Well-respected Charleston lawyer Sean McGinley was killed Thursday afternoon in a crash on Interstate 79.
Returning from a hearing in Morgantown, McGinley was traveling a little after 5 p.m. near the Frametown exit in Braxton County, about 55 miles northeast of Charleston, where the crash happened.
He was a long-time legal advisor to the Charleston Gazette and later to the Gazette-Mail during a distinguished legal career spanning 30 years. He was a partner at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress PLLC in Charleston.
“Sean was a brilliant lawyer,” said legal partner Tim DiPiero. “Just incredibly talented. Had a strong sense of right and wrong and sought justice. It would always improve any writing project I did. He could always do better. He was amazing at research and writing and just got a feel for words.
“What is more important than all of this is that he loved his family and was a great family man.”
News of his loss sent shockwaves through the legal community and among clients and many others across Charleston and across West Virginia.
“This is devastating news for all who knew Sean as an exceptional lawyer, great friend and devoted husband and father,” said Doug Reynolds, managing partner of HD Media, publisher of Gazette-Mail and Herald-Dispatch at Huntington. “His long association with the Charleston Gazette-Mail was based not only on his great competence as a lawyer, but also on the friendship he forged with all those with whom he worked, not only the management of our company but also many of our journalists now over the years.
“We extend our deepest condolences to his family, his legal partners and all of the many people whose lives he touched.”
McGinley received his law degree from Keble College, University of Oxford in 1990. He joined DiTrapano & Jackson in 1995 after serving as a clerk at the State Supreme Court of Appeal and the US District Court. .
McGinley has become a highly respected personal injury lawyer. He has also worked with numerous media companies on First Amendment cases and other matters.
He lived in Charleston with his wife Ana and their two sons Liam and Colin.
“It’s hard for me to understand that he’s gone,” DiPiero said.
Funeral arrangements are pending.