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Charleston, WV




Joe Ward


“I was drawn to public service because, at its highest form, government is a place where a community can meet collective challenges, while promoting individual opportunity. However, sound public policy depends on policymakers having access to reliable information. As a result, today, I enjoy assisting my clients achieve their goals by ensuring that their information and experiences are effectively communicated and represented within government.”


As in his legal practice, Joe follows a simple and proven maxim in his government relations practice: prior preparation prevents poor performance. Whether lobbying for passage of a measure vital to a client’s business or counseling a company on its interactions with a regulator, Joe leverages his knowledge, experience, and relationships to thoroughly evaluate the challenges and opportunities facing his clients, lay the proper groundwork, and then develop a winning strategy in which he and his client are positioned early on as trusted sources of information for policy makers.

Joe’s results include:

  • Drafted and shepherded to completion legislation exempting municipal electric power systems from rate regulation by the West Virginia Public Service Commission. The legislation will enable the systems to significantly improve their bond credit ratings and, in turn, secure more favorable financing terms moving forward. In addition to educating lawmakers and staff regarding the legislation’s benefits, Joe worked closely with the PSC, investor-owned utilities, and rural utility organizations.

  • Secured changes to the state’s purchasing system code that eliminated discriminatory resident vendor preference provisions. Prior to passage of the bill, Joe’s out-of-state client had lost multiple state contracts due to the preference provisions. With passage of the amendments, the client will be able to compete for state contracts on a level playing field.

  • Successfully lobbying for passage of a civil justice reform measure to address a forum-shopping loophole exploited to the detriment of a pharmaceutical client.

  • Working with legislators, environmental regulators, and industry to secure critical trade secret protection for an energy sector client as part of a new “strongest in the nation” disclosure regime.

  • Effectively counseling and connecting a client with state and local officials to help it successfully navigate the regulatory process toward completion of a $300 million clean energy facility.

  • Preserving a health care client’s exemption during the legislative overhaul of the state hospital licensure regime.

  • Working with an executive agency and the judiciary on behalf of mental health professionals to maintain levels of reimbursement for court ordered forensic evaluations.



  • Deputy General Counsel, Honorable Joe Manchin III, Governor, State of West Virginia

  • Chair, West Virginia Public Energy Authority

  • West Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

  • Policy Researcher and Co-Author, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

  • West Virginia State Bar, Elections Committee

  • Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program

  • Georgetown University, B.A., 1997

  • The Catholic University Columbus School of Law, J.D., 2002


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