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Attorney Barnard Layne III
Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
602 Virginia St East
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: (304) 853-0175
About Attorney Barnard Layne III
Born in the tiny coal mining community of Williamson, West Virginia, and raised by blue collar working class parents, who placed a premium on hard work, honesty, and personal integrity, Bernie Layne learned from an early age that his path to success would have to be paved with over achievement. While both of his parents grew up in abject poverty that can only be understood or imagined by those who have experienced day-to-day life in ‘coal camp’ housing in Southern West Virginia, they became acutely aware of the value and necessity of education and sweat equity as a means of rising above their circumstance. It is from this culture and environment that Bernie’s parents instilled in him, and his two sisters, to never forget where they have come from and to always use their God-given talents and abilities to help people around them who are disadvantaged, hurting, disabled, destitute, or who are being abused by those in a more powerful position than themselves in society. Rising from the social position of an ‘underdog,’ it isn’t hard to understand how Bernie has come to embrace these roots by becoming a highly successful legal advocate and defender of the rights of injured working class West Virginians throughout our Mountain State. As you can imagine, it takes tremendous family support and lots of competitive spirit to become one of only a few college graduates in his family and to become the first lawyer in his immediate or extended family. That love for competition was introduced to him as a child, by his father, an accomplished sportswriter at the Williamson Daily News. Bernie developed a love for the game of basketball and baseball and eventually earned a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia. As a college student-athlete, Bernie was introduced to the importance of academic and athletic discipline, teamwork, handling success and overcoming failure. As his dream of playing professional baseball faded, his commitment to personal development and higher education strengthened. Before leaving UC, Bernie was named the Ivor F. Boiarsky Award Winner, which annually recognizes the top Political Science Student in the graduating class, won a statewide award for his senior thesis, in the area of Public Law Policy, on the pitfalls and environmental evils associated with an inadequate and corrupt strip mine permitting system in West Virginia, was voted by his peers as the Student Body President and was chosen by the administration to deliver the commencement address on behalf of his graduating class, while sharing the stage with the late Senator Robert C. Byrd.
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