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Franklin Cleckley
Born Franklin Dorrah Cleckley
(1940-08-01)August 1, 1940
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Died August 14, 2017(2017-08-14) (aged 77)
Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.
Alma mater Anderson University
Indiana University School of Law
Harvard Law School
University of Exeter
Predecessor Thomas B. Miller
Successor Robin Davis

Franklin Dorrah Cleckley (August 1, 1940 – August 14, 2017) was an American law professor and judge. He was Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law.[1] He taught at the law school from 1969 to 2013.[2] He held the endowed professorship emeritus.[1]

Cleckley was the first African-American to serve as a Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.[3] Governor Gaston Caperton appointed Cleckley to the bench in 1994.[2] He served on the Court until 1996.[2]

Personal background[edit | edit source]

Cleckley was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on August 1, 1940, but was raised in McDowell County, West Virginia.[4] He received an A.B. degree from Anderson College in 1962, a J.D. degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1965, and a LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1969.[5] He also did post-graduate studies at the University of Exeter in England.[6]

Professional background[edit | edit source]

Cleckley served three years in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War as a Judge Advocate General.[7] While serving as a Navy JAG officer he earned the reputation, given by the United States Secretary of Defense, as being the most sought after attorney in Vietnam.[2]

In 1969, Cleckley became the first African-American to join the faculty at West Virginia University College of Law.[6] Justice Cleckley taught courses in evidence, criminal procedure and civil rights.[5] He served as a visiting professor at Syracuse University, the University of Maryland, the University of Mississippi, the William & Mary Law School, Louisiana State, and Mercer University.[8]

Honors and awards[edit | edit source]

Justice Cleckley established the Franklin D. Cleckley Foundation in 1990, for the purpose of providing assistance for the educational and employment needs of people with prior criminal records.[4] He has been honored with many awards that include: the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union "Civil Libertarian of the Year Award";[6] the West Virginia Common Cause Award for Public Service;[6] the "Civil Rights Award" from the West Virginia Human Rights Commission;[6] the West Virginia NAACP's Thurgood Marshall Award;[6] the Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice;[9] and the West Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year Award.[9]

The Justice Franklin D. Cleckley Fellowship was named and created in his honor by the West Virginia University College of Law, in conjunction with the University of Chicago Law School.[2] The fellowship provides a two-year position with the West Virginia Innocence Project.[2] In 1992 the "Franklin D. Cleckley Symposium" was created by West Virginia University for the purpose of having leading members of the civil rights community speak at the university.[6]

Writings[edit | edit source]

Cleckley's two volume Evidence Handbook

Opinions[edit | edit source]

Cleckley wrote over 100 majority opinions for the Supreme Court, in addition to numerous concurring opinions and dissents.[10] He was also the original drafter of the West Virginia Rules of Criminal Procedure, the West Virginia Rules of Evidence, and the drafter of the 1984 Revisions of the Local Rules of United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.[5]

Other works[edit | edit source]

Cleckley was the author of the Handbook on Evidence for West Virginia Lawyers[11] and the Handbook on West Virginia Criminal Procedure.[12] He co-authored the Litigation Handbook on West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure,[13] Health Care and the Law,[14] and Introduction to the West Virginia Criminal Justice System and Its Laws.[15]

Cleckley authored several law review articles for the West Virginia Law Review, including "A Free Market Analysis of the Effects of Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Statutes: Can We Afford to Live with Inefficient Doctors?" (1991–92);[16] "Clearly Erroneous: The Fourth Circuit's Decision to Uphold Removal of a State-Bar Disciplinary Proceeding Under the Federal Officer Removal Statute" (1989–90);[17] "A Modest Proposal: A Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege for West Virginia" (1990–91);[18] and "Tribute to a Champion: Thurgood Marshall" (1991–92).;[19] He wrote a foreword entitled "Never Again" (1996) for an issue of the Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Digest (later the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice).[20]

Death[edit | edit source]

Cleckley died at his home in Morgantown, West Virginia, on August 14, 2017 at the age of 77.[21]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Emeriti Faculty". West Virginia University College of Law. https://law.wvu.edu/faculty-staff/emeriti-faculty. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Justice Franklin D. Cleckley Fellowship | WV Innocence Project | West Virginia University". Wvinnocenceproject.wvu.edu. May 19, 2015. http://wvinnocenceproject.wvu.edu/justice/franklin-d-cleckley-fellowship. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  3. "West Virginia's first African-American justice honored with WVU's Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice". http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/04/10/west-virginia-s-first-african-american-justice-honored-with-wvu-s-neil-s-bucklew-award-for-social-justice. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Franklin D. Cleckley". Wvencyclopedia.org. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1294. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Franklin D. Cleckley | College of Law | West Virginia University". Law.wvu.edu. July 28, 2015. https://law.wvu.edu/faculty-staff/full-time-faculty/franklin-d-cleckley. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "Franklin Cleckley receives 2011 Liberty Bell Award" (PDF). West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. March 8, 2011. http://www.courtswv.gov/public-resources/press/releases/2011-releases/march8_11.pdf. 
  7. "Franklin D. Cleckley". http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1294. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  8. "Professor Franklin Cleckley". http://staging.innsofcourt.org/Content/Default.aspx?Id=345. Retrieved October 19, 2015. [dead link]
  9. 9.0 9.1 "West Virginia's first African-American justice honored with WVU's Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice". Wvutoday.wvu.edu. http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/04/10/west-virginia-s-first-african-american-justice-honored-with-wvu-s-neil-s-bucklew-award-for-social-justice. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  10. "100 West Virginia Law Review 1997–1998 A Tribute to Franklin D. Cleckley: A Compendium of Essential Legal Principles from His Opinions as a Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals: Constitutional Law". http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wvb100&div=60&id=&page=. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  11. Palmer, Louis J; Davis, Robin Jean; Cleckley, Franklin D (January 1, 2015). Handbook on evidence for West Virginia lawyers. ISBN 9781632835772. https://www.worldcat.org/title/handbook-on-evidence-for-west-virginia-lawyers/oclc/908838909&referer=brief_results. 
  12. "Handbook on West Virginia Criminal Procedure, Second Edition". http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=6781. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  13. Cleckley, Franklin D; Davis, Robin Jean; Palmer, Louis J (January 1, 2012). Litigation handbook on West Virginia rules of civil procedure [fourth edition]. Huntington, NY: Juris Pub.. https://www.worldcat.org/title/litigation-handbook-on-west-virginia-rules-of-civil-procedure-fourth-edition/oclc/787874288&referer=brief_results. 
  14. Cleckley, Franklin D (in English). Health care and the law. [Place of publication not identified]: West Virginia Regional Medical Program. http://www.worldcat.org/title/health-care-and-the-law/oclc/5619589&referer=brief_results. 
  15. Cleckley, Franklin D; Palmer, Louis J (January 1, 1994). Introduction to the West Virginia criminal justice system and its laws. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co.. ISBN 0840397976. http://www.worldcat.org/title/introduction-to-the-west-virginia-criminal-justice-system-and-its-laws/oclc/31954836. 
  16. "94 West Virginia Law Review 1991–1992 Free Market Analysis of the Effects of Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Statutes: Can We Afford to Live with Inefficient Doctors, A". http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wvb94&div=9&id=&page=. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  17. "92 West Virginia Law Review 1989–1990 Clearly Erroneous: The Fourth Circuit's Decision to Uphold Removal of a State-Bar Disciplinary Proceeding under the Federal-Officer Removal Statute". http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wvb92&div=27&id=&page=. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  18. "93 West Virginia Law Review 1990–1991 Modest Proposal: A Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege for West Virginia, A". http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wvb93&div=8&id=&page=. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  19. "94 West Virginia Law Review 1991–1992 Tribute to a Champion: Thurgood Marshall Dedication". http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wvb94&div=8&id=&page=. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  20. Franklin D. Cleckley. "Foreword: Never Again". http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol2/iss1/3/. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  21. "Former Justice Franklin Cleckley dies at 77". http://www.dominionpost.com/Cleckley-death. 

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