In This Section

    Biography

    Michelle Gaston is a straight forward, no nonsense lawyer, who is willing to get her hands dirty for her clients.  Clients appreciate Michelle’s ability to balance her love of research and writing with practical solutions that can be implemented. 

    Michelle’s practice is rooted in the insurance business, and she regularly reviews policies, provides coverage opinions, and solves coverage disputes, as well as actively litigates, both on behalf of insurance companies and its clients. 

    A unique specialty for Michelle is that she also represents clients in fraud and arson cases involving insurance matters.  Specifically, she has handled examinations under oath, claim evaluations, and settlement negotiations.

    Within the firm, colleagues depend on Michelle to support their practices, and she is often called upon to conduct research and draft briefs that capture both the practical and legal arguments.  Michelle is the Co-Editor of the firms First Look Newsletter, which takes a deep dive into issues and developments in insurance law.  Michelle also plays an important role in the development of her peers as the ICT Skills and Development Coordinator.

    Memberships & Awards

    Professional
    The Best Lawyers in America®
    Super Lawyers® Rising Star
    Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
    Defense Research Institute
    Admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
    Admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
    Admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

    Key Experience

    Assisted clients with the investigation of claims, including arson and theft claims, scheduling and conducting Examinations Under Oath and sworn statements
    Defended clients at the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner against consumer complaints alleging unfair claims settlement practices
    Researched and drafted insurance coverage opinions

    Work Experience

    2015 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
    2015 Consumer Director, West Virginia Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection & Antitrust Division
    1997 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

    Speaking Engagements

    2018 West Virginia University CLE – Insurance Law; A Review of Recent Insurance Law Decisions and A Preview of Pending Insurance Law

    2017 West Virginia University CLE – Insurance Law; A Review of Recent Insurance Law Decisions and A Preview of Pending Insurance Law

    2016 West Virginia University CLE – Insurance Law; A Review of Recent Insurance Law Decisions and A Preview of Pending Insurance Law

    "A Review of Recent Insurance Law Decisions and A Preview of Pending Insurance Law Cases," Insurance Law 2017, WVU Continuing Legal Education, Charleston, WV, June 2017

    "Navigating the Hazards of Claim Handling," EKU Risk Management and Insurance, Robert B. Morgan Insurance Conference, Louisville, KY, April 2017

    “Preview of Pending Insurance Law Cases,” Insurance Law, WVCLE, June 2016

    Panelist on Top 10 Coverage Decisions of 2013 at MC Consultants Eastern Regional Conference in Orlando, FL, June 2014

    Co-Author of "Coverage Triggers: What is the X Factor?" For the Defense (May 2014)

    "Fraud Awareness and Investigation: Detection, Investigation and Compliance in the Age of Savvy Insureds," co-presenter, PLRB Eastern Regional Conference, Baltimore, MD, 2012

    "Fire and Explosion Cause and Origin Investigations: Developing Viable Subrogation Claims and Managing Experts From the Forensic and Legal Perspective" co-presenter, Charleston, WV, 2006