The significant part of this ruling was the attorney fees. Typically, each party pays their own attorney fees and costs. However in this case, Mr. Van Bibber was able to convince the Judge that the husband’s position was frivolous and that he had unnecessarily caused wife to incur substantial attorney fees and costs. The Family Court Judge ordered husband to reimburse wife approximately $92,000.00 in attorney fees and costs. This result is noteworthy as it is the highest attorney fee award ever granted in Putnam County West Virginia.
- Kanawha County Family Court. Our firm represented the husband/father. We argued on behalf of the father that custody of the children and possession of the home should be awarded to the parent who provided the majority of the caretaking functions for the children and should not be based on stereotypical gender roles. The Family Court Judge ruled in favor of our client and he was granted possession of the home and designated as the custodial parent for the children.
Significant Verdicts/Personal Injury
- Mason County, West Virginia – A 46 year old husband and father presented to the emergency room complaining of chest pains and pain radiating down his left arm. The man was a smoker, was overweight and had a significant family history of early male death due to heart attack. The emergency room took no history, performed no tests and released the man after only approximately 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the next day the man died. Our firm represented his surviving wife and children. Suit was filed alleging wrongful death and failure to diagnose the impending heart attack. A confidential settlement was reached that provided for long-term needs of his wife and children.
- Ohio – husband and wife were riding in husband’s van. Husband made a mistake and caused an accident that led to wife’s death. The husband and the parties surviving children attempted to make a claim against husband’s insurance policy for wife’s wrongful death. The insurance company denied coverage claiming that wife could not bring such an action against her own husband. With husband’s cooperation and on behalf of the surviving children Mr. Van bibber filed an “friendly lawsuit” against husband alleging wrongful death. This settlement was quickly reached and the insurance company paid the entire policy limits afforded under the policy.
- Putnam County, West Virginia – a 30-year-old man was killed when a local gun store allegedly sold a pistol to a legally insane individual. Upon investigation Mr. Van Bibber was able to establish that the gun store was aware that the man had been judicially deemed incompetent and had so informed the gun store on the federal form that was provided by the store. The gun store clerk allow the individual to change his answer on the form and sold him the gun knowing that he had been deemed incompetent and involuntarily hospitalized. Our firm filed suit against the gun store on behalf of the man’s surviving young wife and family. A confidential settlement was reached that provided for the long-term needs of his surviving wife and family.
We serve clients in Charleston, Huntington, Winfield, Teays Valley, Scott Depot, Hurricane, Nitro and all local areas.