Gretchen M. Callas

Phone: (304) 340-1169 | Fax: (304) 340-1050 | Email:
500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Charleston, WV 25301-3202

Gretchen M. Callas is a trial lawyer who represents corporate defendants in complex cases, class actions and mass tort litigation.  These matters typically involve products liability claims, violations of consumer fraud statutes and significant industrial accidents.  Ms. Callas has been recognized by Chambers USA and in Best Lawyers® for her work in the area of mass litigation and class actions.  She is one of only three lawyers from the state of West Virginia to be extended membership to the Product Liability Advisory Council.

Ms. Callas defended a heavy equipment manufacturer in product design claims brought by more than 300 construction workers.  These cases involved issues of occupational exposure to products spanning five decades.  She served as liaison counsel to the court on behalf of the twenty defendant companies as the action progressed before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel.  This mass action involved hundreds of depositions, multiple rounds of trial preparation and appellate work.  In addition, Ms. Callas has defended class actions brought against employers arising under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act and class actions brought against financial services companies and pharmaceutical companies under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

A member of Jackson Kelly's nationally-recognized energy practice, Ms. Callas was a leader of the defense team that handled the civil litigation resulting from the April 5, 2010, Upper Big Branch disaster which involved twenty-nine fatalities.  As part of the extensive pre-litigation investigation, Ms. Callas spent days underground in the mine at the site of the explosion.

Ms. Callas is a Member of Jackson Kelly PLLC and, from 2007 to 2011, served on the Firm's senior management team as the first female Assistant Managing Member.  From 2010 to 2013, she served as a Chairperson in the Campaign for Legal Aid of West Virginia and has been a member of the Development Council for the West Virginia University College of Law since 2009.

Legal Experience
1996 - PresentJackson Kelly PLLC
1996M.P.A.West Virginia University
1996J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
1992B.A.Miami University (OH) (Public Administration)
Bar Admissions
1996West Virginia
Court Admissions
1998U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
1998U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
1996West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
1996U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia

Professional Involvement:
  • Member, West Virginia University College of Law Development Council, 2009-2015
  • Sustaining Member, Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
  • Chairperson, Campaign for Legal Aid of West Virginia, 2010-2013
  • Member, Distribution Committee for the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, 2009-2013

Teaching and Lecturing:
  • Speaker, "House Bill 2011:  Deliberate Intent Reform — Changes in the Law of Deliberate Intent," West Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2015 HR Conference, Charleston, West Virginia, Oct. 13, 2015
  • Speaker, "Litigation Hot Topics — Spoliation," Product Liability Advisory Council 2014 Fall Conference, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 15-17, 2014
  • Speaker, "Crisis Response - Class Litigation Strategies," West Virginia Bar Association 128th Annual Meeting, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Aug. 7-9, 2014
  • Speaker, “Welcome to Our World: MSHA Vulnerability to Suit Under Federal Tort Claims Act for Negligent Inspection”, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation's 34th Annual Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, June 18, 2013
  • Speaker, "Overdraft Litigation and FDIC Guidance," West Virginia Bankers Association's The Law of Deposit Accounts Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, April 12, 2011
  • Author and Presenter, Experts' Disclosure of Underlying Facts or Data under Rule 705, West Virginia University Continuing Legal Education, Sept. 23, 2005 (click here to view speech online)

Writings and Publications:
  • United Mine Workers v. Bagwell:  New Restrictions on Severe Civil Contempt Fines, 97 West Virginia Law Review 1079, Summer 1995
  • Author, Discovery and Work Product Issues Relating to Expert Witnesses Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2), 2001 Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia Nineteenth Annual Meeting Notebook
  • Co-author, "Dealing with the Peer Review Privilege in West Virginia and Virginia," Joint Meeting of the West Virginia and Virginia Bar Associations, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 11, 2003
  • Co-Author, "Dealing with the Peer Review Privilege," 2003 Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia Annual Meeting
  • Author, Experts' Disclosure of Underlying Facts or Data under Rule 705, West Virginia University Continuing Legal Education, Sept. 23, 2005 (click here to view speech online)
  • Co-author with Kellie Clark, "Eli Lilly v. Gottstein:  In Defense Of Protective Orders," Law360, Sept. 2010
  • Co-author with Patricia Bello, "Preemption:  Where does the Court stand after Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, LLC and Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.?," Law360, March 2011
  • Co-author with Patricia Bello, "What did we learn?: Examining the Court's Recent Decisions on Preemption," Law360, July 2011
  • Author, “Welcome to Our World: MSHA Vulnerability to Suit Under Federal Tort Claims Act for Negligent Inspection”, 34 Energy & Min. L. Inst. Chapter 9 (2013)

Awards and Honors:
  • Named in the 2017 Best Lawyers®  Business Edition "Women in Law" 
  • Ranked in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Litigation: General Commercial Law in West Virginia, 2013-2017
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, 2011-2018
  • Named in the 2010 and 2015-2017 editions of West Virginia Super Lawyers® for Civil Litigation: Defense Law
  • Named a 2008 Young Gun by WV Executive Magazine
  • Order of the Coif, 1996
  • Executive Editor, West Virginia Law Review, 1995-1996
  • Patrick Duffy Koontz Award, 1996
  • Patricia Harris Roberts Fellowship, 1992-1994
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Miami University, 1992
  • Graduated cum laude from Miami University, 1992
  • Phi Kappa Phi
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