Lisa Watson Hartline was in and out of North Central and South Central Regional Jails multiple times from 2002 to 2006 on various drug and tax charges. She served four and a half months in North Central Regional Jail in 2005 for a felony possession with intent to deliver cocaine.
She couldn’t afford the $50,000 bond the court set, so she waited for her trial in jail. The court eventually released her on home confinement and then dropped the charges a year later because of a lack of evidence.
In 2006, she was ready to make a change. She studied psychology at West Virginia University before being admitted to the WVU School of Law.
The West Virginia Bar is not required to grant a person their legal license when they pass the state bar exam. Due to Hartline’s extensive criminal history, they could have denied her due to what they can deem a lack of moral fitness.
The oversight committee reviewed Hartline’s case and granted her the right to practice under a probationary period, which will end in fall of 2020. Hartline currently works as an attorney at Legal Aid West Virginia in Wheeling.