Attorneys

Martin P. Sheehan is one of the founding members of SHEEHAN & NUGENT, P.L.L.C. Martin's current practice primarily focuses on two areas of law: Bankruptcy Law and related issues, and Representing Persons accused of Criminal Acts.

In connection with his bankruptcy practice, Mr. Sheehan is a member of the panel of Chapter 7 trustees for West Virginia appointed by the United States Trustee. Usually he serves as a Trustee in the Northern District of West Virginia, but he has also served in the Southern District of West Virginia. In 2015, he was appointed as a Chapter 11 Trustee in a case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Since 1994 he has been the trustee in over 20,000 cases. He currently represents Debtors and Creditors as well as serving as a Trustee. Martin has litigated bankruptcy issues of all kinds in West Virginia and elsewhere. He routinely appears in the Bankruptcy Courts in West Virginia. Appeals from those Courts are heard in the District Courts in West Virginia, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Martin has litigated in all of those. In 2010, a brief Mr. Sheehan wrote was favorably cited by Justice Thomas of the United States Supreme Court as he wrote for the majority in the precedent setting case of Schwab v. Reilly, 130 S.Ct. 2652 (2010).

Martin is a past President of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees. He has served in every office of that organization, including President-Elect, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Editor of the quarterly magazine, NABTalk. He has served as a member of its Amicus Committee since 2004.

Mr. Sheehan is also an Adjunct Lecturer at West Virginia University Law School. Since 2005, he has taught the Advanced Bankruptcy Court, and for one term he taught the Introductory Bankruptcy Class as well.

Martin is well known for handling unusual cases. An article he wrote for the West Virginia Lawyer, titled A Murder, Bankruptcy and Wrongful Death, details one of his more unusual cases involving both a murder and a bankruptcy.

He is a frequent author and lecturer on bankruptcy topics.

In connection with his criminal practice Martin has represented persons accused of the most serious crimes. He has tried several murder cases, including a triple murder in Ohio County. In State ex rel. Davis v. Fox, 229 W.VA. 662, 735 S.E.2d 259 (2012), the West Virginia Supreme Court adopted his position in establishing an important limitation on the Felony-Murder rule.

Martin actually began his involvement in criminal law as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia where he prosecuted federal cases in the late 1980's. He headed the first forfeiture unit in the United States Attorney's Office. He was a member of the team that successfully prosecuted Paul Hankish, then a notable organized crime figure. The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation honored Martin with a Special Achievement Award for that effort in 1990.

As a result of his significant experience, Martin has been recognized as an expert on the standard of care in habeas corpus cases involving claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in Ohio, Wetzel and Marion counties.

Mr. Sheehan is a 1974 graduate of Tufts University where he majored in Economics. He is a 1977 graduate of Duquesne University School of Law.
Jo Lynne Nugent, Esq., a founding member of the law firm of SHEEHAN & NUGENT, PLLC, is the firm's family law attorney. Her practice includes divorce, parenting, child and spousal support, and property settlement.

Ms Nugent has been designated as one of the Best Lawyers in America, an honor which she has received annually since 2007. She has also been named a West Virginia Super Lawyer by the publication Law and Politics and one of West Virginia's Top Lawyers by the State Journal. Ms Nugent has recently been recognized by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys as one of the Premier 100 trial lawyers for West Virginia. Since 2005, Ms Nugent has been a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, one of only 6 such attorneys in the State of West Virginia.

Ms Nugent has practiced law in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle since graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1989, devoting her entire practice to matrimonial and family law. She started practicing in that arena just 2 years after the W.Va. family law master system and child support formula went into effect. Since that time, the child support formula has changed, family law masters were replaced by Family Court Judges, the old contested custody and visitation system was replaced with mediation and shared parenting, and the West Virginia Domestic Relations Statutes were recodified, and Ms. Nugent has been there through it all, meeting the challenges of changing her practice with the evolving family law system.

Ms Nugent is a 1975 graduate of West Liberty State College with a B.A. in Speech and Theatre. She has a 1979 M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. In 1982 she graduated from the Illinois Masonic Medical Center School of Nursing in Chicago and became a licensed RN, working in ICUs and ERs in and around the city of Chicago. In 1989 she acquired a J.D. with High Honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She graduated in the top 8% of her law school class and was awarded the Order of the Coif as well as the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellent Achievement in the Study of Evidence.

In 1999, Ms Nugent was invited to join the West Virginia Supreme Court's Task Force charged with assisting in the development of the Parent Education and Mediation system which was instituted in 2000 and is still currently in place. Since 1999, Ms. Nugent has been invited to speak on several occasions at the State Bar's premiere continuing legal education series on Family Law held at WVU every Fall.

Ms Nugent is admitted to practice before courts of the State of West Virginia, the Federal Northern District of West Virginia, and the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has won every appeal she has argued before the Supreme Court of West Virginia.