Proudly Fighting
for West Virginia
Injury Victims


Lonnie C. Simmons

Lonnie C. Simmons
Lonnie C. Simmons will work hard for anyone who needs his help and is personally dedicated to ensuring that everyone gets their day in court. His practice includes representing people who were wrongfully fired from their jobs, veterans and other State employees who were denied retirement benefits, victims of civil rights violations, people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes, and individuals injured or killed as the result of some other person’s negligence.

In addition to these cases, Mr. Simmons also represents a number of professionals, including physicians, doctors, lawyers, and college professors. Often, doctors and lawyers are faced with contractual issues relating to their practices or are charged with committing ethics violations. Professors have to deal with contractual employment questions as well as issues surrounding tenure. Mr. Simmons has been able to assist many different professionals work through these challenges.

Mr. Simmons obtained a BA in English and a BS in Journalism: News-Editorial from West Virginia University. He began his legal career in 1982 as a writ clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court after graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law. From 1983-1988, he served as a personal law clerk for West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Thomas B. Miller. After finishing his clerkship, Mr. Simmons was employed by three different plaintiffs’ law firms. DiTrapano & Jackson, Law Office of P. Rodney Jackson, and Fragale & Simmons before joining DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero, PLLC, in August, 2002, which became DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, in 2013.

Mr. Simmons was one of the first lawyers in the country to use DNA testing to free an innocent person, Glen Dale Woodall, from prison. The facts developed by Mr. Simmons during this representation triggered an investigation ordered by the West Virginia Supreme Court into the work performed by Fred S. Zain, who was the chief serologist for the West Virginia State Police, and lead to the freedom of several other innocent people. Larry Holdren, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for fifteen years, also was represented by Mr. Simmons in his successful habeas corpus action as well as subsequent civil litigation. Throughout his career, Mr. Simmons has developed an interest in claims involving wrongful conviction, police misconduct, and other civil rights violations.

As a member and former President of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, Mr. Simmons is experienced in representing and trying cases involving employees wrongfully fired from their jobs, based upon disability, age, sex, or other types of discrimination. He also teaches seminars for other lawyers addressing employment issues. A regular part of his law practice involves appealing decisions from the circuit courts to the West Virginia Supreme Court. As an appellate lawyer, Mr. Simmons successfully has prosecuted a number of appeals before the West Virginia Supreme Court, including appeals of wrongful death verdicts, employment discrimination claims, personal injury actions, and criminal convictions.

Mr. Simmons continues to be listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in West Virginia Super Lawyers. In 2021, he was recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Practice Areas

  • Employment litigation
  • Personal injury
  • Civil litigation
  • Criminal defense


  • J.D., West Virginia University, 1982
  • B.A. and B.S., West Virginia University, magna cum laude, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • West Virginia, 1982
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1998
  • United States Supreme Court, 1998


  • West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice

Honors and Activities

  • Honored with the Public Defender Services Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Criminal Law at the June 2018 West Virginia Public Defender Conference
  • Appointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to serve on the Indigent Defense Commission
  • 2013 Fellow, West Virginia Bar Foundation
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kanawha County Public Defenders’ Office Member of the West Virginia Board of Governors
  • AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America in employment law
  • Listed in SuperLawyers in employment law
  • Member and former President of the West Virginia Employment Lawyers Association
  • Captain, Lawyer Information and Referral Service
  • Member of the West Virginia Association for Justice
  • Member of the American Inns of Court
  • Volunteer coach for high school mock trial, sponsored by Kanawha County Family Court
  • Volunteer judge for We The People high school competition


  • Employment Laws Made Simple
  • Advanced Issues in Employment Law
  • DNA Evidence: Legal and Practical Issues For the Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • Mercy and Bifurcation
  • Constitutional Torts under the West Virginia Constitution: Remedies for Civil Rights Violations in West Virginia State Courts
  • Meditation on Mediation
  • Holding the ‘King’ Responsible for His Torts: Defeating Sovereign Immunity, Qualified Immunity, and the Public Duty Doctrine
  • 50 Shades of Grey: Murky ethical issues faced by lawyers on a daily basis
  • You Have to Know the Rules of the Game–And Then You Have to Play Better Than Anyone Else
  • The Importance of Knowing the Rules of Civil Procedure Rules impacting the appeal-ability of orders, offers of judgment, warning about appeals addressing qualified immunity, and procedural questions in circuit court mandamus and prohibition actions
  • Multi-car collision, an injured client is in the office, now what do I do?: a refresher course and update on comparative fault, joint and several liability, respondeat superior, venue, and jurisdiction
  • Handling the police liability claim: Filing of a Civil Action
  • Leaves of absences under State and federal law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: arbitration and mediation
  • Managing Employee Leaves of Absences
  • Understanding the Legal Fundamentals Of Police Liability Claims
  • Checklist for Evaluating a Potential Client In an Employment Discrimination Case
  • How the Defense Gets the Case Thrown Out: Qualified Immunity and Other Considerations
  • Recent Developments in State And Federal Employment Law
  • Scope of Employment: Theories for Holding Employers Liable for the Tortious and Criminal Acts of Their Employees
  • Understanding Recent Amendments Impacting Employment Law