Honorable Elliott E Maynard by mmcsx

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									                                                                              West Virginia Court System
                                                                                    2008 Annual Report

                                                                                Honorable Elliott E. Maynard
                                                                                                                                    Chief Justice

                                                                                        Honorable Robin Jean Davis
                                                                                        Honorable Larry V. Starcher
                                                                                        Honorable Joseph P. Albright
                                                                                       Honorable Brent D. Benjamin
                                                                                                                                Rory L. Perry II
                                                                                                                                      Clerk of Court
                                                                                                                    Steven D. Canterbury
                                                                                                                      Administrative Director

                                                                                               Published by the Administrative Office of the
                                                                                                Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Editor: Jennifer Bundy, Public Information Officer,                                                                        1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
  Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia                                                                                           State Capitol
Assistant Editor: April Harless, Public Information Specialist,                                                        Building One, Room E-100
  Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia                                                                                Charleston, WV 25305
Statistical Analyst: Autumn Johnson, Division of Court Services,                                                           Phone: (304) 558-0145
  Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia                                                                                 TTY: (304) 558-4219
Graphic Design: Michael Switzer DesignWorks                                                                                   Fax: (304) 558-1212
Photos of county courthouses on pages 86-195 by Jeff Gentner                                                                www.state.wv.us/wvsca
Information about the history of county courthouses from
West Virginia Courthouses, A Pictorial History, by Mary Thrash

The cursive font at the bottom of each page in this Annual Report is a replica of the hand of Thomas Jefferson, whose passage, “The true foundation of republican
government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management,” is in the frieze along the top of the Supreme Court Chamber.

            Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals
                          of West Virginia

                                   Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard
                                        was born in Williamson in Mingo County, West
                                        Virginia. He graduated from Belfry High School
                                        in 1960. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
                                        Florida Southern College in 1967 and his law
                                        degree from West Virginia University in 1974.
                                        He joined the United States Air Force in 1961,
                                        and he was attached to a reconnaissance group
                                        during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thereafter,
                                        he was assigned to the 306th Bomb Wing in
                                        the Strategic Air Command and was honorably
                                        discharged in 1966. From 1968 to 1970 he was
       Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard Managing Director of the Tug Valley Chamber
                                        of Commerce. He was engaged in the private
    practice of law in Williamson from 1974 to 1981. In 1976, he was elected
    Prosecuting Attorney of Mingo County and was re-elected in 1980. In 1981
    then-Governor Jay Rockefeller appointed him Judge of the Thirtieth Judicial
    Circuit. He was subsequently elected and re-elected Judge of that circuit until he
    was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals in November 1996. He has been
    involved for more than thirty years with the Boy Scouts of America and was
    District Chairman of the Mingo-Pike District and District Chairman of the
    Chief Cornstalk District. He has served on the Board of the Buckskin Council
    and received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest volunteer award in scouting.
    Chief Justice Maynard is a member of the American Judges Association, the
    American Bar Association, the American Judicature Society, the West Virginia
    Bar Association and is a former member of the National District Attorneys
    Association. He is a member of the Charleston Rotary Club and other fraternal
    organizations. He also served as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme
    Court of Appeals in 2000 and 2004.

                                      Justice Robin Jean Davis was born in Boone County, West Virginia, on April 6,
                                 1956. She is married to attorney Scott Segal and they have a son, Oliver. She received her
                                 bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1978, and her master’s degree
                                 and law degree from West Virginia University in 1982. She was engaged in the private
                                 practice of law from 1982 until 1996.  Before her election to the Supreme Court of Appeals,
                                 she practiced law at the six-person law firm of Segal and Davis, L.C. She concentrated in
                                 the field of employee benefits and domestic relations. In 1993, she became the first lawyer
                                 in West Virginia to be inducted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
                                 In 1991, the Supreme Court of Appeals appointed her to the seven-person West Virginia
                                 Board of Law Examiners, on which she served until 1996.  In 1996, she was elected to the
                                 Supreme Court of Appeals to an unexpired term. She was re-elected in November 2000. 
                                 Justice Davis served as Chief Justice in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2007.  As Chief Justice,
                                 she pursued a number of initiatives, including the Workers’ Compensation Mediation
    Justice Robin Jean Davis
                                 Program; the expansion of parent education programs; Rules on Mass Litigation; the
expansion of technology for the “Courtroom of the Future,” including the video initial appearance pilot project; and
the creation of the West Virginia Trial Court Rules. As Chief Justice, she also expanded the Supreme Court’s outreach
efforts by taking the Court for the first time in recent years to Wheeling and Charles Town, and leading the Court
in the establishment of the LAWS program (Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students).  In 2000, Justice Davis
received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from Governor Cecil H. Underwood. Justice Davis is the author of
several West Virginia Law Review articles, including “A Tribute to Franklin D. Cleckley: A Compendium of Essential
Legal Principles from his Opinions as a Justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals”;  “A Tribute to Thomas
E. McHugh: An Encyclopedia of Legal Principles from his Opinions as a Justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court
of Appeals”;  and “An Analysis of the Development of Admitting Expert Testimony in Federal Courts and the Impact
of that Development on West Virginia Jurisprudence”; and is the co-author with Louis J. Palmer, Jr., of “Workers’
Compensation Litigation in West Virginia: Assessing the Impact of the Rule of Liberality and the Need for Fiscal
Reform.”  She is the co-author with former Justice Cleckley and Mr. Palmer of the Litigation Handbook on West Virginia
Rules of Civil Procedure.  Justice Davis is the most senior member of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

                                 Justice Larry V. Starcher was born at home in Roane County, West Virginia, on
                                  September 25, 1942. He is married to the former Rebecca Wiles and has three children,
                                  Mollianne, Victor, and Amy. Molli is a graduate of the West Virginia University College
                                  of Law, Victor the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and Amy the West
                                  Virginia University Masters of Public Administration program. Justice Starcher earned
                                  his bachelor’s degree in 1964 and his law degree in 1967 from West Virginia University.
                                  Prior to being elected Circuit Judge of Monongalia County in 1976, he served as an
                                  Assistant to the Vice-President for Off-Campus Education at West Virginia University,
                                  as Director of the North Central West Virginia Legal Aid Society, and as a private lawyer.
                                  He served as Circuit Judge for twenty years, eighteen as Chief Judge. While sitting as a
                                  Circuit Judge, Justice Starcher served as a special judge in twenty-three of West Virginia’s
                                  fifty-five counties. He presided over the trial of twenty thousand asbestos injury cases
    Justice Larry V. Starcher     and a six-month state buildings asbestos trial. He held all offices in the West Virginia
                                  Judicial Association, including president in 1992-93. As a trial Judge, he was active in the
                                  area of juvenile justice, including establishing alternative learning centers for youths at
risk and a youth shelter. He also pioneered the use of work-release and community service as punishment for nonviolent
offenders. He has been a regular instructor at judicial conferences and has been honored by many civic and community
groups, including the NAACP, Jaycees, and Trial Lawyers. In 1978, he was a Fellow of the National Endowment for
the Humanities at Harvard University. Justice Starcher also has served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the West Virginia
University College of Law from 1992 to the present. In November 1996, he was elected to a full twelve-year term on
the Supreme Court of Appeals. He served as Chief Justice in 1999 and 2003, and he promoted action in several areas
of judicial administration, specifically the Court Facilities Committee, Public Trust and Confidence in the Judiciary,
Mental Hygiene Commission, Court Technology Summit, Self-Represented Litigants Task Force, State Law Library
improvements; and he reactivated the Gender Fairness Task Force. In 2004, in partnership with the Mountain State
Bar, West Virginia’s historic minority bar association, Justice Starcher and his senior law clerk, Thomas Rodd, initiated
the J.R. Clifford Project, a series of statewide community programs and publications based on the life and work of J.R.
Clifford (1848-1933), West Virginia’s first African American lawyer.

                                    Justice Joseph P. Albright was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals in
                                     November 2000 for a full twelve-year term. He was born in Wood County, West
                                     Virginia, on November 8, 1938. He married the late Patricia Ann Deem in 1958. They
                                     had four children, Terri Albright Cavi, Dr. Lettie Albright Muckley, Joseph P. Albright,
                                     Jr., and the late John Patrick Albright. In 1995, Justice Albright married the former
                                     Nancie Gensert Divvens. Mrs. Albright has three children, Susan Divvens Bowman,
                                     Debbie Divvens Rake, and Sandy Divvens Fox. Justice Albright earned a Bachelor of
                                     Business Administration degree, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame and
                                     a law degree from the Notre Dame Law School. At Notre Dame Law School, he won
       Justice Joeseph P. Albright   the Webber Prize for Appellate Advocacy and was a member of the Notre Dame Law
                                     Review. Justice Albright practiced law in Parkersburg and surrounding counties from
    1962 until September 1995. In September 1995, then-Governor Gaston Caperton appointed him to an unexpired
    term on the Supreme Court of Appeals. He served through December 1996. After his former service on the Court, he
    resumed his law practice in Parkersburg and Charleston. Since 1959, he has been an officer and director of Albright’s of
    Belpre, Inc., a family corporation which owns and operates Belpre Furniture, a retail furniture business with locations in
    Belpre, Ohio, and Parkersburg. A former assistant prosecuting attorney of Wood County and former city attorney for the
    City of Parkersburg, Justice Albright was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1970 and to six more terms
    commencing in 1974. He served as Chairman of the House Education Committee (1977-78), Chairman of the House
    Judiciary Committee (1979-84), and as 52nd Speaker of the House of Delegates in 1985 and 1986. He has served on a
    number of public and quasi-public boards and commissions, including the Parkersburg Charter Board from 1969-1970,
    when Parkersburg adopted a new city charter. He is a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Parkersburg. He
    served as Chief Justice in 2005.

                                     Justice Brent D. Benjamin was elected to a full twelve-year term on the
                                       Supreme Court of Appeals in November 2004. He is a native of Marietta, Ohio.
                                       After graduation from law school in 1984, he settled in Charleston, West Virginia.
                                       He is married to the former Janice Taylor. They have five children, Paul, Mary, Laura,
                                       Amanda, and Evan. Justice Benjamin is a graduate of The Ohio State University,
                                       from which he holds both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. Before his election,
                                       he was a principal attorney with Robinson and McElwee, PLLC, in Charleston.
                                       His twenty-year practice at that firm involved general civil litigation in state and
             Justice Brent D. Benjamin
                                       federal courts, including toxic torts and complex litigation. His civil rights practice
       Justice Brent D. Benjamin       focused on protecting children from physical and sexual abuse. He has practiced
                                       in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States
    District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and
    the Commonwealth of Kentucky Supreme Court. Since his election, Justice Benjamin has been a regular presenter
    and instructor in a variety of public forums and legal conferences, including a speech on judicial elections at the
    National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. He is a 1999 graduate of Leadership West Virginia. Away from his
    judicial duties, Justice Benjamin is also a current member of the Hocking College Archaeological Mission, and he
    has participated in archaeological excavations in the United States and Egypt. Justice Benjamin attends Christ
    Church United Methodist, in Charleston.

                             Senior Status Justice Thomas E. McHugh was elected to the Supreme
                             Court in 1980 and was re-elected to a second twelve-year term in 1992.  He
                             served as Chief Justice in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995, and 1996.  He retired on
                             December 31, 1997. After his retirement, he practiced law in the Charleston law
                             firm of Allen Guthrie McHugh and Thomas.  Since 2003 he had been of counsel
                             and had restricted his practice to mediation. He began sitting by Designation
                             as Senior Status Justice on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on
                             September 11, 2008, when Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard appointed him to serve

    Senior Status Justice    during the illness of Justice Joseph Albright. Senior Status Justice McHugh was
    Thomas E. McHugh         born in Charleston on March 26, 1936, and is a 1958 graduate of West Virginia
University and a Distinguished Military Graduate and a 1964 graduate of West Virginia University College of
Law.  In law school he was a member of the Order of the Coif, a legal honorary, and was associate editor of the
West Virginia Law Review.  He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1958 to 1961. He was
a law clerk to West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Harlan Calhoun from 1966 to 1968.  He was elected Judge in
the Circuit Court of Kanawha County in 1974, re-elected in 1976, and served as Chief Circuit Judge from 1974
to 1980. Senior Status Justice McHugh was President of the West Virginia Judicial Association in 1981-1982.  He
is a former member of the Judicial Review Board of West Virginia and was a member of the Visiting Committee
of the West Virginia University College of Law from 1991 to 1995, serving as Chairman of that Committee from
1994 to 1995.  He was a member of the Dean Search Committee of the West Virginia University College of
Law from 1991 to 1992 and from 1997 to 1998.  He is the recipient of the Mountain Honorary, Distinguished
West Virginian Award, the 1996 Special Award of Achievement in the Administration of Justice from The West
Virginia State Bar, the 1996 Public Service Award from the Mountain State Bar Association, a 1998 Certification
of Completion of Mediation Training from Duke University Private Adjudication Center, the 1998 Outstanding
Achievement Award from the Kanawha County Bar Association, and the 1998 Justicia Officium Award from
the West Virginia University College of Law.  Senior Status Justice McHugh is a West Virginia Bar Foundation
Fellow; and an Emeritus Member, Judge John A. Field, Jr., American Inns of Court.  He is Director Emeritus of
the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.  He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Thomas Memorial
Hospital.  He is a member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. He and his wife, Judy, have four children,
Karen, Cindy, James, and John; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

                        West Virginia Judicial System

                                                    Court Of Last Resort
    Original jurisdiction in proceedings of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition and certiorari. Appellate juris-
    diction in civil cases at law over $300 or in equity, in cases involving constitutionality of a law, in felony and
    misdemeanor matters appealed from circuit court. Appeals of divorce and other domestic relations decisions in
    family court if both parties agree not to appeal first to circuit court. The Supreme Court also receives workers’
    compensation appeals directly from the state administrative agency and receives other state administrative ap-
    peals from the circuit court.

                                        Trial Court Of General Jurisdiction                 Trial Court Of Limited
                                                        Jurisdiction:                             Jurisdiction
                                     Civil cases at law of $300 or more in equity.                Jurisdiction:
                                     Felonies and misdemeanors. Juvenile matters.        Divorce, annulment, separate
                                     Appeals de novo or on the record from magis-        maintenance, family support,
                                     trate court and municipal court. Appeals from       paternity, child custody, visita-
                                     state administrative agencies, excluding workers’   tion. Final protective orders
                                     compensation. Appeals from family court deci-       in domestic violence appeals
                                     sions. Child abuse and neglect.                     from magistrate court.

                                           Trial Court Of Limited Jurisdiction
                                Civil actions of $5000 or less. Felony preliminary hearings.
                                Misdemeanors. Landlord-tenant matters. Traffic violations.
                                 Emergency protective orders in domestic violence cases.

                                                     Municipal Court
                                            Trial Court Of Limited Jurisdiction
               Ordinance and traffic violations. Municipal courts are organized and operated at the local level.

      he Administrative Office of the Courts provides support to the
      Supreme Court of Appeals and the entire state court system. The
      administrative director, a Constitutional Officer, is appointed by the
Supreme Court and oversees the Administrative Office of the Courts.

                                             Administrative Director

 Office of Bar Admissions Administrator                            Deputy Administrative Director
   Oversees daily operations and bi-annual meetings
  of the Board of Law Examiners, which is in charge of                  Office of General Counsel
   administering the Bar exam to prospective lawyers;
     provides records maintenance and monitoring                 Provides legal counsel to administrative director
   throughout the Bar application process; reports to
  administrative director for matters of administration                Division of Special Projects
                                                                  Provides administrative and advisory counsel to
  Office of Judicial Investigation Commission                  task forces, boards, panels, and commissions dealing
   Determines whether probable cause exists to charge               primarily with social and equal justice issues;
  judicial officers with violations of the Code of Judicial      studies and reports on comparative state judicial
     Conduct. Commission’s counsel reports to the                      administrative policies and procedures
 administrative director of the courts for administrative
    matters, and the administrative director may seek                   Division of Court Services
advisory opinions on whether contemplated actions may
   constitute violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct         Provides circuit clerks’ liaison, jury management,
                                                                   Americans with Disabilities Act coordination,
         Division of Judicial Education                             statistical analysis, and fatality review team
    Oversees training programs for all judicial officers         management; oversees family court facility leases,
                     and court staff                              grants management, and systems improvement

       Division of Fiscal Management                                    Division of Court Security
       Oversees court system budgetary matters,                   Oversees judicial system security and support
        including cost allocation, appropriations,
       purchasing, and credit card administration                    Division of Public Information
                                                                  Issues publications and provides press relations
      Division of Family Court Services                                          for judicial system
 Provides training and support services to family courts,
                  judges and their staff
                                                                              State Law Library
        Division of Human Resources                           Provides research and reference service and instruction,
                                                               document delivery, and legal workshops for the public
        Oversees court system personnel issues,
       payroll processing, and employee benefits                      Division of Mental Hygiene
                                                                     and Treatment Court Services
   Division of Magistrate Court Services
                                                                       Oversees involuntary commitment,
  Provides administrative support for magistrate courts,               guardianship/conservatorship, and
            magistrates, clerks, and assistants                       West Virginia’s problem-solving courts

       Division of Technology Services                               Division of Probation Services
Oversees Unified Judicial Application information system,           Oversees circuit court probation services,
        networking, e-mail, hardware, software,                          including policy development;
    technology systems, management and support                     administers Interstate Compact for Juveniles

        Division of Children’s Services                          Division of Administrative Services
 Assists with initiatives to improve outcomes for children          Oversees facilities, inventory and surplus,
and families involved in child abuse and neglect and youth       recording, and provides court reporting support
services cases, including the Court Improvement Program;
  coordinates Supreme Court civic education programs

                                            A year of progress
                                               By Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard

              he West Virginia court system in 2008                     In 2008, there
              continued to be on the cutting edge on many          were 35,366 new cases
              fronts. I am exceedingly proud of our justice        filed in family courts in
     system, and I want to take this opportunity to enumerate      West Virginia. Of those,
     some of our accomplishments this year, many of which          15,290 were domestic
     you can read more about in this annual report.                violence, 11,768 were
         The year 2008 has been a year of innovation. We           divorces, and 8,308
     have made numerous advances in the use of technology          were other domestic
     throughout the state and at all levels of the court system.   relations. There also
     We have made improvements in family court services            were 10,539 modifi-
     and are prepared for the addition of ten new family           cation and contempt
     court judges on January 1, 2009. And we are ready to          proceedings in cases
     take on new challenges in 2009 in the daunting area of        reopened during the
     supervising sex offenders, a new task the Legislature has     year, which were not
     required of our probation officers.                           counted as new cases                 Chief Justice
                                                                   filed. Those proceed-            Elliott E. Maynard
          West Virginia’s Supreme Court in 2008 remained
                                                                   ings accounted for 29.8
     the busiest appellate court of its type in the nation,
                                                                   percent of the family court judges’ statewide workload.
     according to the National Center for State Courts. In
     2005, the most recent year for which comparative infor-           The total number of new cases filed in family
     mation is available, our Court reviewed 2,983 petitions       courts has remained relatively steady since the family
     for appeal and other filings, exceeding the next-busiest      courts were established. There were 35,165 cases in
                               state, Nevada, by almost            2002; 35,118 in 2003; 36,224 in 2004; 39,180 in 2005;
                               fifty percent. Our Court            36,479 in 2006; and 34,556 in 2007.
                               ranked third overall in the              Our judges work hard, and they deserve to be
                               number of appeals filed per         paid better for their work and their expertise. Our
                               100,000 population, behind          family court judges, especially, deserve better. Their
                               the District of Columbia and        annual salaries of $82,500 are the lowest in the nation.
                               Louisiana.                          According to a National Center for State Courts
                                      After an all-time record     survey, our circuit judges’ salaries of $116,000 rank
                                  number of filings in 2007,       forty-second in the nation.
                                  the number of new cases filed    (Our Supreme Court justice
                                  in 2008 decreased by thirty-     salaries of $121,000 rank
                                  nine percent to 2,411. In        forty-third.) I hope the
Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard  2006 the Court considered        Legislature sees fit to rectify
greets House Sergeant at Arms Oce 3,566 appeals. There were        this sad situation soon.
Smith before Smith introduces the
Court at Governor Joe Manchin     3,954 new petitions filed in         The Supreme Court
III’s 2008 State of the State     our Court in 2007. All those     in October approved rule
address. Photo by Bob Wojcieszak,
Charleston Daily Mail.            cases receive a full consider-   changes for mass litiga-
                                  ation in conference, even if     tion that will improve case
        they are not granted. The Court now considers almost       management and streamline
        four times the number of appeals as it did twenty-five     the process in this important
        years ago.                                                 area of complex litigation.
         Our circuit court and family court judges’ caseloads      The Mass Litigation Panel,
     crept up. In 2008, a total of 51,216 cases were filed in      under the chairmanship of
     West Virginia’s circuit courts. Of that, 33,573 filings       Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats
     were in civil cases, 9,554 were criminal cases, and 8,089     of the Nineteenth Judicial
     were juvenile matters. The total case filings compare to      Circuit of Barbour and
     total filings of 44,170 in 2002; 47,772 in 2003; 46,890       Taylor Counties, has hired a
     in 2004; 48,535 in 2005; 47,998 in 2006; and 49,589           coordinator, Mass Litigation
     in 2007.

Manager Kimberley R. Fields, Esq. The Panel in the
future will require electronic filing of documents
for flood lawsuits, asbestos cases, and other mass
litigation. West Virginia will become one of the
most advanced states in this area; twenty-one states
use electronic filings, but only two use it statewide.
    In 2008 the Supreme Court Administrative
Office, under the direction of Administrative
Director Steve Canterbury, continued to
make great progress toward implementing the
Court’s case management system, named the
Unified Judicial Application (UJA). The UJA                   Governor Joe Manchin III signs a law creating a second circuit judge
is now in full use as the active case data system in          position in the Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuit of Wayne County.
                                                              Standing to the governor’s left are Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt and
the Greenbrier County Magistrate Clerk’s Office,              Senior Status Judge Robert Chafin. Photo by Steven Wayne Rotsch
including both docket and financial processing. The
financial data portion of the UJA in that county was
                                                                   In September Justices Brent Benjamin and Larry
converted in 2008.
                                                              Starcher joined Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit Judge
     Supreme Court Administrative Office personnel            Donald Cookman, Governor Joe Manchin III and
also worked with county commissions around West               Hampshire County officials in Romney for the opening
Virginia to improve the facilities in which courts do their   of the new Hampshire County Judicial Center. The
work. We will welcome ten new family court judges to          state-of-the-art building will provide new quarters for
our ranks on January 1, 2009, and it has been our task        magistrates, family court judges, Judge Cookman, and a
this year to make sure that, when they start work, they       new circuit judge, Jerry D. Moore, whom Governor Joe
have offices, courtrooms, and equipment. The Division         Manchin III appointed on December 19.
of Family Court Services has been working on facility
                                                                   Judge Moore was appointed to one of three new
upgrades and additions with Monongalia, Harrison,
                                                              circuit judge seats created by Senate Bill 291, which
Logan, Kanawha, Mason, McDowell, Randolph,
                                                              passed during the 2008 regular session. The other
and Boone Counties. The Division of Family Court
                                                              two positions are in the Ninth and Twenty-Fourth
Services was proud to open new facilities in Mason,
                                                              Judicial Circuits. The governor on December 5
Jefferson, Hampshire, and Preston Counties.
                                                              appointed Omar J. Aboulhosn to the position in the
                                                              Ninth Circuit and James H. Young, Jr., to the position
                                                                                in the Twenty-Fourth Circuit.
                                                                                Because Judge Aboulhosn had been
                                                                                elected in November to a position
                                                                                as a Family Court Judge in the
                                                                                Twelfth Family Court Circuit of
                                                                                Mercer and McDowell Counties,
                                                                                Governor Manchin on December
                                                                                19 appointed Anthony Bisaha
                                                                                to fill the vacancy created by the
                                                                                elevation of Judge Aboulhosn to
                                                                                the Circuit Court bench.

                                                                                     Governor Joe Manchin III signs a law creating
                                                                                     a third circuit judge position in the Ninth
                                                                                     Judicial Circuit in Mercer County. Standing
                                                                                     behind the governor are, from left, Senator
                                                                                     John Pat Fanning, D-McDowell; Delegate
                                                                                     Michael Burdiss, D-Wyoming; Senator Don
                                                                                     Caruth, R-Mercer; Tom Colley, Editor of
                                                                                     the Bluefield Daily Telegraph; and Circuit
                                                                                     Judge Derek C. Swope. Photo by John Nelson,
                                                                                     Bluefield Daily Telegraph

          Also in 2008, Division of Court Services Director        in the state – and they are primarily operating due to
     Angie Saunders used her grant-writing abilities to help       the countless hours of volunteerism on the part of
     land millions of dollars in federal funds for West Virginia   committed public servants and other interested parties
     court programs. For example, she secured an $815,000          in the communities.
     grant that made it possible to purchase technology for a           In fact, the foundation for each of these drug courts
     domestic violence registry and to pay for training to use     is community corrections. In West Virginia, three
     it. The grant also provided funding to hire a full-time       people are typically given credit for founding commu-
     data manager and a full-time programmer. Under this           nity corrections, and all three now work for our judicial
     grant, twenty-seven state and federal agencies have come      branch – First Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan, First
     together to work collaboratively on the registry and          Circuit Chief Probation Officer Jim Lee (who has also
     training in domestic violence-related cases.                  served as the Chairman of the Community Corrections
          Angie Saunders and Division of Family Court              Committee since its inception), and Steve Canterbury
     Services Director Lisa Tackett have spent the year            (who was Director of the Regional Jail Authority
     working with the West Virginia State Police on the very       when he worked with the others to found Community
     complicated details of creating the statewide domestic        Corrections). The Community Corrections day report
     violence registry. The Legislature in 2001 directed the       centers are used for drug testing, life skills training,
     State Police to create the automated, statewide regis-        group and individual counseling, and community work
     try of domestic violence protective orders. Work was          assignments. Close to a thousand people are now in
     hindered by a lack of funding and dedicated staff, and        community corrections programs throughout the state,
     problems developing technology. Legislation enabling          offenders who would otherwise be in West Virginia’s
     the Court to house the database was effective June 6,         already overcrowded jails.
     2008. During the next several months, the registry will           Children’s issues continued to take center stage for
     be a reality.                                                 the Court in 2008, following Justice Robin Jean Davis’s
          Since Steve Canterbury became Administrative             “Year of the Child” in 2006 and “Year of the Child, Too”
     Director on July 1, 2005, he and Ms. Saunders have            in 2007. The Court-sponsored Court Improvement
     worked collaboratively with various judges and division       Program, led by Twenty-Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge
     staff in the Administrative Office to obtain a number of      Gary L. Johnson, completed several projects, includ-
     federal grants. Indeed, when Mr. Canterbury arrived,          ing a comprehensive study of multidisciplinary treat-
     the Court had two grants totaling approximately               ment teams training on the electronic Child Abuse
     $225,000. Currently, the federal grants committed to          and Neglect database, which tracks more than twenty
     the Court total approximately $6.1 million!                   performance measures in child abuse and neglect cases.
          Grants have made possible a dramatic expansion in        The Court Improvement Program also participated
     the use of drug courts throughout the state. At the end       in three annual child abuse and neglect cross-training
     of 2008, four adult drug courts – serving the Northern        conferences in July, approved a uniform child and family
     Panhandle (Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, and               case plan for child abuse and neglect cases to be imple-
     Wetzel Counties), the West Central region (Wood, Wirt,        mented in December, completed a study of the Interstate
     Doddridge, and Ritchie Counties), Mercer County, and          Compact for the Placement of Children, and added
     the Southwestern region (Lincoln, Logan and Boone             information to the CIP Web site: www.wvcip.com.
     Counties) – are successfully operating. Two juvenile               In 2007, the Division of Family Court Services
     drug courts – in Cabell and Wayne Counties – are also         began training providers for the newly developed
     up and running. Eight more are in the process of being        “Advanced Child-Focused Parent Education” Program.
     established – in Kanawha, Cabell, Monongalia, Preston,        This program was developed to target high conflict
     Raleigh, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, and the Southwestern         parents and assist divorcing or divorced parents in reduc-
     region (including Logan, Lincoln, and Boone Counties).        ing parental conflict and the risk factors that influence
         The circuit judges, family court judges, magistrates,     the child’s post-separation adjustment. In 2008 ten
     prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers,           regional programs began holding classes and helping
     and law enforcement officers who are involved in              parents throughout the State.
     making these problem-solving courts work do so with              The Court also decided that the issues of protecting
     absolutely no additional compensation. Keeping these          West Virginia’s children needed their own focused staff.
     courts running is one of the most important missions          Thus, to coordinate the Court’s collaborative efforts

                                                                  Senior Status Justice
to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of
                                                                     McHugh fills in
children in the court system, the Court created the                  during Justice
                                                                    Albright’s illness
new Division of Children’s Services this year. A young,
enthusiastic lawyer who began her work with the Court

in the Division of Family Court Services, Nikki Tennis,
is the perfect choice to be the division’s first director.             n September 11, 2008, West Virginia Supreme
                                                                       C ou r t Chief Justice Elliott E . Maynard
     The Supreme Court’s Division of Probation
                                                                       appointed Senior Status Supreme Court
Services spent 2008 preparing to carry out the provi-
                                                             Justice T h o m a s E . M c H u g h to serve in the
sions of the Child Protection Act of 2006 (House Bill
                                                             seat of Justice Joseph P. Albright during Justice Albright’s
101, passed June 14, 2006). In fact, the first probation
                                                             absence after surgery.
officers hired specifically to supervise sex offenders
under provisions of the Act were sworn in on November             Justice Albright notified
7 in the Supreme Court. Those five probation officers        Chief Justice Maynard on
will operate a pilot program to carry out provisions of      September 9, 2008, that his
the new law, which requires extended supervision for         doctors had advised him that
sexual offenders, especially those convicted of crimes       he should not participate in
against children. After the pilot program runs for           the fall term of court. In a
approximately nine months, the supervision program           letter to the Court, Justice
will be expanded one region at a time throughout the         Albright said, “While my
state over the next two or three years. A total of thirty    powers of analysis are fully
probation officers eventually will be hired to carry         intact, it appears preferable
                                                                                            Justice Thomas E. McHugh
out provisions of the law. A new position already has        for me to concentrate on the
been created within the Administrative Office of the         healing of my body and the restoration of my physical
Supreme Court of Appeals to oversee the Sex Offender         abilities.”
Intensive Supervision Program. Ms. Caren Bills, a                  Justice Albright previously had indicated he would
veteran probation officer, began work September 1,           participate via computer monitoring in cases during the
2008, in this vital and difficult job.                       fall term. Justice Albright’s letter to Chief Justice Maynard
     Also in 2008, the Court’s Division of                   arrived as the Court was preparing to return to the bench
Technology Services continued to rebuild the                 for a Tuesday afternoon argument docket. Chief Justice
court’s network domain and directory structure               Maynard then postponed the argument docket for that
from .org to .gov. This new structure allows a               afternoon, and the motion docket and the argument
timelier and more efficient system operation and             docket scheduled for the next day, September 10, 2008, to
allows the public to identify the Court’s domain             allow him time to find a replacement for Justice Albright.
as a government entity in electronic data exchange                Justice Albright’s letter said he hoped to return to
and communication, including e-mail.          New            the bench in the January term. Justice Albright had an
programs and policies were implemented in 2008               esophagectomy on July 28, 2008, at the University of
greatly to enhance the security and reliability of           Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital.
the Courts network. The division also developed a                 Chief Justice Maynard entered an administrative
centralized depot for technology equipment order-            order appointing Senior Status Justice McHugh to replace
ing, storage, and disbursement. This will signifi-           Justice Albright during his absence. Senior Status Justice
cantly reduce the cost of equipment and reduce the           McHugh began work at the Supreme Court on Friday,
time to replace and install equipment.                       September 12.
    These are only a few of the highlights of our                 “I greatly respect the Court. It is an honor to serve
year at the Supreme Court. We are keeping up                 in Justice Albright’s place during his period of recovery,”
with the need to change in the post-modern era,              Senior Status Justice McHugh said.
working hard to maintain an efficient court system
                                                                  Senior Status Justice McHugh was elected to the
that provides justice to every litigant and defen-
                                                             Supreme Court in 1980 and was re-elected to a
dant in a timely manner. I hope as you read the
                                                             second twelve-year term in 1992. He served as Chief
2008 Annual Report you will agree with me that
                                                             Justice in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995 and 1996. He retired
West Virginia has a judicial system and a judiciary
                                                             on December 31, 1997.
in which it can take pride.

                   Justice Menis E. Ketchum sworn in during
                     ceremony in Supreme Court chamber

              enis E. Ketchum was sworn in as a Justice                    fortunate the walls of the conference room don’t talk.”
              of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West                           But, he said, “There really is a sense of camaraderie.
              Virginia during a ceremony on Thursday,                      When a justice leaves the Court, rarely does a justice
     December 18, 2008, in the Chamber of the Supreme                      criticize the Court because of that camaraderie and
     Court. Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael                             sense of unity. It’s very important the public have confi-
     Thornsbury delivered the oath of office.                              dence in the Court. You will be very instrumental in
         Justice Ketchum was elected to a full twelve-year                 keeping up that public confidence.”
     term on the Supreme Court of Appeals on November                          Representing the executive branch, Governor Joe
     4, 2008. His term begins on January 1, 2009.                          Manchin III said Justice Ketchum has a passion for the
         The ceremony began with Justice Ketchum’s six                     law and compassion for his fellow man.
     grandchildren walking in and sitting at the Courtroom                     During the campaign for the Court, Justice
     attorney’s table, between their grandfather and Judge                 Ketchum got to know the state like few others, the
     Thornsbury. The children are M.E. Ketchum, 7; Philip                  governor said. “Menis has done it all,” he said.
     Ketchum, 8; Jacob Ketchum, 11; Kirsten Ketchum 9;
                                                                                The governor also acknowledged the justice’s wife,
     Annie Morgan, 7; and Elizabeth Morgan, 10.
                                                                           Judy Ketchum, saying, “Without a strong partner, you
          The invocation was given by Chaplin (Major                       can’t do it. It’s a true commitment.
     Retired) Pablo Gonzales. Justice Brent D. Benjamin
                                                                                “Menis, we expect great things. Only great things
     welcomed the overflow crowd, Justice Ketchum, and
                                                                           are expected of great people,” the governor said. “With
     his family.
                                                                           challenges come opportunities. I see more opportuni-
          Representing the judicial branch of government,                  ties than I ever have.”
     Senior Status Justice Thomas McHugh welcomed
                                                                               Representing the legislative branch, House Speaker
     Justice Ketchum, saying that over the history of the
                                                                           Rick Thompson, a Wayne County attorney, said, “From
     Supreme Court, justices have always disagreed on
                                                                           the earliest days of law school, we are taught to revere
     issues, sometimes very strongly. He joked that, “It’s very
                                                                           and honor the Supreme Court.”
                                                                                 Speaker Thompson noted that when King
                                                                            Solomon ascended the throne of Israel, he prayed for a
                                                                            listening heart. “That is what I want for you,” Speaker
                                                                            Thompson told Justice Ketchum. “If you do so, I am
                                                                            confident you will be blessed.”
                                                                                 Judge Robert King of the U.S. Fourth Circuit
                                                                            Court of Appeals represented the federal judiciary. A
                                                                            longtime friend of Justice Ketchum, he recalled that
                                                                            Justice Ketchum was one of the top students when
                                                                            they were in law school together.
                                                                                Judge King reviewed the highlights of Justice
                                                                            Ketchum’s career, and noted his willingness to
                                                                            represent indigent criminal defendants in court-
                                                                            appointed cases.
                                                                                 “He’s done it all as a lawyer. I’m proud to say, he’s
                                                                            about to become a judge’s judge,” Judge King said.
                                                                            “Menis will be an exemplary leader on the Court and
                                                                            of the state’s judiciary.”
Judy Ketchum helps her husband, Justice Menis Ketchum, into his robe for
the first time. Photo by Michael Switzer
                                                                              Judge David Pancake of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in
                                                                           Cabell County represented the West Virginia Judiciary.

The Ketchum family. Top row from left: Lisa Ketchum, Chad Ketchum, Justice Menis Ketchum, Judy Ketchum, Jim Morgan, Kelli Morgan,
Bert Ketchum, and Sheryl Ketchum. Bottom row from left: Philip Ketchum, M.E. Ketchum, Jacob Ketchum, Kirsten Ketchum, Elizabeth
Morgan, and Annie Morgan. Photo by Michael Switzer

    “This man is unparalleled in the state as a trial               and hard work throughout their marriage and his
lawyer,” Judge Pancake said. “It’s not because of his               campaign.
innate intelligence. It’s because he works like a dog.”                  Mrs. Ketchum noted that the date of the swearing-
    Cases involving small properties counted                        in ceremony, December 18, was the birthday of Justice
as much to Justice Ketchum when he was an                           Ketchum’s late father, Chad W. Ketchum, who died in
attorney representing a client as cases involving                   1998. “I know he was here today. He would be so proud
large corporations, Judge Pancake said.                             of his son,” she said.
    “He’s unexcelled as a father, a granddad, a person.                 Justice Ketchum was then sworn into office by
He’s cared enough to invest his life into ours for the              Judge Thornsbury, a longtime friend. The Justice’s
next twelve years. For that, I am grateful and I’m proud            family helped him into his robe.
to have you as my friend,” Judge Pancake said.                           “I will work hard and I will be fair and impartial.
    Justice Ketchum joked that, “I’m not going to give              Thank you very much. And thank you, West Virginia,”
a speech because I don’t have to anymore.” Instead, he              Justice Ketchum said.
introduced his wife, and thanked her for her support

             Justice Margaret L. Workman sworn in during
                 ceremony in Supreme Court Chamber

                 argaret L. Workman was sworn in to her                         “This country stands for two things, sovereignty
                 second term as a Justice of the Supreme                    of the people and the rule of law,” Justice Benjamin
                 Court of Appeals of West Virginia during                   said, adding that Justice Workman’s election repre-
     a ceremony on Monday, December 29, 2008, in the                        sents both.
     Chamber of the Supreme Court. Senior Status Supreme                        After being sworn in, being helped into her
     Court Justice Thomas E. McHugh administered the                        robe by her children, and taking the bench, Justice
     oath of office.                                                        Workman said, “I will be strong and tough when
                                                                                                         the time requires it.
                                                                                                         I will show compas-
                                                                                                         sion when the time
                                                                                                         requires it.”
                                                                                                                       And she said she
                                                                                                                  would “accept the
                                                                                                                  mantle . . . to speak for
                                                                                                                  the voiceless and the
                                                                                                                  weak. This is a sacred
                                                                                                                  place for me, because
                                                                                                                  of all it represents.”
                                                                                                                      Justice McHugh
                                                                                                                  reminisced about the
                                                                                                                  late Justice T homa s
                                                                                                                  Miller, with whom he
                                                                                                                  and Justice Workman
                                                                                                                  served during her first
                                                                                                                  term on the Supreme
                                                                                                                       “He would be very
                                                                                                                  proud of this day,”
                                                                                                                  Justice McHugh said.
     Senior Status Justice Thomas E. McHugh delivers the oath of office to Justice Margaret Workman as her son,
     Christopher Gardner, holds the Bible. Photo by Michael Switzer
                                                                                                                 Justice McHugh
                                                                                                            a nd Justice L a rr y
                                                                            Starcher passed along congratulations from Justice
         Justice Workman was elected to a full twelve-year
                                                                            Joseph Albright, who had been on medical leave since
     term on the Supreme Court on November 4, 2008. She
                                                                            September. Justice McHugh was appointed to fill
     previously was elected to the Court in November 1988.
                                                                            Justice Albright’s seat during his absence.
     Her term will begin on January 1, 2009.
                                                                                Justice Starcher joked that, “It’s a pleasure to be
        The swearing-in ceremony began with the
                                                                            here at Justice Workman’s second coronation.”
     Appalachian Children’s Chorus singing “God Bless
     America” in honor of American troops serving overseas.                     Justice Starcher said he has known Justice
                                                                            Workman since he was a candidate for Monongalia
          Justice Brent D. Benjamin welcomed Justice
                                                                            County sheriff and she was a campaign volunteer.
     Workman, her family, and a Chamber full of guests.
                                                                            They later served as circuit judges at the same time, he
     He noted that in 1988 Justice Workman was the first
                                                                            in Monongalia County and she in Kanawha County.
     woman elected to the Supreme Court and the first
                                                                            And then they served on the Supreme Court together
     woman elected to statewide office, and now she and
                                                                            during her first term.
     Justice Robin Jean Davis are the only women to be
     elected to statewide office twice.

 “My greatest source                                                                                           “Just as she
                                                                                                           would for anyone
  of pride are my                                                                                          she loves, I’m
                                                                                                           confident my mom
                                                                                                           will throw herself,
  three children.”                                                                                         her energy, and her
                                                                                                           intelligence into

      Justice Workman                                                                                      her job. We love
                                                                                                           you, mom.”
                                                                                                                Justice McHugh
                                                                                                           then delivered the
    “Peggy was interested in seeing that justice was                                                       oath of office, while
done,” Justice Starcher said. “Peggy has never forgot-                                                     Justice Workman’s
ten her roots. She was a protector of people’s rights.                                                     son, Christopher
She tries to see that everyone gets a fair shake.”                                                         Gardner, held the
    Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Irene                   Justice Margaret Workman’s daughter,
                                                               Lindsay Gardner, spoke at the swearing-in
                                                                                                     Upon taking
Berger spoke as a representative of the West                   ceremony. Photo by Michael Switzer
Virginia judiciary.                                                                              the bench, Justice
                                                                Workman said, “It’s kind of a weird feeling to be
    “I’m very happy for you,” she told Justice Workman.
                                                                back here in the same position.”
“I’m happy for the State of West Virginia.
                                                                    She noted that in her first term she served with
     “You wanted the position. You got up, you got
                                                                thirteen different Justices. “We had our arguments
out, and you worked for it. You bring what I consider
                                                                over issues. It was always very collegial. It was fun.”
a unique perspective of a circuit judge, a justice, and a
recent practitioner,” Judge Berger said.                              She thanked her family for a lifetime of support.
    She recalled that she met Justice Workman when                   “My greatest source of pride are my three children,”
Judge Berger was a young attorney and Justice Workman           Justice Workman said. Son Ted Gardner, a student
was a much more experienced attorney.                           in California, could not attend the ceremony, so she
                                                                showed a photo of him to the crowd. “They have always
      As an attorney, as a female circuit judge, and as the
                                                                been my inspiration and my greatest source of joy.”
first woman on the Supreme Court, “You opened doors for
us to come behind,” Judge Berger said. “Welcome back.”              She said she learned a lot during her years in private
                                                                practice that she will put to good use as a justice.
     Justice Workman’s daughter, Lindsay E. Gardner, said
of her mother, “She cares about people, justice, fairness,          “I thank you for your continued support. I thank
and equality. She’s a great mom, whether it’s supporting us,    you for your continued prayers.”
or giving us the courage to support ourselves.”                    The program closed with more music by the
    She joked that during her mother’s first term, “It          Appalachian Children’s Chorus, including “Almost
was very strange reading about her in my sixth-grade            Heaven.”
textbooks and coming home to see her cook dinner.

                                              Supreme Court of Appeals
                                                  of West Virginia
                                                2008 Statistical Report

     Case filings
         After an all-time record number of filings in 2007, the number of new cases filed in 2008 decreased by thirty-
     nine percent to 2,411. Filing rates returned to levels seen in 1994 and 2004. As illustrated in Figure 1, the number
     of petitions filed in 2008 remains high when compared to years prior to 1990.
          The decrease in the number of new petitions filed in 2008 is attributable in large part to a fifty percent drop
     in the number of workers’ compensation petitions filed. The all-time high of 2,894 filed in 2007 decreased by half
     in 2008, to 1,447. This decrease may signal the emerging stability in the decision-making body at the agency level,
     following a period of transition as the Office of Judges and the Board of Review became part of the Office of the
     Insurance Commissioner.

     Figure 1

    Apart from workers’ compensation cases, filings in 2008 remained steady or declined across most case types,
with domestic relations filings showing the only significant increase. (See Table 1.)

Table 1
     In 2003, appeals from family court orders and appeals in abuse and neglect cases began to be counted as part
of the domestic case type. These cases were previously counted as part of the general civil case type, thus explain-
ing the apparent dip in civil filings in 2003. After taking this adjustment into account, general civil appeals have
shown a steady decline in the past six years, dropping twenty-seven percent since 2003.

              Figure 2

        The number of habeas corpus petitions filed in 2008 was the lowest number in the past twenty-five years. The
     number of certified questions filed also continued a declining trend since 2004.
          In non-compensation cases, filing trends have been steady in certain areas, while fluctuating in other areas,
     as seen in Figure 2. Criminal filings have remained largely steady since 1985, while requests for extraordinary
     remedies have declined in recent    Figure 3
     years. The trend in domestic
     cases has been on the rise each
     year since 2003. The category
     “Other” includes ethics cases,
     certified questions, and petitions
     for bail. This category has been
     largely steady since 1985, apart
     from a spike in ethics filings in
     1994, and a spike in certified
     questions in 2004.
         The overall composition of
     cases filed in 2008, as shown in
     Figure 3, continues to reflect the
     breadth and scope of the Court’s
     workload. Although in 2007
     workers’ compensation cases
     made up nearly three-quarters
     of all new filings, in 2008 that
     figure fell to sixty percent. This
     downward trend is expected to
     continue in 2009.

Case disposition
     The Court can dispose of cases by a variety of methods, resulting in opinions and orders. Because the Court’s
review of all petitions is discretionary, some cases are disposed by entry of a refusal order.1 Other cases are granted
and set for argument, but later withdrawn, dismissed, or otherwise disposed by order. After being granted,
most non-compensation cases are disposed by written opinion. Most compensation appeals that are granted are
ultimately disposed by memorandum order.2
     The case clearance percentage is a practical measure of the Court’s workload in 2008, and its ability to keep
pace with recent filing levels. Because of the extraordinary workers’ compensation filings in recent years, combined
with delays associated with new statutory changes, the case clearance percentage fell to below one hundred percent
in recent years.3 In 2008, however, the Court disposed of 4,102 cases, for a clearance rate of 170 percent, nearly
triple the percentage reached in the prior year. The overall breakdown of the number of cases by disposition
method is shown in Table 2. 4
Table 2

    Other components of the Court’s workload are not reflected in Table 2. In addition to disposing of cases filed,
the Court considered 106 pre-petition matters, which was down from last year’s total of 201. Pre-petition matters
often involve emergent questions for litigants, such as whether a stay should be granted pending appeal.
     The number of petitions for rehearing fell slightly in 2008. In 2000, thirty-one petitions for rehearing were
filed. In 2001, that number more than doubled, to sixty-three. In 2002, that number increased again, to eighty-
seven, nearly three times the number filed in 2000. In 2003, forty-three petitions for rehearing were filed. In 2004,
that number fell again, to thirty-six petitions for rehearing filed. In 2005 the number rose slightly to forty-five. In
2006, the number fell by almost half, to twenty-three. That figure held steady in 2007, with twenty-four petitions
for rehearing filed, and fell only slightly in 2008, with twenty-one filed.

1. See W.Va. Const. Art. VIII, sec. 4. (An “appeal shall be allowed . . . only upon a petition assigning error. . . and then only after the
court . . . shall have examined and considered the record and is satisfied that there is probably error in the record, or that it presents
a point proper for the consideration of the court.”)
2. It is important to note that granted cases are not concluded until the mandate issues under Rule of Appellate Procedure 25. Issuance
of the mandate typically occurs thirty days after the opinion or memorandum order. However, for purposes of clarity and consistency
with previous statistical reports, and to conform with national reporting standards, the issuance of an opinion or a memorandum order is
reported as a case closing event.
3. Two main factors combined to cause the clearance rate to fall below typical levels. First, dispositions in workers’ compensation cases
were held in abeyance for about a year beginning in late October 2003, while the Court considered cases involving the impact of the
adoption of Senate Bill 2013, and to what extent the statutory changes could constitutionally be applied retroactively to cases filed before
July 1, 2003. See Wampler Foods, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Div., 216 W.Va. 129, 602 S.E.2d 805 (July 1, 2004). The clearance rate
was only 78 percent in 2003. In 2004, as the Court began to clear pending cases after the Wampler decision was issued, the clearance
rate rose to 95 percent. The second factor occurred over the next three years, when the extraordinary increase in workers’ compensation
petitions made it increasingly difficult to keep pace with new filings. Despite the fact that the Court in 2007 reviewed more than double
the number of compensation petitions than it reviewed as recently as 2005, the overall clearance rate fell to 64 percent in 2007.
4. In 2008, the Court disposed of 50 cases in 48 signed opinions, and disposed of 78 cases in 73 per curiam opinions. The number of
opinions issued and the number of cases disposed in a given year may differ, because a single opinion can dispose of multiple cases. Table
2 reports the number of cases disposed, not the number of opinions issued.

     Discretionary petition disposition
          By narrowing the focus to the disposition of discretionary petitions, rather than the broader area of case dispo-
     sition, it is possible to determine the percentage of petitions for appeal in several categories that were granted by
     the Court in 2008. The petition grant rate is based upon the total number of petitions of a given type actually
     considered by the Court in a given year (which will differ from the number of petitions filed in a given year). Table
     3 sets forth the total number of discretionary petitions considered over the past ten years in each category, along
     with a percentage of the petitions that were granted for full briefing and argument.

     Table 3
         Notable is the significant increase in the number of workers’ compensation petitions reviewed. In addition,
     the percentage of petitions granted rose in the civil and workers’ compensation categories, yielding an overall
     twenty-two percent of petitions granted in 2008. (For a graphical representation of these data, see Table 5 on page
     seven: “Percentage of Discretionary Petitions Granted - Major Case Types - 1999-2008.”) As recognized by the
     National Center for State Courts, “most discretionary petitions filed in both intermediate appellate courts and
     courts of last resort are denied.”5

     5. R. LaFountain, R. Schauffler, S. Strickland, W. Raftery, & C. Bromage, Examining the Work of State Courts, 2006: A National
     Perspective from the Court Statistics Project at 74 (National Center for State Courts 2007). See . . . Among twenty state courts of last
     resort, West Virginia had the fifth-highest percentage of petitions granted in 2005. This ranking would be higher if the National Center’s
     percentage was calculated based upon the number of cases actually considered, versus the number filed in a given year. The Web site
     of the Court Statistics Project, a joint effort by the Conference of State Court Administrators, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the
     National Center for State Courts, contains a wealth of resources and publications related to court statistics. <http://www.ncsconline.

Caseload comparison with comparable courts
    The steady increase of filings in West Virginia is consistent with the increase of filings nationally over the
second half of the twentieth century. In response to the steady increase in filings, the number of states with inter-
mediate appellate courts (IACs) tripled in the same time period; thirteen states had IACs in 1950, compared with
thirty-nine states in 2001. In the past decade, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah have created IACs, despite having
caseloads smaller than that of West Virginia.
    No other comparable appellate court in the country handles as many cases as West Virginia’s court of last
resort. The most recent (2006) data from the National Center for State Courts6 continues to confirm West
Virginia’s position as the busiest appellate court of its type in the country. In 2006, West Virginia’s caseload
exceeded by nearly 1,500 cases that of the next-busiest state, Nevada, and was more than the states of Delaware,
Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming combined.
   Table 4 illustrates the comparable caseload figures for 2006 across jurisdictions without a permanent inter-
mediate appellate court.7 Other measures appearing in the chart, such as the number of cases filed per 100,000
population, are used to compare judicial workloads across diverse jurisdictions.
Table 4

6. R. LaFountain, R. Schauffler, S. Strickland, W. Raftery, & C. Bromage, C. Lee & S. Gibson, Examining the Work of State Courts,
2007: A National Perspective from the Court Statistics Project at 63 (National Center for State Courts 2008). The National Center
reports 2006 filings in West Virginia as 3,631 rather than 3,544.
7. North Dakota has a temporary intermediate appellate court that can be called up from time to time by the North Dakota Supreme
Court to handle overload matters. Because its IAC is temporary and not usually activated, North Dakota is counted as a jurisdiction
without an intermediate appellate court. See Examining the Work of State Courts, 2006, Id., at 68.

               Percentage of Discretionary Petitions Granted
                     — Major Case Types: 1999-2008
     Table 6

          2008 Court board and committee members
West Virginia Board of Law Examiners:                                 Mass Litigation Panel
Members evaluate educational background, credentials,                 The panel develops and implements case management and
character and fitness and competence of each applicant for            trial methodologies to resolve mass litigation referred to it by
admission to the practice of law in West Virginia under the           the Chief Justice. The panel also develops and implements
Supreme Court Rules for Admission.                                    plans for central organization for managing mass litigation.
                    Rule 1.0, Rules for Admission to the                                   Rule 26.01, West Virginia
                    Practice of Law                                                        Trial Court Rules
Lawrence M. Schultz, President, of Martinsburg                        Chairman, Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats, Nineteenth
Ancil G. Ramey, Vice President, of Charleston                             Judicial Circuit of Barbour and Taylor Counties
Ward D. Stone, Jr., Esquire, of Morgantown                            Circuit Judge Jay M. Hoke, Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit of
Sarah N. Hall, Esquire, of Welch                                          Boone and Lincoln Counties
John R. Cyrus, Esquire, of Huntington                                 Circuit Judge John A. Hutchison, Tenth Judicial Circuit of
Sue A. Howard, Esquire, of Wheeling                                       Raleigh County
Bradley J. Pyles, Esquire, of Logan                                   Circuit Judge James P. Mazzone, First Judicial Circuit of
                                                                          Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties
Judicial Hearing Board                                                Circuit Judge Booker T. Stephens, Eighth Judicial Circuit
Members have the authority to conduct hearings on formal                  of McDowell County
complaints filed by the Judicial Investigation Commission             Circuit Judge Derek C. Swope, Ninth Judicial Circuit of
and make recommendations to the Supreme Court of Appeals                  Mercer County
regarding disposition of those complaints.
                    Rule 3.6, Rules of Judicial                       West Virginia Court Security Board
                    Disciplinary Procedure                            Board members make decisions on how money in the court
                                                                      security fund is spent to enhance the security of courts.
Circuit Judge John W. Hatcher, Jr., Chairman, Twelfth                                      W. Va. Code § 51-3-15
     Judicial Circuit of Fayette County
Circuit Judge Rudolph J. Murensky, II, Vice-Chair, Eighth             Chairman, Steven D. Canterbury, Supreme Court
     Judicial Circuit of McDowell County                                   Administrative Director
Circuit Judge Irene C. Berger, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit            Circuit Judge Jack Alsop, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of
     of Kanawha County                                                     Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, and Webster Counties
Family Court Judge Beth Longo, Twenty-First Family                    Family Court Judge William Sinclair, First Family Court
     Court Circuit of Barbour, Preston, and Taylor Counties                Circuit of Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties
Magistrate Tina M. Mouser of Barbour County                           Raleigh County Magistrate Stephen D. Massie
Royce B. Saville, Esquire, of Romney                                  Preston County Circuit Clerk Betsy Castle
Michael D. Lorensen, Esquire, of Martinsburg                          Ritchie County Sheriff Ron Barniak
Joan Chappelle of Huntington                                          First Lieutenant Kevin Foreman, West Virginia State Police
George Poole of Williamson                                                 Headquarters
Staff: Danny C. Staggers, Esquire, of Keyser                          Patrick S. Casey, Esquire, Ohio County
Staff: Charles R. Garten, Esquire, of Charleston                      Staff: Angie Saunders, Director of Court Services for the
                                                                              Supreme Court Administrative Office
Judicial Investigation Commission                                     Staff: Arthur Angus, Director of Court Security for the
Members determine whether probable cause exists to charge a judge             Supreme Court Administrative Office
with a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct promulgated by the   Staff: Leslie Boggess, Associate Deputy Director of
Supreme Court of Appeals to govern the ethical conduct of judges or           Criminal Justice Services
that a judge, because of advancing years and attendant physical and
mental incapacity, should not continue to serve.                      West Virginia Wiretapping and Electronic
                        Rule 1, Rules of Judicial                     Surveillance Act
                        Disciplinary Procedure                        The Act requires the Chief Justice to designate five active
                                                                      circuit court judges individually to hear and rule upon
Chairman, Circuit Judge Fred L. Fox, II, Sixteenth Judicial           applications for orders authorizing the interception of wire,
     Circuit of Marion County                                         oral, or electronic communications.
Circuit Judge Ronald E. Wilson, First Judicial Circuit of                                  W. Va. Code § 62-1D-7
     Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties
Circuit Judge John S. Hrko, Twenty-Seventh Judicial                   Circuit Judge Mark A. Karl, Second Judicial Circuit
     Circuit of Wyoming County                                            of Marshall, Taylor, and Wetzel Counties
Family Court Judge Cynthia Jarrell, Tenth Family Court                Circuit Judge Irene C. Berger, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit
     Circuit of Boone and Lincoln Counties                                of Kanawha County
Magistrate Gail C. Boober of Jefferson County                         Circuit Judge David R. Janes, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit
Senior Status Judge John R. Frazier, Ninth Judicial Circuit               of Marion County
     of Mercer County                                                 Circuit Judge Donald H. Cookman, Twenty-Second
Philip A. Reale, Esquire, of Charleston                                   Judicial Circuit of Hampshire, Hardy, and Pendleton
Daniel Crockett, Esquire, of Dunbar                                       Counties
Alice A. Chakmakian, Esquire, of Charles Town                         Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt, Twenty-Fourth Circuit of
Staff: Charles R. Garten, Esquire, of Charleston                          Wayne County
Staff: Nancy Black

     Court System Budget
           Fiscal Year 2009
     July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009

       State of West Virginia
      Fiscal Year 2009 Budget

            Supreme Court of Appeals
                 Supreme to of Appeals
         Money ReturnedCourtCounties in 2008
                  Money Returned to Counties in 2008
              Circuit Court       Magistrate    Family Court     County Total
Barbour      $      43,578    $      335,343   $    314,769    $       693,690
Berkeley         3,062,566         1,031,328        533,842          4,627,736
Boone              944,449           440,405        315,757          1,700,611
Braxton            938,027           387,078        324,342          1,649,447
Brooke           1,238,596           405,993         15,195          1,659,784
Cabell           4,295,265         1,324,139        655,118          6,274,522
Calhoun            136,289           326,469         40,173            502,931
Clay               158,760           336,301         18,024            513,085
Doddridge          581,249           345,750         15,444            942,443
Fayette          1,690,519           782,965        426,006          2,899,490
Gilmer              44,950           247,629          5,350            297,929
Grant              501,539           330,973          2,169            834,681
Greenbrier       1,645,404           698,449        280,815          2,624,668
Hampshire          876,290           365,523        300,269          1,542,082
Hancock            826,850           576,932         52,216          1,455,998
Hardy              385,028           320,272        145,668            850,968
Harrison         2,792,975           956,778        516,394          4,266,147
Jackson            764,453           442,166        162,555          1,369,174
Jefferson          837,878           640,086        386,351          1,864,315
Kanawha          7,501,012         2,051,556      1,565,241         11,117,809
Lewis              405,354           410,028         51,997            867,379
Lincoln            960,316           385,718        186,326          1,532,360
Logan            1,888,342           728,558        494,541          3,111,441
Marion           1,733,080           782,769        262,639          2,778,488
Marshall         1,521,388           633,565         64,802          2,219,755
Mason              808,442           426,448        335,679          1,570,569
McDowell         1,354,849           558,232        109,304          2,022,385
Mercer           2,674,135           997,989        936,144          4,608,268
Mineral            845,539           358,126          3,922          1,207,587
Mingo              948,665           632,575        312,154          1,893,394
Monongalia       1,860,596           950,423        486,936          3,297,955
Monroe             525,990           315,109         33,856            874,955
Morgan             378,607           351,227         16,737            746,571
Nicholas           907,163           581,636        305,682          1,794,481
Ohio             1,672,800           853,949        681,100          3,207,849
Pendleton          265,521           346,379         17,187            629,087
Pleasants          182,579           357,552          3,956            544,087
Pocahontas          46,970           322,372        206,099            575,441
Preston            994,313           561,834         43,852          1,599,999
Putnam           1,502,061           635,136        423,479          2,560,676
Raleigh          2,688,853         1,068,043        736,758          4,493,654
Randolph           862,887           542,008        311,024          1,715,919
Ritchie            226,696           343,306          2,906            572,908
Roane              251,395           407,813        280,167            939,375
Summers            327,285           312,827         52,463            692,575
Taylor             957,466           320,955          7,092          1,285,513
Tucker             327,945           317,409            933            646,287
Tyler               18,763           335,006          3,567            357,336
Upshur             846,562           443,203         30,855          1,320,620
Wayne            1,474,740           576,021        309,817          2,360,578
Webster            612,781           329,291        138,088          1,080,160
Wetzel             359,481           365,046        220,324            944,851
Wirt                15,753           347,580          1,306            364,639
Wood             3,105,152           935,895        646,721          4,687,768
Wyoming            833,137           621,067         42,834          1,497,038
     TOTAL   $ 63,651,283     $   30,801,230   $ 13,836,945    $   108,289,458

                                            2008 Visiting Judges

                      hen a Supreme Court Justice is unable to serve in a case due to reasons such as illness or disquali-
                      fication, Article VIII Section 2 of the West Virginia Constitution allows the Chief Justice to
                      assign a circuit court judge to serve. The visiting judge then participates in all private conferences,
     hearings, and votes on that case. The following is a list of judges who were assigned in 2008 and the cases in which
     they participated.

                          Judge Jack Alsop, Fourteenth Judicial   Judge Russell M. Clawges, Jr.,
                          Circuit of Braxton, Clay, Gilmer,       Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of
                          and Webster Counties                    Monongalia County
                          - February 13 Argument Docket:          - April 16 Argument Docket:
                          Connie Sue Whiteside v. Michael         In Re: Flood Litigaton – Upper
                          Brent Whiteside, No. 33514              Guyandotte River Watershed, Nos.
                                                                  33711, 33664, and 33710

                        Judge J.D. Beane, Fourth Judicial         Judge Dona ld H. Cook ma n,
                        Circuit of Wood and Wirt Counties         Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit of
                        - October 7 Argument Docket: SER          Hardy, Hampshire and Pendleton
                        Prosecuting Attorney of Kanawha           Counties
                        County v. Bayer Corporaton, No.           - January 24 Rehearing Conference
                        33871                                     and March 12 Argument Docket:
                        - October 8 Motion Docket: Mylan          A.T. Massey Coal Company, Inc., et
                        Laboratories, Inc., et al. v. American    al. v. Hugh M. Caperton, et. al., No.
     Motorists Insurance Co., et al., No. 081073                  33350
     - October 8 Argument Docket: Choice Lands, LLC v.            - April 16 Argument Docket: SER Stephen Wesley
     Nondus Tassen, et al. v. Old  Colony Company, et al.,        Hatfield v. Howard Painter, Warden, No. 33668
     No. 33878
     - October 8 Argument Docket: West Virginia                                        Judge N. Edward Eagloski, Twenty-
     Department of Transportation, Division of Highways                                Ninth Judicial Circuit of Putnam
     v. Parkersburg Inn, Inc., et al., No. 33882                                       County
                                                                                       - October 7 Argument Docket:
     Judge Paul M. Blake Jr., Twelfth                                                  Lawyer Disciplinary Board v. William
     Judicial Circuit of Fayette County                                                H. Duty, No. 33069
     - October 28 Motion Docket: Carl
     and Terry Milam v. Fleetwood                                                     Senior Status
     Homes of North Carolina, Inc.,                               J u d g e L . D . E g n o r , Sixth
     No. 081160                                                   Judicial Circuit of Cabell County
     - October 28 Argument Docket:                                - April 1 Argument Docket: Richard
     Paul E. Forshey & Melissa L.                                 C. Rashid, M.D. v Muhib S. Tarakji,
     Forshey v. Theodore A. Jackson, M.D., No. 33834              M.D., No. 33596

     Judge Duke Bloom, Thirteenth
     Judicial Circuit of Kanawha County               
                                                                  Judge Fred L. Fox, II, Sixteenth
     - September 3 Motion Docket: John                            Judicial Circuit of Marion County
     Frederick Jochum, et al. v. Waste
                                                                  - March 12 Argument Docket: A.T.
     Management of West Virginia, et
                                                                  Massey Coal Company, Inc., et al.
     al., No. 080362
                                                                  v. Hugh M. Caperton, et al., No.
     - October 28 Argument Docket:                                33350
     William T. Smoot, II v. AEP, No.

                  Jud ge M a r t i n J. G au g h a n ,   Judge Thomas H. Keadle, Twenty-
                  First Judicial Circuit of Brooke,      sixth Judicial Circuit of Lewis and
                  Hancock, and Ohio Counties             Upshur Counties
                  - February 27 Motion Docket:           - October 9 and November 12
                  Darrell V. McGraw, Jr., Attorney       Requests for Oral Presentation
                  General, et al., v. The American       and Petitions for Appeal:  Rocky
                  Tobacco Co., et al., No. 072347        Allen Burns v. Independence Coal
                                                         Company, Inc., No. 081402  
                  Judge Joh n W. Hatcher, Jr.,
                  Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Fayette    Judge Charles E. King, Thirteenth
                  County                                 Judicial Circuit of Kanawha County
                  - March 12 Argument Docket: SER        - April 2 Argument Docket: R.
                  Blue Eagle Land, LLC, et al. v. West   Brooks Legg, Jr., D.D.S. v. Richard
                  Virginia Oil & Gas Conservation        D. Rashid, M.D., No. 33521
                  Comm., et al., No. 33705 

Judge John A. Hutchison, Tenth
Judicial Circuit of Raleigh County                                          Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick III,
- September 23 Argument Docket:                                             Tenth Judicial Circuit of Raleigh
Davis Memorial Hospital v. West                                             County - May 22 Requests for
Virginia State Tax Commissioner,                                            Oral Presentations and Petitions
No. 33862                                                                   for Appeal: Estate of Garrison
                                                                            G. Tawney, by Lela Ann Goff,
                                                                            Executrix, Lela Ann Goff and
Judge Gary L. Johnson, Twenty-                                              Vernon B. Goff, husband and wife,
Eighth Judicial Circuit of Nicholas                      Janice E. Cooper and Clifford R. Cooper, husband
County                                                   and wife, Larry G. Parker, John W. Parker, Orton A.
April 2 Argument Docket: R.                              Jones, Ancillary Administrator of the Estate of Richard
Brooks Legg, Jr., D.D.S. v. Richard                      L. Ashley, and Orton A. Jones, Administrator of
D. Rashid, M.D., No. 33521                               the Estate of Alice Myrtle Ashley Jones v. Columbia
May 22 Request for Ora l                                 Natural Resources, LLC, a Delaware corporation,
Presentation and Petitions for                           f/k/a Columbia Natural Resources, Inc., a Texas
Appea l: Diana Mae Savi l la ,                           corporation; NiSource Inc., a Delaware corporation;
Administratrix of the Estate of Linda Sue Good           Columbia Energy Group, a Delaware corporation; and
Kannaird, deceased v. Kanawha County Commission,         Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., an Oklahoma Limited
No. 080347                                               Liability Company, No. 080482       

                  Senior Status Judge Frank E.                             Judge James A. Matish, Fifteenth
                  Jolliffe, Eleventh Judicial Circuit                      Judicial Circuit of Harrison County
                  of Greenbrier and Pocahontas                             - February 13 Argument Docket:
                  Counties                                                 Billy J. Watson, et al. v. Sunset
                  - May 22 Requests for Oral                               Add ition Propert y O wners
                  Presentation and Petitions for                           Association, Inc., No. 33338
                  Appeal: Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel
                  v. Central WV Energy, Nos. 080182,
                  and 080183
                                                                           Judge Alan D. Moats, Nineteenth
                                                                           Circuit of Taylor and Barbour
                                                                           - September 24 Motion Docket:
                                                                           Lenora Perrine, et al. v. E.I. duPont
                                                                           deNemours and Company, et al.,
                                                                           Nos. 080721, 081461, and 081462        

                        Judge Dan P. O’Hanlon, Sixth            Judge Derek C . Swope, Ninth
                        Judicial Circuit of Cabell County       Judicial Circuit of Mercer County
                        - May 22 Requests for Oral              - April 3 Petition Conference:
                        Presentations and Petitions for         Josephine Morgan v. Ford Motor
                        Appeal: Estate of Garrison G.           Co., No. 080210
                        Tawney, by Lela Ann Goff, Executrix,    - April 16 Motion Docket: Douglas
                        Lela Ann Goff and Vernon B. Goff,       R. Jackson v. Power Mountain Coal
                        husband and wife, Janice E. Cooper      Company, et al., No. 072598
                        and Clifford R. Cooper, husband         - May 21 Motion Docket: Secretary
     and wife, Larry G. Parker, John W. Parker, Orton A.        of WVDEP v. Goals Coal Co. and Coal River Mountain
     Jones, Ancillary Administrator of the Estate of Richard    Watch, No. 073938
     L. Ashley, and Orton A. Jones, Administrator of the        - May 21 Motion Docket: Josephine Morgan v. Ford
     Estate of Alice Myrtle Ashley Jones v. Columbia Natural    Motor Co., No. 080210
     Resources, LLC, a Delaware corporation, f/k/a Columbia     - May 21 Motion Docket: Sprouse v. Sprouse, Nos.
     Natural Resources, Inc., a Texas corporation; NiSource     080278, and 080618.
     Inc., a Delaware corporation; Columbia Energy Group,       - September 24 Motion Docket: Lenora Perrine, et al.
     a Delaware corporation; and Chesapeake Appalachia,         v. E.I. duPont deNemours and Company, et al., Nos.
     L.L.C., an Oklahoma Limited Liability Company, No.         080721, 081461, and 081462
     - October 9 and November 12 Requests for Oral              Judge William S. Thompson, Twenty-Fifth Judicial
     Presentation and Petitions for Appeal: Rocky Allen Burns                   Circuit of Boone and Lincoln
     v. Independence Coal Company, Inc., No. 081402                             Counties
                                                                                - October 9 Requests for Oral
     Judge Darrell Pratt, Twenty-Fourth                                         Presentations and Petitions for
     Judicial Circuit of Wayne County                                           Appeal and October 28 Motion
     - April 16 Argument Docket:                                                Docket: Samantha Lewis, et al. v.
     In Re: Flood Litigaton – Upper                                             International Coal Group, Inc., et
     Guyandotte River Watershed, Nos.                                           al., No. 081448
     33711, 33664, and 33710       
                                                                Judge Jennifer Bailey, Thirteenth
     Judge O. C. “Hobby” Spaulding,                             Judicial Circuit of Kanawha County
     Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit of                           - April 1 Argument Docket: Richard
     Putnam County                                              C. Rashid, M.D. v Muhib S. Tarakji,
     - April 16 Argument Docket:                                M.D., No. 33596     
     In Re: Flood Litigaton – Upper                             - October 30 Requests for Oral
     Guyandotte River Watershed, Nos.                           Presentations and Petitions for
     33711, 33664, and 33710                                    Appeal: Paul Cremeans, Ronald
                                                                Booth, Michael Holley, and Joseph Trimble v. Riedel
                                                                Wilks Building Structures, Inc.; Our Jobs, Our
                                                                Children, Our Future, Inc, dba Huntington Area
                                                                Development Council; Huntington Industrial Council;
                                                                Wayne County Commission; The Wayne County
                                                                Economic Development Authority, Inc; and The City
                                                                of Huntington, No. 081522

     Judges from Turkmenistan visit Supreme Court

        our judges from
        Tu r k m e n i s t a n visited
        the S u p r e m e C o u r t
o f A p p e a l s of West Virginia
on Monday, October 20. They met
for over an hour with Justices Brent
D. Benjamin, Thomas McHugh,
and Larry Starcher and then for
about two hours with Supreme
Court Administrative Director
Steve Canterbury. The four men
talked about how they administer
justice in the former Soviet Republic
in Central Asia, while West Virginia
justices and the administrative          Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury talks to four judges visiting from
                                         Turkmenistan, with the help of an interpreter sitting to Mr. Canterbury’s right. In the photo below,
director talked about the American       Justice Brent D. Benjamin and Senior Status Justice Thomas E. McHugh talk to the visiting judges
and West Virginia court systems.         about the West Virginia judicial system. Photos by Michael Switzer
    The visit was sponsored by the
U.S. Congress’ OPEN WORLD Rule of Law Program accompanied by program facilitator Aleksandr
and arranged by Sudhakar R. Jamkhandi, President of Vladimirovich Jumayev and Russian interpreters
the Center for International Understanding in Princeton, Kirill Savinski and Igor Beckman.
West Virginia.                                               During their stay in West Virginia, they also were
    The judges, all appointed by the President of scheduled to meet with Congressman Nick Rahall’s
Turkmenistan, as are all judges at every level in Legislative Liaison Kate Denman; the Counsels
that nation, were Mr. Charykuli Atayev, Chairman, to the West Virginia Senate and its Judiciary
Geok-Tepe District Court of Ahal Velayat Region; Mr. Committee; West Virginia Attorney General Darrell
Begench Shadurdyevich Chariyev, Judge, Dashoguz McGraw; Princeton City Court; Mercer County
Velayat Court; Mr. Toynazar Annanazarovich Circuit Court Judge William Sadler; Mercer County
Hudaynazarov, Judge, Bayram-Ali City District Sheriff Danny Wills; Chief Federal District Judge
Court of Mary Velayat; and Mr. Arazgylych Nazarov, Joseph R. Goodwin; Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Chairman of Ashgabat City Court. They were Judge Robert E. King; U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge
                                                                           Ronald G. Pearson; U.S. Attorney
                                                                           Charles Miller and his colleagues
                                                                           who are responsible for law enforce-
                                                                           ment; Mercer County Teen Court
                                                                           and ChildLaw Services; Mercer
                                                                           County Drug Court; and the Mercer
                                                                           County Day Report Center.
                                                                                               The judges from Turkmenistan
                                                                                          toured the Federal Correctional
                                                                                          Institution and the Federal Court
                                                                                          in Beckley, and had a session at the
                                                                                          Princeton Times to learn about its
                                                                                          role in informing the public about
                                                                                          the law and legislation pertaining to

                                Adoption Month focuses on older
                                    children in foster care

                est Virginia Supreme Court Justice Robin               “We hope that West Virginians will consider taking
                Jean Davis held a press conference on              on the challenge of adopting an older child whose life
                Friday, November 14, in the Supreme                has not been a fairy tale. You don’t have to be perfect to
     Court Chamber to commemorate National Adoption                be the perfect parent,” Justice Davis said.
     Month. She was joined by Joan Ohl, Commissioner of                Bobby Miller spoke about her experience adopting
     the Administration for Children, Youth and Families           two boys.
     in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S.
                                                                        “Five or six years ago, I was single. I thought I was
     Department of Health and Human Services; Nicholas
                                                                   fairly intelligent,” Ms. Miller said. She joked that her
     County Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson, Chairman of
                                                                   two teen-age sons now tell her how much she doesn’t
     the West Virginia Court Improvement Program; and
                                                                   know, as all teens do.
                            Nikki Tennis, Director of the
                            Supreme Court’s Division of                She was too old to have a child, and most of her
                            Children’s Services. Adoptive          immediate family was deceased. She was tired of spend-
                            parents Sallie Harrington and          ing holidays alone.
                            Bobby Jean (B.J.) Miller also               “I learned you didn’t have to be rich to adopt a
                            spoke.                                 child. I learned it was not difficult to adopt a child,” she
                                            Of the 115,000         said. She looked on the state adoption Web site and fell
                                 children in foster care nation-   in love with an eleven year-old boy.
                                 ally who are available for            “It hasn’t always been easy. There hasn’t ever been a
                                 adoption, the average age is      time when I have regretted it,” she said.
                                 8.6 years. About a third of            About a year later, Ms. Miller decided Michael was
                                 those children are African        getting spoiled. She realized she had gone overboard trying
                                 American and fifteen percent      to make up for his years of abuse and neglect and his time
 Bobby Miller talks about her    are Hispanic.                     in foster homes. He needed a brother; that’s when then-
 experience as an adoptive
 mother. Photo by Michael               In West Virginia,          fourteen year-old Matthew joined their family.
                             there are more than one                    “I now have a family to spend Thanksgiving with. I
     thousand children whose parental rights have been             now have a family to spend Christmas with,” Ms. Miller
     terminated and who are waiting for adoption. Most of          said. “I highly recommend [adoption] to anyone.”
     those children have prospective families; but at the time
     of the press conference, there were sixty-six children             Judge Johnson said children make up both the
     who were not so lucky and whose profiles appeared on          saddest and the happiest parts of his docket. About
     the state adoption Web site www.adoptawvchild.org.            thirty to forty percent of any circuit judge’s caseload is
                                                                                                      comprised of abuse
          The goal of National Adoption Month in 2008 was
     to encourage the adoption of older children. Nationally,
                                                                   “I now have a family to            and neglect cases.
                                                                                                      “We try to get a child
     each year about 24,000 children “age out” of the foster        spend Thanksgiving                a permanent home as
     care system without being placed with a permanent                                                quickly as possible,”
     family.                                                        w i t h . I n o w ha v e          Judge Johnson
          “We want to affirm how essential permanency is to         a fa m ily to s pe nd             said. “If we can give
     a child,” Justice Davis said. “There were approximately                                          children the help they
     4,500 children in foster care in West Virginia at the end       Christmas with,”                 need while they still
     of 2007. In 2007, 473 children were adopted through                                              accept that help, we
     the West Virginia Bureau for Children and Families, an
                                                                       Ms. Miller said.               can make a difference
     increase from 419 children in 2006. The total number          “I highly recommend                in their lives.”
     of adoptions in West Virginia in 2007 was 913.                                                        As a judge, “the
         “Even with all of the strides we are making, we            [adoption] to anyone.”             happiest cases you do
     know that the system is not perfect. Some children still                                          are adoptions. It’s
     need loving, permanent homes,” Justice Davis said.

                                                                              Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson talks about the
                                                                              importance of finding safe, permanent placements for
                                                                              children. Photo by Michael Switzer

                                                                              have timely hearings, achieve permanency
                                                                              for children, and place children with close
                                                                              relatives or near their own communities
                                                                              and schools.
                                                                                  West Virginia circuit courts also
                                                                              have improved their compliance with
                                                                              the wording of Title IV-E forms, which
                                                                              provides funding for children in out-of-
                                                                              home placements, to one hundred percent
                                                                                 “Because of our circuit court judges
something that is very fulfilling for a judge,” he said.       and their dedication, we are receiving every penny of
“It makes you want to go to work every day.”                   federal dollars,” Justice Davis said. Full compliance
      The adoption process is fairly straightforward.          with Title IV-E means millions more in federal funding
Anyone can adopt: individuals, spouses together, or one        for West Virginia. “I am so proud of our circuit judges,”
spouse with the other spouse’s consent. Once the petition      Justice Davis said.
is filed, a hearing can take place after forty-five days of        Commissioner Ohl noted the strides West Virginia
the filing of the petition or after the child has lived with   has made since she was the Secretary of the West
the adoptive parent or parents for six months. Before          Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
the adoption is finalized, consents, relinquishments, or       The compliance with Title IV-E form language is an
termination of parental rights of the birth parents must be    important milestone, she said.
obtained. Even adults may be adopted if the adult consents
                                                                    “West Virginia has done a wonderful job on the
and the adoptive parent is a resident of West Virginia.
                                                               Court Improvement Program,” she added. “We have
    “We think every child deserves a home as quickly as        a lot to recognize and celebrate.” Still, she said, more
possible,” Judge Johnson said.                                 needs to be done to help children find adoptive homes.
    Judge Johnson is Chairman of the Court                     “Ultimately, the true heroes in the world of adoption
Improvement Program, which works to improve the                are adoptive parents,” the Commissioner said.
child welfare system and secure safety, timely perma-          Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson and Supreme Court Justice Robin Jean Davis
nency, and well-being for children.                            listen as Joan Ohl talks at a press conference about National Adoption
                                                               Month. Ms. Ohl is Commissioner of the federal Administration for
     Justice Davis said the                                    Children, Youth and Families. Photo by Michael Switzer
court system and DHHR are
working together in many
ways to improve the child
welfare system. The collabora-
tion was evident in the recent
Child and Family Services
Review that the federal
Administration for Children
and Families Children’s
Bureau conducted this year
in West Virg inia . West
Virginia judges participate d
in unprecedented numbers as
reviewers and interviewees.
The federal agency found that
West Virginia courts largely

                             LAWS draws audience of hundreds
                               at Mercer County Courthouse

               he West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals                           In 2008 students from Montcalm High School,
               heard arguments in three criminal cases and                     Bluefield High School, Pikeview High School, Princeton
               one civil case on April 15, 2008, at the Mercer                 High School, Concord University, and Bluefield State
      County Courthouse in Princeton in front of an                            College attended. Their instructors came to a train-
      audience of about 570 Mercer County high school and                      ing session with Supreme Court personnel and Mercer
      college students.                                                        County Circuit Judges Derek Swope and William Sadler
                                                                                           in February where they received information
                                                                                           about the state and federal court systems,
                                                                                           suggested exercises for students, and summa-
                                                                                           ries of the cases their classes were to hear.
                                                                                           Later, volunteer attorneys from the area also
                                                                                           met with students to discuss the court system
                                                                                           and the cases.
                                                                                               On April 15, students heard oral
                                                                                           arguments in the case they studied and met
                                                                                           with the attorneys who argued the case in
                                                                                           a “debriefing” session. The attorneys and
                                                                                           students also had an informal lunch with the
                                                                                           Supreme Court Justices.
                                                                                              The Supreme Court held the first
                                                                                           LAWS program in Beckley in 1999.
                                                                                           Other LAWS programs have been held
                                                                                           in Clarksburg, Huntington, Wheeling,
                                                                                           Summersville, Martinsburg, Parkersburg,
Senior Status Circuit Judge John R. Frazier and Family Court Judge Mary Ellen Griffith
watch Supreme Court proceedings in Mercer County.                                          Charleston, and Romney.
                                                                                                Students from Montcalm High
                                                                               School and Concord University heard the case
          The argument docket in Princeton was part of
                                                                               of Coleman v. R.M. Logging et. al., No. 33452.
      LAWS, an acronym for Legal Advancement for West
                                                                               Students from Bluefield High School, PikeView
      Virginia Students. LAWS is a partnership between the
                                                                               High School, and Bluefield State College heard the
      court system, schools, the local Bar and the community.
                                                                               case of State v. Stamm, No. 33505. After lunch,
      LAWS teaches students about the judicial branch of our
                                                                               one group of students from Princeton High School
      government. Supreme Court Justice Robin Jean Davis
                                                                               heard arguments in State v. Slater, No. 33659, while
      began the program when she was Chief Justice in 1998.
                                                                               another group of Princeton High students heard the
      Since then more than 3,750 high school and college
                                                                               case of State v. Brooks, No. 33662.
      students in seventeen counties have participated.

Top, Monongalia County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown talks to students after her
argument as local attorneys look on. Bottom right, Mercer County Circuit Judge Derek
Swope talks to students in the courtroom. Photos by Jeff Gentner

                       Supreme Court launches mock trial
                          program for middle schools

           he Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia            West Virginia will be invited to have classes write
           in 2008 launched a mock trial program for               mock trial scripts. Schools can have more than one class
           middle school students, called West Virginia            participate and can submit more than one script.
     Law Adventure.                                                     The scripts will have to be developed around a
          Court staff members worked with two classes in           theme that the Young Lawyers Section of the West
     the spring 2008 school term. The program was opened           Virginia State Bar will choose each year. The scripts
     to all middle schools in Kanawha, Mason, Greenbrier,          will follow a certain format that will be described in a
     Monongalia, and Mineral Counties in the 2008-2009             rules packet that will be distributed each fall.
     school year; and it will become a statewide program in             Teachers are free to ask local judges or attorneys to
     the 2009-2010 school year.                                    come to their classes to help them. In the initial pilot
          “The Supreme Court shares the state Board of             project, the month of January also will be set aside for
     Education’s dedication to teaching West Virginia              each class to take a field trip to a courthouse to perform
     children about civics,” Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard      the students’ mock trial in front of a judge or magis-
     told the West Virginia Board of Education on February         trate, who will give them pointers. In February teach-
     14, 2008. “This is a big initiative and we’re lawyers, not    ers will mail the scripts to the State Bar, and the Young
     teachers. We know we need some teacher input to make          Lawyers Section will choose winners. Those winners
     this work. So we want to start small.”                        will be invited to come to the Supreme Court on a day
             West Virginia Law Adventure is based on               in March to perform their mock trials with a Supreme
             a very successful mock trial program of               Court Justice sitting as judge.
                 the New Jersey State Bar Foundation,                  The costs of the trips to the courthouse and to the
                     Law Adventure Competition and                 Supreme Court in the pilot project were paid by a grant
                        Programs, for grades seven and             from the West Virginia Bar Foundation.
                         eight. For more informa-                      “Students think they know a lot about crime and
                           tion about the New Jersey               courts because that’s the focus of so many television
                             State Bar Foundation, visit           shows,” Chief Justice Maynard told the West Virginia
                              www.njsbf.org.                       Board of Education. “I had a member of my staff go
                                      Unlike other mock            through this week’s TV guide. There are seventeen
                                  trial programs in which          regular courtroom shows, including Judge Judy, Judge
                                  students act out scripts         Brown, Judge Hatchett, Judge Mathis, and The People’s
                                  written by adults, in West       Court, and another nineteen crime shows. And this
                                 Virginia Law Adventure            week alone there are six movies on Charleston cable TV
                                students research and write        with court themes. That’s not even counting the Court
                               their own scripts. Once West        TV cable network.
                              Virginia Law Adventure is an             “Unfortunately, most of those shows and movies
                              annual statewide program, at         bear little resemblance to reality,” Chief Justice
                                the beginning of each school       Maynard said.
                                year, all middle schools in

                                                       Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard introduces the mock trial program to Andrew
                                                       Jackson Middle School students in the courtroom of Kanawha County Circuit
                                                       Judge Tod Kaufman, who is pictured, far right, in the white wig. Other photos
                                                       show Point Pleasant Middle School students acting out their trial at the Mason
                                                       County Courthouse.

Point Pleasant Middle School students act out their mock trial as Mason County Magistrate Cheryl Ross looks on. In the photo below, volunteer
attorney R.F. Stein helps Mason County students with the defense. Photos by Jeff Gentner and Michael Switzer

    West Virginia Law Adventure is intended to                              Mason County Magistrate Cheryl Ross for sever-
give students a sense of what the justice system – and                  al years has invited middle school and high school
democracy – is really like.                                             students from Mason County to the Courthouse in
    “A criminal trial in an American court is more about                early May to perform mock trials she has written in
the Constitution than anything else,” said Supreme                      honor of Law Day. Founded in 1958 by President
Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury.                         Dwight D. Eisenhower, Law Day celebrates the
                                                                        American Legal System.
    The school board gave its unanimous consent to
the mock trial program.                                                      Magistrate Ross used her experience with her own
                                                                        mock trial program to help Supreme Court staff design
     Eighth-grade students at Andrew Jackson Middle
                                                                        West Virginia Law Adventure. The Public Information
School in Kanawha County and Point Pleasant Middle
                                                                        Committee of the West Virginia State Bar helped write
School in Mason County became the first participants
                                                                        the rules.
in the program. An Andrew Jackson Middle School
class performed its original script on April 30, 2008,                      Students from both Andrew Jackson Middle
in Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman’s                           School and Point Pleasant Middle School performed
courtroom in the Kanawha County Judicial Building.                      their original scripts in front of an audience of social
A Point Pleasant Middle School class performed its                      studies teachers from around West Virginia at the 2008
original script on May 8, 2008, at the Mason County                     Social Students Summer Institute on June 25, 2008,
Courthouse in Point Pleasant.                                           in Bridgeport. Supreme Court Information Services
                                                                                  Director Jennifer Bundy also talked about the
                                                                                      program and solicited volunteers for the
                                                                                           next stage of the pilot project.

                   Judicial officers enjoy Robes to Schools

              he Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s          Judge Gaughan, Chief Judge in the First Judicial
              Robes to Schools education outreach program        Circuit of Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio Counties, visit-
              entered its second year in 2008, as circuit        ed Brooke County High School on November 17, 2008,
     judges, family court judges, and magistrates enthusiasti-   to talk to students and field questions. He discussed his
     cally embraced the concept.                                 groundbreaking work with his circuit’s drug court, the
          Justice Robin Jean Davis launched the program in       first in West Virginia, and his experience having drug
     January 2007 when she was serving as Chief Justice.         users in his courtroom. His stories were geared to get
     The goal is to encourage active and retired justices,       the attention of his audience. Judge Gaughan talked
     judges, and magistrates to read aloud to school children    about the science of drug abuse as well as its legal
     and to visit classrooms to talk about the justice system.   consequences.
     Robes to Schools supports the goal of the West Virginia         “It’s a serious, serious problem, and you’re better off
     Department of Education’s Partnership for Twenty-           not dealing with it,” he warned, according to a story in
     First Century Skills to improve civic literacy, and was     the Weirton Daily Times.
     endorsed by the West Virginia Board of Education.                Judge Mazzone, also a judge in the First Circuit,
     The program also supports the Court’s goal to improve       visited Brooke High School on November 19, 2008,
     the lives of all West Virginia children, not just those     as well as Elm Grove Elementary School in Wheeling
     who are involved in the court system.                       and Collier Primary in Colliers, Brooke County, on
        Among the many judicial officers who visited class-      November 20, 2008. The visits were timed in conjunc-
     rooms in 2008 were Circuit Judges Martin J. Gaughan,        tion with American Education Week.
     Gary L. Johnson, and James P. Mazzone.                          Judge Johnson, Chief Judge of the Twenty-Eighth
                                                                 Judicial Circuit of Nicholas County, visited Birch River
                                                                                              Grade School on April
                                                                                              18, 2008. In two sessions,
                                                                                              he and Probation Officer
                                                                                              Roger Beverage talked to
                                                                                              all the students in the school
                                                                                              about their jobs, about the
                                                                                              dangers of drug abuse, and
                                                                                              about the court system. Judge
                                                                                              Johnson also modeled his
                                                                                              robe, showed off his gavel, and
                                                                                              talked about the importance
                                                                                              of honesty. Judge Johnson and
                                                                                              Officer Beverage stayed for
                                                                                              lunch with the students, ages
                                                                                              preschool through fifth grade.

                                                                                              Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson
                                                                                              talks to students at Birch River
                                                                                              Grade School. Photo courtesy
                                                                                              of the school

        Circuit Judge James P. Mazzone reads to students at Elm Grove Elementary School. Photo by Fred Connors The [Wheeling] Intelligencer

     In Fayetteville on January 25, 2008, Chief Judge                   The Supreme Court also received some national
John W. Hatcher, Jr., of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit of            recognition for the Robes to Schools program. Supreme
Fayette County, hosted Leadership Fayette County for                Court Justice Joseph P. Albright and the program were
a mock trial at the Courthouse. Chief Magistrate Mike               featured in an article in the June/July issue of Reading
Parsons also talked to the students about sentencing                Today, the bimonthly membership newspaper of the
drunk drivers and domestic violence offenders. The                  International Reading Association.
leadership program, the only one of its kind in the                     The article, which featured a photo of Justice
state for students, is modeled on the adult program                 Albright reading to students at Ellenboro Elementary
Leadership West Virginia and holds monthly                          School in Ritchie County, was written by Dr. Lettie K.
classes for twelve high school juniors. The program                 Albright. Dr. Albright is Justice Albright’s daughter,
is sponsored by the Fayette County Chamber of                       an associate professor in the Department of Reading at
Commerce, Fayette County Board of Education, and                    Texas Woman’s University, and is a specialist on Read
the Fayette County Commission.                                      Aloud programs in middle schools.
     These visits to schools by judicial officers and to a               The article was accompanied by a list of Read
courthouse by students are just a sampling of those that            Aloud discussion questions designed by Dr. Albright.
occurred in 2008. Teachers and students who partici-                She gave the Supreme Court permission to incorpo-
pated said they were grateful for the time court officials          rate that list into the Robes to Schools program when
took out of their busy schedules to spend with them,                the program was launched, and the list is on the
and the educators reported that the interactions with               Court’s Web site at www.state.wv.us/wvsca/kidspage/
real court officials were a very beneficial supplement to           ReadAloudGuidelines.htm.
their curriculum.

                                       Supreme Court outreach
         The Supreme Court of Appeals is committed
     to improving access to the courts and improving
     knowledge about the court system. The Chief Justice
     writes a column in the West Virginia State Bar’s West
     Virginia Lawyer magazine, and the Court makes its
     rules, opinions, and other documents available on its
     continually expanding Web site.
         The Court in 2008 held two sessions outside of
     Charleston. On March 11 it heard oral arguments
     in four cases at West Virginia University’s College
     of Law in Morgantown and judged the law school’s
     annual Baker Cup Moot Court appellate advocacy             Justice Robin Jean Davis is interviewed by Dan Ringer in the Supreme
     competition. On April 15, about 570 Mercer County          Court Chamber. Photo by Jennifer Bundy
     high school and college students attended Supreme
     Court arguments at the Mercer County Courthouse
     in Princeton for LAWS, or Legal Advancement for            McDowell County Courthouse in Welch. Also in Welch,
     West Virginia Students. The program, which Justice         the McDowell County Liberty Bell Award was presented
     Robin Jean Davis began in 1998 during one of her           to Judge John S. Hrko of the Twenty-Seventh Judicial
     years as Chief Justice, is a partnership between the       Circuit of Wyoming County.
     Bar, the Court, and the community. It teaches high              Justice Brent D. Benjamin was the featured speaker
     school and college students about the legal system         at an event celebrating the completion of Legal Aid of
     and the Supreme Court.                                     West Virginia’s 2006-2008 fund-raising campaign and
          The justices also speak at events around the state.   the launching of its next campaign. The luncheon was
     Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard spoke January 26,         held September 30 at The Summit Conference Center
     2008, at the Chief Cornstalk District’s Annual             in Charleston.
     Recognition Dinner at the Logan Country Club, an               Justice Davis was the guest on The Law Works on
     event honoring Boy Scouts who attained the rank            West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Host Dan Ringer, a
     of Eagle Scout in 2007. Chief Justice Maynard has          Morgantown attorney, interviewed her in the Supreme
     been involved in Boy Scouts for more than thirty           Court Chamber on a wide variety of topics. The show
     years and is a former district chairman of the Mingo-      aired on October 9.
     Pike District and the Chief Cornstalk District. He
     served on the Board of the Buckskin Council, and he            The Court ended the year, as it has for the last
     is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest     three years, by joining with its employees at the
     volunteer award in scouting.                               Capitol to participate in the U.S. Marine Corps’
                                                                Toys for Tots campaign.
         Justices Joseph P. Albright and Larry Starcher
     helped judge the Thirty-Seventh Annual William B.
     Spong, Jr., Invitational Moot Court Tournament at
     William and Mary School of Law
     in Williamsburg, Virginia, on
     February 15 and 16.
          Justice Albright also was the
     featured speaker at the mid-winter
     meeting of the Association for
     Justice on February 8 at the
     Charleston Marriott and at the Law
     Day Celebration on May 1 at the

      The Court at West Virginia University
      College of Law. Photo courtesy of the


            hy spend thousands of dollars on a new
            custom paint job for the Supreme Court
            Chamber when a little dab of glue will do?
    Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve
Canterbury and Court Clerk Rory Perry had long
discussed what to do about an unsightly patch of
peeling paint thirty feet high atop the back wall
of the Chamber. Even more troubling, the paint
was mainly missing right on an “s” of the quota-
tion from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural
address, “Firmness in the right as God gives us to
see the right.”
    When a film crew which
had been using a lift to shoot
a short movie on the Court
took a break on September
18, Mr. Canterbury took the
opportunity to go up and take
a closer look. He found a pile
of paint chips sitting on a small
ledge and decided he would
attempt a repair job, piecing
those particles back into place
with tweezers and glue.
     The result? Not perfec-
tion, but the tiny cracks are
not visible from the floor and
the paint is no longer peeling.
Mr. Canterbury quipped, “It’s
fulfilling to rise to the occasion
and help save the Court’s “S.”

                       Child Abuse and Neglect Database
                        featured at national conference

                est Virginia’s Child Abuse and Neglect               Formats of the data entry forms have been changed
                Database was featured during a presenta-        to improve accuracy. For example, in the old database,
                tion at the Eleventh Annual National            if a case included a nontraditional family, the database
     Child Welfare Data and Technology Conference               was restrictive in the number of entries allowed for
     sponsored by the Child Welfare League of America.          respondents. The new system allows for an infinite
         Angela Saunders, Director of the Division of Court     number of respondents per case.
     Services, and Autumn Johnson, the Court’s Statistical           Another revision allows all judges who work on a
     Analyst, made the presentation during the conference,      case to be noted, with the time period the case was on that
     June 21-23, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.    judge’s docket, instead of just having one judge listed.
     The conference, called “Making [it] Work: Achieving              The most frequent problem with the old system was
     Safety, Permanency and Well-being for Youth,”              blank or incomplete records. The new system will not
     was attended by more than four hundred program             create blank records. It also has prompts to help users enter
     managers, system managers, agency administrators, and      all critical information.
     judges from around the nation.
                                                                     The database is now a dynamic system that helps
         Organizers of the Court Improvement Program’s          judges manage cases better and improves statistical report-
     (CIP) annual meeting attended the June presenta-           ing for administrative purposes.
     tion and subsequently invited the pair to participate
                                                                     “During my three years at the Court, there has been
     in a panel discussion at their upcoming meeting. 
                                                                no higher priority than finding every way possible to keep
     Saunders and Johnson returned to Washington,
                                                                West Virginia’s children as safe as possible,” said Supreme
     D.C., in October of 2008 to represent West Virginia
                                                                Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury. “This
     on a panel of five states. They were asked to talk
                                                                is yet another positive development from Justice Robin
     about best practices for data collection and analysis
                                                                Davis’ focus on children during her two consecutive years
     in child abuse and neglect cases.
                                                                as chief justice in 2006 and 2007.”
         The West Virginia Child Abuse and Neglect
                                                                     Approximately 2,500 records have been entered into
     Database determines how well child abuse and neglect
                                                                the database during 2008, totaling nearly 9,500 records
     cases are handled in our state court system. Evaluation
                                                                populating the database at the end of two and half years
     methods have been adapted from national Court
                                                                of data collection.  Entries have been made for sixty circuit
     Improvement Program Guidelines and West Virginia’s
                                                                judges and senior status judges.  
     Child Abuse and Neglect Bench Book timelines.
     Evaluation is conducted quarterly and annually.                 The second section of the database which tracks the
                                                                progress of administrative orders also underwent a signifi-
         During 2006, the West Virginia Court
                                                                cant redesign during 2008.  Formerly this section focused
     Improvement Program Board transferred the Child
                                                                mainly on the judicial process of these cases, with limited
     Abuse and Neglect Database to an online database
                                                                outcome information if an order did not result in the filing
     so the Court and the Board could better determine
                                                                of a petition.  The new design collects data on all outcomes
     how child abuse and neglect proceedings are handled
                                                                of the investigation, including the initiation of safety plans
     in West Virginia’s judicial system. The project was
                                                                and referrals for services, as well as petition filings. These
     supported by funds from the West Virginia Supreme
                                                                data create a better description of the true impact of the
     Court and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of
                                                                administrative order system.    
     Justice Programs.
                                                                     For 2008, 309 administrative order records were
         The database collects detailed records of all
                                                                entered into the database.  Of those records completed with
     active child abuse and neglect cases in West Virginia.
                                                                investigation outcomes, eight percent resulted in the filing
     Previously, data were collected on paper forms and
                                                                of a petition.  However, in another thirty-six percent of the
     mailed to a third party agency for data entry. The new
                                                                investigations, maltreatment was substantiated, resulting
     system has reduced the time and staff needed for data
                                                                in a referral for services, initiation of a safety plan, and/or
     entry and reduced errors. The data include timeliness
                                                                the opening of an on-going Child Protective Services case.
     of case handling, placement, and permanency.

               Child abuse and neglect overlap cases

       amily courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.    circuit judge disagrees, then the circuit judge may
       They specialize in civil cases involving families   treat the family court written referral as a petition for
       such as divorce, child custody, grandparent and     a writ of mandamus (Juvenile Administrative Order
sibling visitation, infant guardianship, child support,    where Mandamus was issued, or JAM), requiring Child
establishment of paternity, and domestic violence          Protective Services to come before the circuit judge
protective orders.                                         to explain the delay or the failure to file a petition to
    Circuit courts, however, have sole jurisdiction over   terminate parental rights. Even though the family
adoption as well as child abuse and neglect cases.         court judge issued the written referral, the family court
                                                           retains jurisdiction of the case on all issues until a
    In some cases before family court judges, parties
                                                           petition to terminate parental rights is filed.
make allegations involving abuse and neglect, or they
may already be parties in child abuse and neglect cases        Under another scenario, a third party other than
pending in circuit court. Therefore, there is some         the parents may request to be the guardian of a child.
overlap of cases between the two courts.                   This action can originate in family court (Family Infant
                                                           Guardianship, or FIG) or circuit court (Circuit Court
     Although family court judges are manda-
                                                           Infant Guardianship, or CIG). If the case originates
tory reporters of child abuse and neglect, there were
                                                           in family court and the family court judge suspects
sometimes gaps in communication between family
                                                           there has been child abuse and neglect, the family court
courts, the West Virginia Department of Health and
                                                           judge submits a written referral to Child Protective
Human Resources’ Child Protective Services, and
                                                           Services and the guardian case is removed to circuit
circuit courts about family courts’ reports of suspected
                                                           court (Circuit Court Infant Guardianship Removed, or
child abuse and neglect. To coordinate the process so
                                                           CIGR). This type of removed case stays in circuit court
there is increased protection of children, the Supreme
                                                           until completed and does not return to family court.
Court of Appeals adopted the “Overlap Rules” – Rules
48 and 48a of the Rules of Practice and Procedure for          The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Child Abuse and Neglect – in April 2006.                   began collecting data on abuse and neglect overlap cases
                                                           in June 2006. Statistics were simply compiled on the
     Under the “Overlap Rules,” a family court judge
                                                           number of petitions filed.
who suspects child abuse and/or neglect in a pending
case issues a written referral to the local Child              However, the project was expanded during 2007
Protective Services Office, with a copy to the circuit with a new Administrative Order component within
court and the local prosecuting attorney. The circuit the Child Abuse and Neglect Database. Data within
court issues a Juvenile Administrative Order (JAA) that section of the database provide more detail on
directing Child Protective Services to assess the refer- juvenile administrative orders and juvenile administra-
ral and make a written investigation report to circuit tive orders where a mandamus is issued. For more infor-
court, with a copy to family court, within forty-five mation on this project, please see the Child Abuse and
days. If Child Protective Services fails to issue a written Neglect Database section of this report.
report within forty-five days, or indicates in its written
report that filing a child
abuse and neglect petition
is not necessary and the           The following petitions were filed:
                                                                                                  2008       2007
                                 Juvenile Administrative Order (JAA)                               714        642
                                 Juvenile Administrative Order where
                                     Mandamus was issued (JAM)                                       5           6
                                 Family Infant Guardianship (FIG)                                  741        651
                                 Circuit Court Infant Guardianship (CIG)                          460         332
                                 Circuit Court Infant Guardianship Removed (CIGR)                   48         62

                                             Court technology

          n 2008, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West              docketing, scheduling, calendars, sentencing, event
          Virginia implemented a catastrophe avoidance              management, integrated accounting, form generation,
          (disaster recovery) site. This site is located outside    management reporting, evidence tracking, file tracking,
     the Capitol Complex, and houses court information and          on-line documentation, and public Web access. The
     applications. The site can provide service to court staff      system will be integrated with existing state information
     in case the primary site becomes unavailable, and it can       systems where possible. A comprehensive security system
     duplicate court data and applications.                         will be an integral component.
           This secondary site is now operational. The                   The Greenbrier County Magistrate Court Office
     Technology Division is still testing hardware and              continues to be the beta test site for conversion to the UJA.
     software needed to maintain an adequate backup site            Staff in the Magistrate Clerk’s Office worked diligently
     by the end of 2009.                                            with Supreme Court Administrative Office staff to solve
           The Court is implementing an improved network-           the inevitable issues that come up in any pilot project.
     ing structure for court-related application availability and   In Greenbrier County, the UJA is now in full use as the
     routing services to the fifty-five county courthouses. This    active case data system, with the previous (legacy) system
     new network structure will enhance availability of applica-    used as a read-only supplement for research and inquiry
     tion data while also maintaining security and minimizing       in case data-related issues. The financial data segment of
     other electronic threats. This project should be complete      the Greenbrier legacy data was converted into the UJA
     in 2010.                                                       in 2008.
           The Unified Judicial Application, or UJA, is an               While working with Greenbrier County, several
     ongoing project of the Court. The Supreme Court contin-        issues specific to West Virginia court processes were
     ued to work with ACS Government Systems of Lexington,          discovered. The Technology Division is working on
     Kentucky, the primary vendor, for a third year in 2008.        these issues either to reach a functional resolution or a
           The UJA case management system will standardize          technical solution. This will be an ongoing process as all
     the processes and computer programs used in magistrate         fifty-five county Magistrate Courts are brought online.
     courts, family courts, circuit courts, probation, and               As an enhancement to the UJA, the Supreme Court
     treatment courts throughout the state. The system will         in 2008 continued to implement the new technol-
     have a centralized database and will allow greater access to   ogy domain name and directory structure known as
     court information and statistics.                              courtswv.gov to replace the current courtswv.org. This
           The Supreme Court is committed to improving the          allows computer users to identify the domain as a govern-
     court system’s accountability. The UJA will provide more       ment entity. All users, services, and related systems are
     accurate crime statistics to the public and the Legislature,   in the process of being moved to the new courtswv.gov
     which will provide better information on which to base         domain. Restructuring will provide more efficient and
     public policy decisions. The system also will be able to       timely delivery of court-related technology activity.
     supply privacy-secured electronic information to public             Microsoft Office Applications training, taught by
     agencies, including the Division of Motor Vehicles, the        a Certified Microsoft Office Master Instructor, was
     State Police, the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility      developed and implemented in 2008. This training is
     Authority, the Department of Health and Human                  necessary for all magistrate court employees since the
     Resources, and the Division of Corrections.                    terminals currently in use will be replaced with desktops
           Under the UJA, all counties will have a similar          that will contain the Microsoft Office Suite. The
     computer system and they will be linked, so a person’s         Microsoft Office training will precede UJA training and
     complete activity with the court system will be quickly        will be offered on a continuing basis.
     available at each courthouse. The UJA also will allow               Demonstrations of the UJA development were
     more efficient recordkeeping of court costs and fines that     presented at judicial conferences throughout the year with
     are collected, and more effective auditing to ensure those     additional training as needed.
     collections are distributed to programs which they fund.            In 2008, the centralized depot for technology
           Funding is an important budget backbone for regional     equipment became fully operational. The depot is an
     jails, community corrections, and the state Crime Victims      ordering and storage system that eases purchasing and
     Compensation Fund, among others.                               disbursement. This allows for the standardization of
           The new system also will reduce redundant data           hardware and system peripherals, significantly reduces the
     entry and improve efficiency by streamlining processes         cost of equipment, and reduces the downtime to install
     and eliminating manual tasks. The system will encompass        new equipment and to replace used equipment.

                                             State law library

         he State Law Library’s primary mission is to               and international legal resources. The Library’s catalog is
         assist the Supreme Court of Appeals of West                available online and is searchable onsite or remotely by subject,
         Virginia, the statewide unified court system,              author, title, keyword or phrase.
and all judicial staff in carrying out the administration                In addition to resources available at the State Law
of justice. The State Law Library accomplishes this                 Library, the West Virginia Supreme Court partners
through the acquisition of print and electronic resources;          with other state entities to provide free access to legal
creation of policies and rules for the use of these                 information in locations across the state. In 2004, the
resources; and the periodic review of library programs              Court collaborated with the state Library Commission
and services. The Library provides access to law-related            to establish ten Legal Research Centers (LRCs). These
information to the judiciary,                                                                     LRCs help meet the
governmenta l agencies,                                                                           needs of self-represented
the legal community, state                                                                        litigants for access to legal
correctional institution                                                                          information by providing
inmates, and the public.                                                                          print books as well as
Special programs focus on                                                                         free computer access to
assisting self-represented                                                                        the Internet. The Legal
litigants with access to                                                                          Research Centers of
justice and navigating the                                                                        West Virginia Web site,
judicial system.                                                                                  http://w w w.w vlrc.org/,
     Under the direction of                                                                       contains information
Kaye L. Maerz, State Law                                                                          to assist self-represented
Librarian, the Library is                                                                         litigants in navigating the
open to the public six days a                                                                     court system, researching
week to support the research                                                                      legal topics, and filing
and legal information needs of judges, court personnel,             court documents. LRCs are located in court libraries in
attorneys, and the public. The Library collection is                Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, and Wheeling,
comprised of 150,000 volumes or volume equivalents,                 and public libraries in Beckley, Welch, Marlinton,
including print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronic                 Clarksburg, Romney, and Martinsburg.
resources. Included are an assortment of federal and state               In 2007, the State Law Library, in cooperation
materials, case reporters, statutes, regulations, legislative       with state agencies, began offering free informational
materials, periodicals, and government documents. A                 workshops to the public. These sessions cover a variety of
staff of seven professional librarians and paraprofessional         law-related topics such as basic legal research, Consumer
personnel provide research and reference assistance, interli-       Credit Repair, and First-Time Home Buying.
brary loans for court personnel, and a fee-based document
                                                                          In 2008, the Library held workshops on Consumer
delivery service. Patrons may request legal information by
                                                                    Credit Repair, Basic Legal Research, Basic Tax
phone, fax, and e-mail.
                                                                    Information, Why Your Vote Counts, How To Petition for
     In addition to the State Law Library, the West                 a Legal Name Change, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety,
Virginia court library system consists of thirty-seven              Grandparents’ Rights, Preventing Identity Theft, and an
judicial circuit libraries, including six regional law libraries,   informational session on the West Virginia Retirement
each staffed with a full-time local law librarian to assist         Plus program for state employees.
patrons. Regional law libraries have excellent collections
                                                                         Other workshops offered by the Library cover advance
of primary sources, with emphasis on West Virginia codes
                                                                    medical directives, including living wills, medical powers
and regulations. Free computer access to the Internet is
                                                                    of attorney, and health care proxies.
also available at these locations.
                                                                         All workshops are held in the State Law Library,
      The State Law Library’s Web site, http://www.state.
                                                                    Building 1, Room E-404 in the East Wing of the State
wv.us/wvsca/library/menu.htm, has links to court-related
                                                                    Capitol. Sessions are free to the public and registration is
resources such as West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals’
                                                                    not required. For information about future workshops,
slip opinions, oral argument calendars, jury instructions, and
                                                                    call the State Law Library at (304) 558-2607 or visit
general court system information. The Web site also has links
                                                                    our Web site at http://www.state.wv.us/wvsca/library/
to West Virginia legal resources including the West Virginia
Code and Code of State Rules as well as other state, federal,

                      Supreme Court appoints compliance
                      commission on prison, jail conditions
          The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia            director of the Appalachian Institute at Wheeling
     voted in its Administrative Conference on December            Jesuit University; Kanawha County Chief Public
     9, 2008, to establish a seven-person Compliance               Defender George Castelle; and Charleston lawyer
     Commission on Sams v. Kirby, a November 30, 2005,             Forrest Roles, who was the last special master in the Sams
     Supreme Court opinion addressing the increasing               v. Kirby case. Supreme Court Administrative Director
     number of convicted felons held in regional jails. That       Steve Canterbury is an ex-officio member. 
     per curiam opinion is available on the Supreme Court                 The panel has one full-time employee, former
     Web site at http://www.state.wv.us/wvsca/Docs/                Southern Regional Jail Administrator Tom Scott, who is
     Fall05/26647.htm.                                             to start work in January 2009. He will have a court order
         The Commission members are Fourteenth Judicial            from the Chief Justice giving him authority to enter
     Circuit Judge Jack Alsop of Braxton, Clay, Gilmer,            all regional jails and correctional facilities to interview
     and Webster Counties, who serves as chairman; First           inmates and jail and prison staff regarding overcrowding,
     Circuit Judge Martin J. Gaughan of Brooke, Hancock,           availability of programs, and other related issues.
     and Ohio Counties; Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Judge                The Commission is expected to issue a report to the
     Lawrance S. Miller, Jr., of Preston County; W. Joseph         Supreme Court within the next two years, but it does not
     McCoy, former corrections commissioner during the             have a deadline. The report could include recommenda-
     two terms of former Governor Jay Rockefeller and              tions to alleviate overcrowding, a recommendation to
     a retired professor at Marshall University and West           appoint a special master, or recommendations for one or
     Virginia Wesleyan College; Father Brian O’Donnell,            more court orders.

                                    Special judicial programs

              he Special Projects Division of the Supreme          Leadership Academy (DLA), presented by the American
              Court Administrative Office provides                 Institute for Managing Diversity, to the Kanawha
              administrative and advisory counsel to task          Valley, and sent a delegate to participate in the Diversity
     forces, boards, panels, and commissions dealing               Leadership Academy of West Virginia in the fall of 2008.
     primarily with social and equal justice issues; and               The Special Projects Division expanded in 2008
     studies and reports on comparative judicial admin-            to include a Disproportionate Minority Contact
     istrative policies and procedures.                            Coordinator, based on a recommendation of the
         In 2008, the Special Projects Division continued          Interim Report completed by the Task Force to Study
     to serve as administrative counsel to the judiciary’s         Perceived Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice
     Behavioral Health Care Commissioners, remained the            System. Further, the Division attended the 2008
     central clearinghouse for court publications, and served as   National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness
     coordinator for the Supreme Court Internet Committee’s        in the Courts. The Division continued — through
     redesign of the state court system’s Web site.                conference presentations such as “The Relevance of
          The division also completed a year-long study of         Diversity in the Twenty-First Century Workplace”
     certain earmarked revenue distribution among America’s        — in furthering the vision that West Virginia courts
     Courts. The study was published by the National Center        understand and embrace diversity.
     for State Courts Knowledge and Information Services               A lso in 2008, the Division worked under
     Division in its CourTopics Database.                          the direction of Justice Brent D. Benjamin
          The Special Projects Division started the year by        toward transforming the former Task Force on
     presenting “Who’s in the Cubicle Next Door? Building          Self-Represented Litigants into an appointed
     Community through Managing Workplace Diversity”               Access to Justice Commission. The Division’s
     at the Administrative Office staff retreat on January 18,     director will serve as administrator, coordina-
     2008. Division Director Jennifer Singletary also partici-     tor, and legal counsel for the Commission.
     pated in a start-up workshop intended to bring a Diversity

 Liberty Bell Award given to Judge Robert J. Staker

             est Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice                   The Liberty Bell Award is commissioned each year
             Elliott E. Maynard presented the 2008                 by the American Bar Association. It honors a person who
             Liberty Bell Award to retired U.S. District           promotes better understanding of the rule of law, encourages
Court Judge Robert J. Staker during the West Virginia              a greater respect for law and the courts, stimulates a sense of
State Bar’s Past Presidents’ Dinner on May 1, 2008.                civic responsibility, and contributes to good government in
     Chief Justice Maynard also
swore in new members of the
State Bar Board of Governors at
the conclusion of the dinner.
     Born in Kermit, Mingo
County, in 1925, Judge Staker
served in the U.S. Navy as a
radioman in the 1940s. He
earned his law degree from
the West Virginia University
College of Law in 1952.
     Judge Staker had his own
private practice for more than
a decade before serving Mingo
County, first as a prosecutor
and then on the bench for ten
years as a Circuit Court Judge.
Judge Staker was nominated
by President Jimmy Carter to
the federal bench in 1979. He
served in the Southern District
of West Virginia, and earned
senior status until his retirement
in 2005.                             Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard, right, presents the Liberty Bell Award to retired U.S. District Judge
     Upon his retirement, U.S. Robert J. Staker on May 1, 2008. Photo by Kandi Greter
Representative Nick J. Rahall, II,
said Judge Staker had “a long and distinguished history of the community. Such awards are presented as part of more
accomplishment and public service . . . [he] has committed than two hundred Law Day programs around the nation.
himself to serving the people of West Virginia as a member Annually, May 1st is Law Day.
of the legal profession.”                                        The 2008 Law Day theme, assigned by the American
     Congressman Rahall continued, “Judge Staker’s          Bar Association, was “The Rule of Law: Foundation for
tenure on the federal bench was one marked by common Communities of Opportunity and Equity.” The Supreme
sense and common justice for all. It has been said that Court of Appeals of West Virginia commemorates Law Day
those who clearly recognize the voice of their own each year by bestowing the Liberty Bell award.
conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.          Tragically, Judge Staker died November 30, 2008, in
Judge Staker’s legacy on the federal court will echo the a Huntington nursing care facility. (Please see story in
voice of justice for generations to come.”                  “Transitions” on page 77. )

                                        Mass Litigation Panel

     T                                                                    Amendments to rules governing
             he Chairman of the Mass Litigation Panel is
             Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats of the Nineteenth                      mass litigation
             Circuit, comprised of Barbour and Taylor
     Counties. Members of the Panel are Judge John A.                  On July 1, 2007, then-Chief Justice Robin Jean
     Hutchison of the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Raleigh              Davis directed the Mass Litigation Panel to draft
     County); Judge Booker T. Stephens of the Eighth               proposed rules for consideration by the Supreme
     Judicial Circuit (McDowell County); Judge Jay M.              Court governing mass litigation. For over a year
     Hoke of the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit (Boone              the panel worked on proposed amendments to the
     and Lincoln Counties); Judge Derek Swope of the               West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure and the
     Ninth Judicial Circuit (Mercer County); and Judge             West Virginia Trial Court Rules that affect cases
     James P. Mazzone of the First Judicial Circuit (Brooke,       referred to the Mass Litigation Panel. The panel
     Hancock, and Ohio Counties).                                  proposed substantial amendments to Trial Court
                                                                   Rule 26, which governs Mass Litigation, as well
          Following is a list of mass litigation referred to the   as amendments to Trial Court Rule 16.05(a) and
     panel, the county in which the litigation is pending, and     Rules 3(a) and 5(e) of the West Virginia Rules of
     the judge or judges assigned to preside in the litigation:    Civil Procedure. The panel also proposed Trial
                                                                   Court Rule 15, a new rule that establishes proce-
                                                                   dures for electronic filing and service (“e-filing
           Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation                     and service”) in certain mass litigation referred to
           Kanawha County                                          the panel.
            Ronald C. Wilson, Presiding Judge                           Throughout this process, the panel was assisted
            James P. Mazzone, Assisting Judge                      in its efforts by Supreme Court Clerk Rory Perry,
            Mark A. Karl, Assisting Judge                          Deputy Clerk Edythe Nash, Administrative Director
           Asbestos FELA Litigation                                Steve Canterbury, Deputy
           Kanawha County                                          Administrative Director
            Arthur M. Recht, Presiding Judge                       Kathleen Gross, and
            Jay M. Hoke, Assisting Judge                           attorney Kim Fields, who
                                                                   was hired by the Supreme
           Digitek® Litigation                                     Court on May 1, 2008, to
           Kanawha County                                          assist the panel in central-
            Alan D. Moats, Lead Presiding Judge                    izing management of mass
            Booker T. Stephens, Presiding Judge                    litigation in West Virginia.
            Derek C. Swope, Presiding Judge                        In her capacity as Mass
           Flood Damage Litigation                                 Litigation Manager, Ms.
           Raleigh County                                          Fields acts as a liaison
            John M. Hutchison, Lead Presiding Judge                bet ween the members
            Jay M. Hoke, Presiding Judge                           of the panel, counsel,
            Derek C. Swope, Presiding Judge                        the circuit clerks, other
            Booker T. Stephens, Lead Resolution Judge              members of the judiciary,
            Alan D. Moats, Resolution Judge                        and court personnel.
            James P. Mazzone, Resolution Judge                          After a period of public
                                                                   comment, the panel submit-
           Overweight Trucks Litigation                            ted its final recommenda-
           Lincoln County                                          tions regarding the proposed
            Jay M. Hoke, Presiding Judge                           rules to the Supreme Court
           Tobacco Litigation                                      during the Fall 2008 Term
           Ohio County                                             of Court. On October 9, 2008, the Supreme Court
            Arthur M. Recht, Presiding Judge                       entered orders adopting the panel’s proposed rule changes.

                     Flood litigation                                       With the advice and consent of the panel, Judge
                                                                       Moats entered an order assigning Judge Hutchison to
     On September 4, 2008, the Supreme Court ordered
                                                                       serve as Lead Judge presiding in all cases in all watersheds
that In re: Flood Litigation Coal River Watershed, and In
                                                                       in the flood litigation, with Judge Hoke and Judge Swope
re: Flood Litigation Upper Guyandotte River Watershed
                                                                       assigned to assist Judge Hutchison as Presiding Judges.
Subwatershed 2a be remanded to the Raleigh County
                                                                       Judge Stephens was assigned to serve as Lead Resolution
Circuit Court and transferred to the Mass Litigation
                                                                       Judge, with Judge Mazzone and Judge Moats assigned to
Panel for further proceedings by current members
                                                                       assist Judge Stephens as Resolution Judges. The Litigation
of the panel. On September 17, 2008, the Supreme
                                                                       Judges will provide consistent rulings on pre-trial motions
Court ordered that the flood damage cases previously
                                                                       and work on moving the cases through the litigation
transferred to the Circuit Court of Raleigh County be
                                                                       process. The Resolution Judges will work on resolution of
reassigned to the current members of the panel.      
                                                                       cases through mediation and oversee accounting of settle-
     The panel held a status and scheduling conference                 ment proceeds.
in the flood litigation cases at the Raleigh County
                                                                            In December 2008, the panel received information
Courthouse on October 7, 2008. It was the first time
                                                                       it had requested from the parties to assist the panel in
all six circuit judges appointed to serve on the Mass
                                                                       its management of the flood litigation. This informa-
Litigation Panel presided together on a matter.
                                                                       tion was used by Raleigh County Deputy Circuit Court
     During the status conference, Judge Moats told                    Clerk Paul Flanagan to construct a case, party, water-
attorneys that the panel plans to bring more account-                  shed and subwatershed matrix, which will be used by
ability across the entire system and to work together as               LexisNexis, the Court’s designated e-service provider,
a panel as opposed to “a pool of six judges doing separate             to implement e-filing and service in the flood litigation.
cases and going in separate directions.”

The Mass Litigation Panel holds a scheduling conference at the Raleigh County Courthouse. From left, Judge Derek C. Swope, Judge Jay M.
Hoke, Judge John M. Hutchison, Judge Alan D. Moats, Judge Booker T. Stephens, and Judge James P. Mazzone. Photo by Rick Barbero, The
[Beckley] Register-Herald

     The Mass Litigation Panel meets in a conference room at the Supreme Court. From left, Judge Derek C. Swope, Judge Alan D. Moats, Judge John
     A. Hutchison (back to camera), attorney Kim Fields, Judge Booker T. Stephens, and Judge James P. Mazzone. Photo by Jennifer Bundy

          Implementation of electronic filing                               Judge Moats, who sits in Taylor and Barbour Counties,
          and service in Digitek® and asbestos                              entered the first electronically filed order and served
                                                                            it on all counsels of record in the Digitek® litigation,
               personal injury litigation                                   which is pending in Kanawha County. The order was
          On September 18, 2008, Chief Justice Elliott E.                   filed and served in a matter of minutes, instead of the
     Maynard entered an order transferring all pending and                  days or weeks it can take using traditional methods
     subsequently filed Digitek® cases in the State of West                 of filing and service when cases are pending in one
     Virginia to the Mass Litigation Panel. The Digitek®                    circuit, but the presiding judge is located in another
     Litigation is a product liability litigation concerning the            circuit. 
     heart medication, digoxin.
                                                                                A prime example of the time and cost-savings
         Shortly after these cases were transferred to the                  to be gained by e-filing and service is in the asbestos
     panel, in accordance with new Trial Court Rule 15,                     personal injury litigation. First Circuit Judge Ronald
     the panel determined that it was appropriate for the                   E. Wilson sits in Hancock County, but presides in
     Digitek® litigation as well as certain trial groups in the
     asbestos personal injury litiga-
     tion to be subject to e-filing
     and service. On November 3,
     2008, the panel entered orders
     causing these cases to be subject
     to e-filing and service begin-
     ning December 8, 2008.
         The Digitek® litigation is
     the first mass litigation to be
     managed by the panel from
     the beginning using e-filing
     and service. On December 8,
     Clockwise from left: Kanawha County
     Clerk Cathy Gatson, Susan Barnes of
     LexisNexis, Mass Litigation Manager
     Kim Fields, and Kanawha County
     Clerk’s Office employees Rhonda
     Cavender, Darla Hodges, and Carlye
     Barnette next to the equipment used
     to enter electronic orders. Photo by
     Jennifer Bundy

the asbestos p e r s o n a l
injury litigation, which
is pending in Kanawha
County Circuit Court.
Yet, Judge Wilson is able to
enter hundreds of orders in
the asbestos personal injury
litigation in a fraction of the
time it previously took using
traditional methods of filing
and service.
      “Electronic filing and
service will benefit the
court system, attorneys,
and parties alike,” said
Judge Moats. “Online clerk
and judicial review of filed
documents will improve
court operations, while the
online document deposi-
tory will improve access to
filed documents for everyone.”
     E-filing and service
is a welcome change for
Kanawha County Circuit
Clerk Cathy Gatson, whose
office manages the filings in
both the Digitek® litigation
and the asbestos personal
injury litigation. “E-filing
and service will save time
and allow our office to
manage large numbers of
filings electronically,” said
Ms. Gatson. “Mass litigation
has created huge numbers
of documents that currently require countless hours to
manage. E-filing and service will significantly improve              Mass Litigation Panel Web page
that process.”                                                      With the assistance of Supreme Court Clerk
       E-filing doesn’t just provide a quicker, more           Rory Perry and Mass Litigation Manager Kim Fields,
efficient way to exchange information in the judicial          the Mass Litigation Panel now has a Web page that is
system. According to Tobias Hartmann, vice president           maintained on the Supreme Court’s Web site. The
and managing director of File & Serve for LexisNexis,          panel’s Web page contains recent administrative orders
“The courts and law firms that have implemented File           entered by the Supreme Court on motions to refer
& Serve have demonstrated that they can improve their          mass litigation to the panel, recent orders of the panel,
efficiency and significantly lower costs while dramati-        forms created to assist the judiciary and counsel in
cally reducing the consumption of paper, energy, and           their management of mass litigation, and other forms
pollution at a time when our planet requires more              of complex litigation as well as contact information for
responsible management of natural resources.”                  members of the panel and Ms. Fields.

                      Problem-solving courts

                 est Virginia’s fourth adult drug court              Participants undergo
                 program opened in 2008, as the state           substance abuse treatment
                 judicial system continued to focus on          and are heavily supervised
     innovative ways to provide justice to citizens.            by probation officers, law
         The Southwestern Regional Drug Court, the              enforcement, and the drug
     administering circuit judge of which is rotated yearly,    court. If needed, they
     opened on November 14, 2008. It operates in Lincoln,       may also undergo treat-
     Logan, and Boone Counties for felony offenders and         ment for mental illnesses.
     misdemeanor offenders on appeal.                           Participants may be forced
                                                                to repeat certain phases of
         Judge William Thompson of the Twenty-Fifth
                                                                the program if they have
     Judicial Circuit, encompassing Boone and Lincoln
                                                                positive drug screens or if
     Counties, and Judges Roger Perry and Eric O’Briant
                                                                they refuse to cooperate.
     of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Logan County,
                                                                The supervising judge may
     oversee the program. Logan County Chief Probation
                                                                impose jail time if he or
     Officer Charles Brown, Boone/Lincoln County Chief
                                                                she feels it is therapeuti-
     Probation Officer Jerry Swanson, and Drug Court
                                                                cally necessary to make
     Coordinator Mary McCoy also staff the regional
                                                                a participant follow the
     program, which is expected to expand to include
                                                                protocol and be success-
     juvenile drug courts in 2009.
                                                                ful in drug court.
         The Northern Panhandle Drug Court, West
                                                                     Treatment courts are needed. The U. S .
     Virginia’s first, serves Brooke, Hancock, Ohio,
                                                                Department of Justice reported at the end of 2003
     Marshall, and Wetzel Counties. The Southern
                                                                that fifty-five percent of f e dera l pr i soner s were
     Regional Drug Court serves Mercer, McDowell,
                                                                drug offenders and twenty percent of adults in state
     Monroe, Summers, and Wyoming Counties. The
                                                                prisons were drug law violators. A June 2003 survey of
     West Central Drug Court serves Wood, Wirt,
                                                                West Virginia’s regional jails indicated that forty-one
     Pleasants, Ritchie, and Doddridge Counties.
                                                                percent of inmates said they had abused substances.
     Juvenile Drug Courts also operate in Cabell and
                                                                Statewide, 8.8 percent of all delinquency offenses in 2005
     Wayne Counties.
                                                                were for drug-related charges.
          Adult drug courts in West Virginia may serve those
                                                                     Drug courts, mental health courts, and other
     who have been charged with non-violent misdemeanor
                                                                problem-solving courts can reduce crime by address-
     or felony offenses, pled guilty or been found guilty of
                                                                ing the underlying problem of substance abuse. Rather
     non-violent misdemeanors and felonies and who were
                                                                than only punish drug offenders, drug court programs
     motivated to commit those crimes due to a substance
                                                                try to help them overcome the problems that led them
     abuse addiction, or are probation violators due to
                                                                to commit crimes. The hope is that they will lead better,
     substance abuse or addiction. The local planning team
                                                                happier lives as productive, contributing citizens and
     selects whether the drug court will operate as pre-plea,
                                                                commit no more crimes.
     post-plea, post-conviction, probation violation, or a
     combination of these depending upon local need and              There are now more than 2,100 drug courts in the
     program resources.                                         United States, with at least one in every state. Drug
                                                                courts have been proven effective; that’s why their
          Most West Virginia drug courts are operating as
                                                                number has grown so dramatically since the first opened
     post-plea and probation violation drug courts. People
                                                                in Miami, Florida, in 1989. Although drug courts can
     can volunteer for the programs to reduce or avoid jail
                                                                cost an average of $3,000 per client, they can save a state
     and prison sentences, if a judge so orders. Prosecutors
                                                                $11,000 to $22,000 per person not incarcerated.
     must approve referrals made to the drug courts, and
     each participant must be evaluated as a low to moderate        With a decade of research supporting the effective-
     risk to be released into the community. People who have    ness of adult drug treatment courts, such programs are
     been charged with sex crimes or crimes in which a child    now recognized as an important strategy to improve
     was the victim are not eligible.                           substance-abuse treatment outcomes and reduce crime.

Justice Brent D. Benjamin (far left), Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard (fourth from left), and Mercer County Circuit Judge William J. Sadler,
(fourth from right), pose with January 2008 graduates of the Southern Regional Drug Court. Photo courtesy of Laura Helton

Treatment courts produce greater cost benefits than                        percent for drug court graduates), compared to
other strategies that address criminal activity related                    forty-one percent for similar drug offenders who did
to substance abuse and addiction that bring individ-                       not participate in a treatment court program (Carey,
uals into the criminal justice system (GAO February                        Finigan, Crumpton, & Waller, 2006). A long-term
2005 report).                                                              study of the Multnomah County Drug Court in
     Since 2005, research has continued to show the                        Portland, Oregon, found that crime was reduced by
efficacy and cost-effectiveness of drug courts. Four                       thirty percent over five years, and effects on crime
independent meta-analyses concluded drug courts                            were still detectable fourteen years from the time of
significantly reduce crime rates an average of seven to                    arrest (Finigan, Carey, & Cox, 2007).
fourteen percentage points. (Aos, Miller, & Drake,                             Resolutions endorsing drug courts have been
2006; Lowenkamp, Holsinger, & Latessa, 2005;                               endorsed by the Conference of Chief Justices, the
Shaffer, 2006; Wilson, Mitchell, & MacKenzie, 2006).                       Conference of State Court Administrators, the
In a meta-analysis, scientists statistically average the                   National District Attorneys Association, the National
effects of the program over numerous research studies.                     Sheriffs Association, the International Association
    Some studies have shown even greater effects on                        of Chiefs of Police, and the National Association of
crime. A study of nine adult drug courts in California                     County Organizations.
reported re-arrest rates over a four-year period were
twenty-nine percent for drug court clients (seventeen

                                          Roster of Circuit Court Judges
                                                  West Virginia Circuits/Counties





                                                                2     Wetzel              Monongalia
                                                                                                 17         18                                           Morgan
                                                            Tyler                                                                                                 Berkeley
                                                                                         16              Preston                                                   23
                                            Pleasants                                       Taylor
                                                                               Harrison                                                      Hampshire                Jefferson
                                                       3      Doddridge
                                                                                 15            19                        21
                                                 Ritchie                                                                   Grant
                                        4                                                     Barbour           Tucker                 22
                                        Wirt                              Lewis                                                        Hardy
                                                            Gilmer                26
                                                                                   Upshur            Randolph
               Mason              5
                                        Roane                   Braxton
         6                                           Clay                      Webster
                              Kanawha                           28
                                 13                           Nicholas                    Pocahontas
 Wayne                   25                     12
                          Boone                 Fayette                               11
     Mingo       Logan
         30                     27              10
                              Wyoming                   Summers          Monroe
                          McDowell               Mercer
                                8                  9

  1st Judicial Circuit          10th Judicial Circuit          19th Judicial Circuit          28th Judicial Circuit
   Martin J. Gaughan            Robert A. Burnside, Jr.           Alan D. Moats                 Gary L. Johnson
   James P. Mazzone              John A. Hutchison
   Arthur M. Recht               H.L. Kirkpatrick III          20th Judicial Circuit          29th Judicial Circuit
   Ronald E. Wilson                                              John L. Henning              N. Edward Eagloski, II
                                 11th Judicial Circuit                                           O.C. Spaulding
 2nd Judicial Circuit           Joseph C. Pomponio, Jr.         21st Judicial Circuit
     Mark A. Karl                    James J. Rowe               Andrew N. Frye, Jr.          30th Judicial Circuit
   John T. Madden                                                 Philip B. Jordan             Michael Thornsbury
                                12th Judicial Circuit
 3rd Judicial Circuit              Paul M. Blake, Jr.          22nd Judicial Circuit          31st Judicial Circuit
 Robert L. Holland, Jr.          John W. Hatcher, Jr.           Donald H. Cookman                Robert A. Irons
                                                                  Jerry D. Moore
  4th Judicial Circuit           13th Judicial Circuit        (Appointed December 19, 2008)
       J.D. Beane                   Jennifer Bailey
     Jeffrey B. Reed                Irene C. Berger            23rd Judicial Circuit
   Robert A. Waters             Louis H. “Duke” Bloom             Gina M. Groh
                                    Tod J. Kaufman               David H. Sanders
 5th Judicial Circuit               Charles E. King               Gray Silver, III
 Thomas C. Evans, III            (Retired October 16, 2008)    Thomas W. Steptoe, Jr.
   David W. Nibert                  James C. Stucky            Christopher C. Wilkes
                                     Paul Zakaib Jr.
  6th Judicial Circuit                                         24th Judicial Circuit
   John L. Cummings             14th Judicial Circuit              Darrell Pratt
   Alfred E. Ferguson                Jack Alsop                 James H. Young, Jr.
 (Retired October 31, 2008)      Richard A. Facemire          (Took bench December 9, 2008)
    Dan P. O’Hanlon
     F. Jane Hustead            15th Judicial Circuit          25th Judicial Circuit
(Took bench November 1, 2008)     Thomas A. Bedell                 Jay M. Hoke
   David M. Pancake               J. Lewis Marks, Jr.          William S. Thompson
                                   James A. Matish
  7th Judicial Circuit                                         26th Judicial Circuit
    Eric H. O’Briant            16th Judicial Circuit           Thomas H. Keadle
     Roger L. Perry                Fred L. Fox, II
                                   David R. Janes              27th Judicial Circuit
 8th Judicial Circuit                                              John S. Hrko
Rudolph J. Murensky, II         17th Judicial Circuit
  Booker T. Stephens            Russell M. Clawges, Jr.
                                   Robert B. Stone
  9th Judicial Circuit
   Omar J. Aboulhosn            18th Judicial Circuit
(Appointed December 5, 2008)    Lawrance S. Miller, Jr.
    William J. Sadler
    Derek C. Swope

                                                     Circuit Courts
                                      Circuit Court Civil Cases Filed in the Calendar Year 2008

     W             est Virginia’s fifty-five counties are divided
                   into thirty-one circuits with sixty-nine judges.
                   The circuits vary in size; one has seven judges
     while nine have one judge each. While every county has a
     courthouse where a judge presides, a single circuit can be
                                                                           Circuit courts receive appeals from magistrate
                                                                      courts, municipal courts, and all administrative agencies
                                                                      except from the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
                                                                      Workers’ compensation appeals go directly to the
                                                                      Supreme Court of Appeals.
     comprised of up to four counties.                                     Circuit courts also can hear appeals of family court
           Each judge has a law clerk, a secretary, and a             rulings, but both parties can agree to appeal domes-
     court reporter.                                                  tic relations decisions directly to the Supreme Court.
           The circuit courts are trial courts of record. They        Additionally, circuit judges receive recommended orders
     have jurisdiction over all civil cases in which more than        from judicial officers who hear mental health hygiene
     $300 is at issue; all cases on equity; proceedings in            and juvenile matters.
     habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari; and                In 2008, a total of 50,099 cases were filed in West
     all felonies and misdemeanors.                                   Virginia’s circuit courts. Of that, 32,881 filings were
                                                                      civil cases, 9,364 were criminal cases, and 7,854 were
                                                                      juvenile matters.
                                                                               Circuit Court Juvenile Cases Filed in 2008
                   Circuit Court Criminal Cases Filed in 2008
               Circuit Court Criminal Cases Filed                                Circuit Court Juvenile Cases Filed
                   in the Calendar Year 2008                                         in the Calendar Year 2008


                                                                       Child Abuse/Neglect


         Magistrate Appeals



                                                                                             Status Offense

                           Circuit Court County Filings
                                                CY 1999-2008

                            * Lincoln County did not report Circuit Court filings for 2000.
The decrease in total filings in 2002 is attributed to the creation of new Family Courts in January 2002. Before 2002, the
 family law master system caseload appeared on the Circuit Court caseload. Please refer to Page 60 for the Family Court
                   caseload. In 2003, the total Circuit Court caseload included Family Court appeals.

                                       Roster of Family Court Judges
                                                           2008 Family Court Circuits




                                                                       2      Wetzel
                                                                                                        20                                                          Morgan
                                                                                                   19             Preston                               23
                                                                                                                                              Mineral                             24
                                                                                                    Taylor   21                                         Hampshire                Jefferson
                                        Wood          3    Ritchie
                                                                                                     Barbour                          Grant
                                                                                  Lewis                            22                             Hardy

                                Jackson               Calhoun                    17        Upshur
                                5                         4
                       Mason                                                                                                     25
                                               Roane                    Braxton
                                                                                                                                                                18th Circuit
                                                                                                                                                               M. Drew Crislip
                                                            Clay                       Webster
              Cabell     26                                                 16
                6                    Kanawha
                                                                                                                                                                19th Circuit
                                        11                            Nicholas                    Pocahontas                                                    David P. Born
                                                                                                                                                              20th Circuit
        7                10         Boone                 Fayette
                                                                                                                                                          James Jeffrey Culpepper
            Mingo       Logan                                        14                                                                                         21st Circuit
                           9                      Raleigh
                8                            13                                   15                                                                            Beth Longo
                                                                                                                12th Circuit
                                     Wyoming                   Summers           Monroe
                                                                                                               Anthony Bisaha                                 22nd Circuit
                                                                                                      (Took office September 4, 2008)                     Jaymie Godwin Wilfong
                                McDowell        12                                                           Mary Ellen Griffith
                                                                                                              Edwin B. Wiley                                   23rd Circuit
                                                                                                              (Retired July 1, 2008)                          Charles E. Parsons
                                                            7th Circuit                                     13th Circuit                                       24th Circuit
        1st Circuit                                                                                      H. Suzanne McGraw                                   Sally G. Jackson
                                                          R. Stephen Lewis
     Joyce Dumbaugh                                                                                       Louise G. Staton                                William T. Wertman Jr.
        Chernenko                                           8th Circuit
     William F. Sinclair                                  Robert D. Calfee                                      14th Circuit                                    25th Circuit
                                                                                                               Janet Frye Steele                             Roy David Arrington
       2nd Circuit                                    9th Circuit
      Robert C. Hicks                           Kelly Gilmore Codispoti                                        15th Circuit                                    26th Circuit
                                                                                                              David M. Sanders                            William M. Watkins, III
        3rd Circuit                                        10th Circuit
     Annette L. Fantasia                                  Cynthia J. Jarrell                               16th Circuit
     C. Darren Tallman                                                                                  Timothy R. Ruckman
                                                     11th Circuit
       4th Circuit                                    Mike Kelly                                               17th Circuit
      Larry S. Whited                           Robert M. Montgomery                                         Robert Reed Sowa
                                               Jane Charnock Smallridge
       5th Circuit
                                                    D. Mark Snyder
      Deloris J. Nibert
        6th Circuit
     Ronald E. Anderson
       Patricia Keller

                                  Court realignment, additions

        he Supreme Court of Appeals hired the                                           approved a bill adding six circuit judges within existing
        National Center for State Courts to conduct                                     circuit boundaries, and sent the bill to Governor Joe
        two separate weighted caseload studies of the                                   Manchin, III who vetoed it.
work of circuit judges and family court judges in 2006        However, during the 2008 session, lawmakers
in preparation for the 2007 legislative session.          approved a bill adding circuit judge positions to the
     The study of circuit judges found that each judge Ninth, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fourth Circuits. The
in twenty of the thirty-one circuits was doing the work governor appointed the three new judges in December.
of more than one full-time judge. Those in the eleven         The National Center for State Courts’ study of
remaining circuits averaged the equivalent of more than family court judge workloads showed that all of the
nine-tenths of a full judge day. Most of those judges family court judges were working over the normal full
preside in the most rural parts of West Virginia where judge-day workload. The Center’s study indicated West
their drives between courthouses can be tortuous, a full- Virginia needed an additional twenty-two family court
day’s work in themselves.                                 judges to work with the existing thirty-five.
     The work of the Mass Litigation Panel was not                                           With the assistance of the Supreme Court
included in the work study, nor were the myriad other                                   Administrative Office – and especially the help of
extracurricular tasks that are required of judges in West                               Legislative Analyst Tina Sevy, Administrative Counsel
Virginia. When those are taken into account, it is clear                                Kirk Brandfass, and Administrative Director Steve
that circuit judges in West Virginia routinely work ten-,                               Canterbury – the Legislature in 2007 rearranged family
eleven-, even twelve-hour days.                                                         court circuit boundaries, created a new family court
     The West Virginia Judicial Association                                             circuit, and added ten family court judges, giving relief
reviewed the National Center’s report and 1                                             to a total of sixteen circuits. Governor Manchin signed
recommended adding ten circuit judges within Brooke                                     that bill.
existing circuit boundaries. The Supreme Ohio                                               The new family court judges will take office and the
Court approved that recommendation and                                                  new boundaries will go into effect on January 1, 2009. The
sent it, along with the National Center’s                                               new family court circuits are reflected in the map below.
report, to the Legislature in December      Marshall
2006. The Legislature in early 2007
                                           2 Wetzel                                        Monongalia
                                                                                                          20                                               Morgan
                                                                                        19                 Preston
                                                                                                                                     Mineral     23                   24
                                               Pleasants                    18 Harrison      Taylor
                                                                                                                                               Hampshire                 Jefferson
                                                                  Doddridge                      21
                                                       Ritchie                                  Barbour                      Grant
                                                                              Lewis                        22                            Hardy
                              Jackson             Calhoun
                                                                              17      Upshur          Randolph               25
                    Mason   5
                                           Roane                    Braxton
              6         26                               Clay                   Webster
                                   Kanawha                16                          27
       7                             11                                                    Pocahontas
                       10                          Fayette
           Mingo      Logan
                                                                              Greenbrier                               2009
              8         9                      Raleigh

                                                  13                          15                               Family Court Circuits
                                  Wyoming                   Summers          Monroe

                                McDowell    12

                                               Family Courts
                          Family Court Caseload in Calendar Year 2008

             efore 2001, West Virginia had thirty-three              Family courts have jurisdiction over divorce, annul-
             family law masters who served twenty-four          ment, separate maintenance, paternity, grandparent visita-
             family court circuits. Family law masters were     tion, name change, infant guardianship, child custody,
     special commissioners the governor appointed to hear       and family support proceedings, except those incidental
     family court cases and to issue recommended orders to      to child abuse and neglect. Family court judges also hold
     circuit courts. A constitutional amendment approved        final hearings in civil domestic violence protective order
     by voters in November 2000 elevated family courts to a     proceedings and may perform marriages.
     separate court system with thirty-five judges in twenty-        In 2008, there were 35,366 new cases filed in family
     six circuits.                                              courts in West Virginia. Of those, 15,290 were domestic
          The governor appointed the first family court         violence, 11,768 were divorces, and 8,308 were other
     judges to one-year terms. They then stood for              domestic relations. There also were 10,539 modification
     election in partisan races in 2002 and took office for     and contempt proceedings in cases reopened during the
     initial six-year terms in January 2003. Subsequent         year, which were not counted as new cases filed. Those
     terms beginning January 1, 2009, will be for eight         proceedings accounted for 23 percent of the family court
     years, the same as terms of circuit judges. During         judges’ statewide workload.
     the 2007 legislative session, the Legislature added             Family court judges can refer parents to mediation
     ten additional family court judges, one additional         and parent education and refer children for guardian
     circuit, and restructured nine circuits to balance         ad litem services. The Supreme Court does not charge
     caseloads statewide. The new judges were elected on        families who cannot afford to pay for these services.
     November 4, 2008, and are to begin their eight-year
                                                                     Guardians ad litem must be attorneys and conduct
     terms on January 1, 2009.
                                                                investigations to help family court judges make decisions
         Family court judges have authority to make final       in the best interest of the people the guardians represent.
     decisions in family court cases. Circuit courts hear       Family court judges can appoint guardians ad litem
     appeals of family court decisions unless both parties      on behalf of children, incarcerated persons, and
     agree to appeal divorce and other domestic relations       people who have been adjudicated incompetent who
     decisions directly to the Supreme Court of Appeals.        are involved in family court disputes.

     Family court judges require all parents to attend
mediation sessions if they cannot otherwise resolve
                                                                 Family Court Division
parenting issues or agree to a parenting plan. Parents            The Division of Family Court Services held the
first go to individual pre-mediation screening sessions      first Domestic Violence Firearms Summit in 2008. The
with a trained family case coordinator to determine          “Coordinated Community Response to Enforcement of
if they are candidates for mediation. About twenty           Domestic Violence Protective Orders and Prohibition”
percent of parents are not candidates for mediation for      was held September 23 and 24 at Tamarack in Beckley.
various reasons.                                             More than ninety participants from law enforcement,
                                                             the judiciary, domestic violence advocacy groups, and
    If parents go to mediation, they must attend a
                                                             Legal Aid learned in detail about federal and state
mediation session with a Supreme Court-approved
                                                             firearms laws, and how to work together to implement
family court mediator who helps them draft a parenting
                                                             them so there can be better enforcement of protective
plan to present to a family court judge.
                                                             orders in West Virginia. The format of the summit will
    Along with mediation, family court judges order          be used in a series of regional meetings around West
parents who are divorcing to attend a one-time, manda-       Virginia in April 2009.
tory parent education class. Every West Virginia county
                                                                  The summit was the resu lt of Fa mi ly Court
offers such classes. Adults learn about preparing a
                                                             Division Director Lisa Tackett’s participation
parenting plan, mediation, and the effects of family
                                                             in a September 2006 conference i n L o s A n g ele s ,
dissolution and domestic violence on children. The class
                                                             “Domestic Violence and Firearms: A National Summit
teaches parents how to minimize the negative effects of
                                                             for Community Safety.” Ms. Tackett, Tonia Thomas of the
divorce and family dissolution on children.
                                                             West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and
     In 2007 the Supreme Court approved an expan-            Larry Nelson of the West Virginia Regional C o m m u n i t y
sion of “high-conflict” parent education classes and         Po l i c i n g Institute came back to West Virginia with
in September 2008 the Court launched child-focused           information about how to present similar meetings
classes for parents who are divorcing. These classes are     and how to apply for a grant to “Encourage Arrest and
designed for parents who continue to have disputes           Enforcement of Protective Orders” from the Office on
after attending the mandatory one-time parent educa-         Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.
tion class required of all divorcing couples who have
                                                                  The Supreme Court of Appeals wrote a grant
children. Family courts refer select couples to the series
                                                             proposal, which included a memorandum of under-
of six, two-hour classes.
                                                             standing signed by the Court, the West Virginia State
                                                              Police, the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the
                                                              West Virginia Regional Community Policing Institute,
                                                              and the West Virginia Division of Criminal Justice
                                                              Services. The $815,000 grant, which the Supreme
                                                              Court received, was used to purchase technology for a
                                                              Domestic Violence Registry and money to hire a staff
                                                              to run it. It also provided funding for training in its
                                                              use and funding for a series of firearms summits. The
                                                              Court hopes to launch the Domestic Violence Registry
                                                              in 2009. The grant also provides funding for ten circuit
                                                              judges, ten family court judges, and ten magistrates to
                                                              attend national training on domestic violence.
                                                                  Also in 2008, the Family Court Division focused
                                                             on ensuring that there will be courtrooms and offices
                                                             for the ten new family court judges who are to take
                                                             office on January 1, 2009.

                  Family Court County Filings
                      Family Court County Filings
                               CY 2002 - 2008
     County         2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003     2002
     Barbour         236      244      247      184      138      141      244
     Berkeley      1,740    1,728    1,814    1,803    1,722    1,603    1,569
     Boone           553      645      621      605      663      610      608
     Braxton         209      208      235      220      233      243      282
     Brooke          300      318      304      344      332      308      323
     Cabell        2,483    2,475    2,454    2,388    2,328    2,440    2,341
     Calhoun         147      113      119      142      174      158      130
     Clay            249      258      325      326      282      243      288
     Doddridge       117      121      124      142      133      125      126
     Fayette       1,039      933    1,030      946      990      897      981
     Gilmer          122       86      126       66       50       58      123
     Grant           192      186      180      250      127      191      121
     Greenbrier      685      593      640      685      713      736      630
     Hampshire       307      308      282      279      333      254      276
     Hancock         456      519      595      443      388      516      505
     Hardy           230      264      276      289      257      247      218
     Harrison      1,282    1,263    1,354    1,268    1,187    1,181    1,092
     Jackson         446      560      456      487      457      419      472
     Jefferson       736      768      752      775      826      783      677
     Kanawha       4,244    4,153    4,302    4,741    4,270    4,418    4,375
     Lewis           282      265      276      233      285      241      283
     Lincoln         417      474      528      549      511      631      550
     Logan         1,156    1,052    1,185    1,283    1,210    1,192    1,225
     Marion          920      858      843      849      836      901      842
     Marshall        554      513      448      526      465      547      461
     Mason           433      529      562      474      524      461      480
     McDowell        622      684      781    3,220      817      804      788
     Mercer        1,724    1,834    1,894    1,943    1,830    1,644    1,691
     Mineral         467      507      403      362      380      407      426
     Mingo           874    1,025    1,061    1,125    1,119    1,097    1,157
     Monongalia    1,235    1,208    1,171    1,183    1,228    1,150    1,110
     Monroe          303      329      295      289      298      233      222
     Morgan          212      186      223      218      274      226      249
     Nicholas        521      507      518      471      495      457      460
     Ohio            678      620      731      717    1,386      659      674
     Pendleton        96       78       95       87       56       58       60
     Pleasants       105      131      156      129      108      109      136
     Pocahontas      182      172      214      221      211      184      183
     Preston         600      554      523      514      559      521      499
     Putnam          930      957      904      946      923      890      871
     Raleigh       1,637    1,594    1,669    1,617    1,529    1,319    1,637
     Randolph        560      552      511      505      428      500      502
     Ritchie         174      148      156      185      145      189      228
     Roane           357      300      362      305      329      278      319
     Summers         252      270      305      284      246      445      221
     Taylor          217      241      221      214      169      199      178
     Tucker          100       77       81       99       92       98      124
     Tyler           117      151      136      132      145      147      154
     Upshur          308      347      343      312      339      357      397
     Wayne           676      776      780      821      840      909      800
     Webster         230      243      237      193      238      206      179
     Wetzel          264      279      230      248      222      290      273
     Wirt             90      106      131      103      114      117      131
     Wood          1,633    1,633    1,607    1,647    1,524    1,420    1,506
     Wyoming         667      763      663      793      746      661      768
     TOTAL        35,366   35,706   36,479   39,180   36,224   35,118   35,165

           Court security

       very time a defendant pays court costs on
       criminal violations in West Virginia, a portion
       goes to a Court Security Fund, managed by the
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the West
Virginia Division of Criminal Justice Services through
the Court Security Board. The Board, by statute,
is chaired by the Supreme Court’s Administrative
Director. For violations in magistrate court, the amount
of court costs dedicated to the fund is five dollars. A
substantial amount of money is thereby created which
pays for crucial security needs in county after county.
    In 2008, $1 million in grants was given to twenty-
four county commissions for the purpose of enhanc-
ing the security of county court facilities and to the
Supreme Court for training court bailiffs. Grant funds
vary each year.

          The following awards
           were made in 2008:
 Berkeley County Commission $                14,740
 Boone County Commission                      37,718
 Brooke County Commission                    16,355
 Calhoun County Commission                     4,350
 Clay County Commission                      62,767
 Greenbrier County Commission               123,441
 Hampshire County Commission                 70,650
 Harrison County Commission                  27,239
 Jackson County Commission                     5,816
 Kanawha County Commission                   32,400
 Lewis County Commission                     18,927
 Lincoln County Commission                     7,566
 Logan County Commission                     89,002
 Marion County Commission                      9,621
 Mercer County Commission                    32,346
 Monongalia County Commission                14,175
 Morgan County Commission                    54,000
 Preston County Commission                   89,487
 Putnam County Commission                    65,025
 Roane County Commission                       7,740
 Upshur County Commission                    58,815
 Wetzel County Commission                    38,570
 Wood County Commission                      10,350
 West Virginia Supreme Court                108,900
 Total                                 $1,000,000

                                           Magistrate Courts

                                                                                       Magistrates run for four-year terms
                                                                                 in partisan elections. They do not have
                                                                                 to be lawyers.
                                                                                       Circuit judges appoint magistrates to
                                                                                 fill vacancies. An appointee who wishes
                                                                                 to remain in office must run in the next
                                                                                       A county-by-county list of magis-
                                                                                 trates in West Virginia, along with
                                                                                 their office telephone numbers and fax
                                                                                 numbers, is available on the Supreme
                                                                                 Court Web site at http://www.state.

              here are 158 magistrates in West Virginia.
              There are at least two magistrates in every              That Web site page also has a list of blank magistrate
              county, and ten in the largest county, Kanawha      court forms that can be downloaded and printed for the
     County. Magistrates issue arrest and search warrants,        public’s use, rules governing media coverage of magis-
     hear misdemeanor cases, conduct preliminary examina-         trate court proceedings, a copy of the “West Virginia
     tions in felony cases, and hear civil cases with $5,000 or   Benchbook for Domestic Violence Proceedings,” and a
     less in dispute. Magistrates also issue emergency protec-    domestic violence brochure, among other information.
     tive orders in cases involving domestic violence. Circuit
     courts hear appeals of magistrate court cases.

                                         Magistrate Court
                                           Case Filings
                                                  Magistrate Court Case Filings
                                                            CY 1999 - 2008

             Criminal      Special   Total for
   County    and Civil   Proceedings  2008        2007       2006     2005      2004      2003      2002      2001      2000      1999
Barbour          1,820           324      2,144     2,106     2,207     2,100     2,517     2,988     2,119     2,213     2,453     2,550
Berkeley        18,928          3,158    22,086    20,464    17,820    17,284    19,480    18,768    18,983    20,515    21,667    15,869
Boone            4,556           753      5,309     5,903     5,723     6,142     6,394     5,515     5,061     5,227     4,949     5,395
Braxton          2,781           407      3,188     3,711     3,894     3,944     4,072     3,901     5,004     4,579     4,469     4,287
Brooke           2,493           455      2,948     3,136     3,925     3,992     4,111     3,217     3,158     4,628     4,037     3,914
Cabell          15,487          3,001    18,488    20,355    20,169    21,333    23,391    21,150    19,624    19,164    21,481    22,795
Calhoun           826             96       922       765       773       958       926       839      1,079      933      1,085      869
Clay             1,526           187      1,713     2,534     2,526     2,352     2,500     2,027     1,951     2,628     2,817     3,158
Doddridge         970            135      1,105     1,973     1,276     1,097     1,376     1,346     1,198     1,479     1,801     1,603
Fayette          7,063          1,055     8,118     7,191     7,744     7,851     8,949     7,970     8,476    10,026    11,306    12,095
Gilmer            651            152       803      1,029     1,102      999       699       938       900      1,211     1,165     1,005
Grant            2,120           265      2,385     2,479     2,454     2,743     1,969     1,865     2,501     3,146     3,013     2,382
Greenbrier       4,486           477      4,963     5,053     6,699     6,085     6,715     6,055     6,542     6,560     6,867     7,411
Hampshire        4,274           491      4,765     5,778     6,079     5,808     5,233     4,598     3,807     3,573     3,959     3,254
Hancock          3,496           518      4,014     4,040     3,889     3,801     3,972     4,207     4,672     4,543     4,780     4,226
Hardy            3,156           327      3,483     3,234     4,038     4,364     4,473     3,668     3,730     4,319     4,248     2,943
Harrison        10,761          1,589    12,350    12,725    12,621    12,020    13,322    15,719    14,508    17,911    19,915    19,337
Jackson          3,466           524      3,990     4,483     4,528     4,754     5,118     4,116     3,585     3,890     4,740     5,803
Jefferson        6,587          1,153     7,740    10,531    15,734    10,962    10,578     9,545     8,227    10,985     9,498    10,189
Kanawha         38,960          5,842    44,802    50,477    39,710    41,920    40,458    34,955    39,289    43,690    50,598    46,573
Lewis            4,100           206      4,306     5,399     5,177     4,729     5,611     6,417     5,232     5,314     8,250     8,674
Lincoln          4,074           621      4,695     4,171     3,666     3,314     3,542     3,232     2,773     3,602     3,074     3,465
Logan            9,050          1,299    10,349    11,995    12,133    11,526    11,653     8,768     8,584     9,811     9,740     2,101
Marion           6,347          1,081     7,428     8,035     7,870     7,259     7,716     7,396     8,750     9,533    11,168    11,084
Marshall         3,610           737      4,347     5,153     5,052     4,972     4,751     4,691     6,854     5,915     6,537     6,351
Mason            4,141           594      4,735     5,418     4,530     4,194     5,222     4,005     4,853     5,795     5,729     4,541
McDowell         4,858          1,176     6,034     5,896     5,064     5,732     5,358     5,156     4,373     4,607     4,902     4,713
Mercer          12,141          2,614    14,755    16,942    18,628    20,545    18,802    17,442    21,585    18,232    19,466    18,863
Mineral          4,228           410      4,638     4,574     4,860     4,896     4,824     3,992     3,160     3,437     4,005     3,808
Mingo            6,168          1,315     7,483     7,204     6,061     6,561     5,384     4,363     5,529     5,229     5,598     4,626
Monongalia      12,059          1,450    13,509    13,889    12,970    11,919    13,048    12,298    12,660    14,244    14,800    13,799
Monroe           1,014           341      1,355     1,340     1,334     1,263     1,362     1,499     1,425     1,572     1,736     1,307
Morgan           3,106           206      3,312     3,236     3,221     4,141     3,946     3,670     3,731     3,897     3,008     3,400
Nicholas         5,810          1,458     7,268     6,775     7,657     7,665     7,112     6,409     7,618     8,022     8,683     8,448
Ohio             5,843           883      6,726     7,742     8,862     8,596    10,376     9,861     9,024     9,469    10,715    13,571
Pendleton         831             70       901       727      1,082     1,200     1,279     1,347     1,607     1,921     1,714     1,659
Pleasants        1,159            98      1,257     1,407     1,340     1,195     1,369     1,523     1,438     1,366     1,395     1,147
Pocahontas       1,345           145      1,490     1,950     2,592     1,444     2,159     1,849     1,929     2,445     2,321     2,186
Preston          5,048           573      5,621     5,392     5,909     5,788     5,288     5,481     6,605     5,699     6,409     5,833
Putnam           7,887           846      8,733     8,696     9,641     9,428    10,545     9,557     9,121     9,254     9,544     9,467
Raleigh         14,854          2,254    17,108    18,680    19,937    19,490    21,827    20,676    24,312    24,923    25,121    27,721
Randolph         6,297           602      6,899     6,591     5,845     6,877     7,069     7,592     6,943     8,139     8,390     7,742
Ritchie          3,008           160      3,168     3,850     3,665     3,477     3,287     2,548     2,731     3,386     2,917     2,041
Roane            2,695           374      3,069     3,507     3,518     3,310     3,393     2,683     2,940     3,939     4,340     4,679
Summers          1,560           228      1,788     2,053     1,904     1,780     1,786     1,606     2,140     2,365     2,332     1,798
Taylor           1,861           260      2,121     2,378     2,173     1,866     1,852     1,955     2,243     2,235     2,616     2,753
Tucker            903             93       996      1,138     1,141     1,395     1,469     1,275     1,311     1,549     1,601     1,419
Tyler             957             84      1,041     1,024     1,138     1,034     1,148     1,003     1,186     1,035     1,135     1,082
Upshur           4,096           272      4,368     5,159     5,235     5,771     6,087     6,758     5,705     5,752     7,381     6,320
Wayne            4,953           752      5,705     5,264     5,894     6,983     9,298     7,956     5,815     5,623     6,398     5,362
Webster          1,432           182      1,614     1,559     1,533     1,297     1,666     1,589     1,222     1,363     1,477     1,106
Wetzel           1,763           183      1,946     1,576     1,861     1,884     1,434     1,601     1,684     1,620     1,476     1,734
Wirt              995             59      1,054      959      1,176      917      1,021      998       805      1,108     1,278     1,128
Wood            18,210          1,456    19,666    20,873    17,835    16,001    14,068    12,622    13,338    12,671    11,843    12,504
Wyoming          2,510           965      3,475     3,574     3,667     3,987     3,917     3,889     4,362     4,616     3,832     3,769
 TOTAL        303,320          44,956   348,276   372,093   367,082   362,945   374,922   347,094   358,002   380,908   405,779   385,859

             Caroline Stoker: a dedicated and passionate
               court employee for almost four decades

     A        bounced check and a chance meeting with a
              justice of the peace in 1970 led Caroline Stoker
              to a job she loves — a job she has helped change
     over the last thirty-eight years, a job that has allowed
     her to work with every magistrate court employee in
                                                                  launched the system state-
                                                                  wide. Ms. Stoker was then
                                                                  asked to train the other
                                                                  magistrate clerks, since
                                                                  she had helped develop
     West Virginia.                                               the system and knew the
           “I have just loved this job from day one,” said Ms.    program so well.
     Stoker, the Monongalia County Magistrate Clerk.                   “I loved to travel, I
     She has been a clerk for the past thirty-two years, one      knew them all, and they
     of the first hired when the Legislature approved the         would call me if they had
     Magistrate Act of 1976, which replaced West Virginia’s       a problem or question. So
     justice of the peace system. Before that, she was a secre-   because of the relationship I
     tary for a justice of the peace in Monongalia County.        had established with them,
          “If it wasn’t for receiving a bad check, I would have   the court decided I would
     never fallen into this job,” she said.                       be the trainer,” she said.
          Ms. Stoker had been a secretary for a contractor, but        Over the years, she has
     the company went out of business, and her last paycheck      trained magistrate staff in
     bounced. So a friend suggested she go see the justice of     all fifty-five counties.
     the peace to get her money. When she did, that justice            “Caroline has been there
     of the peace asked what line of work she did. Then he        for such a long time, she has
     told her he needed a secretary, and she took the job.        a good rapport with these
          In 1976, newly elected Monongalia Circuit Judge         people,” said Janie Moore,
     Larry Starcher offered Ms. Stoker the new job of magis-      who was a Kanawha County
     trate clerk. She had planned on being a magistrate assis-    Magistrate from 1984 until
     tant, but after some persuasion by Judge Starcher, she       she retired in 2007.
     took the clerk job. Ms. Stoker said she was concerned             Eventually, Ms. Stoker
     because no one knew what magistrate clerks were              said she picked a team of
     supposed to do.                                              people who could assist her
          But then-Judge Starcher said, “Caroline, I don’t        with the day-to-day process
     know what the clerk does either, but if you take the job,    of training.
     we will figure it out together.”                                  In the 1990s, Ms. Stoker
          Ms. Stoker said she and Judge Starcher, who is          asked Mr. Philyaw if civil and
     now a Supreme Court Justice, developed forms they            criminal cases could also be
     needed in Monongalia County and, before long,                transferred to the computer
     the newly created Supreme Court Administrative               system. After some convinc-
     Office in Charleston was calling them to see what            ing and more program design and testing, those cases
     they were developing and then implementing those             also were computerized.
     forms in all counties.                                            “That involvement led to troubleshooting in the
          “I am not saying other counties weren’t giving          field,” said Ms. Stoker. “You are the liaison between
     input. . . . I had the chance to have some input and I       the field and the office. You are a reference tool to
     valued that very much,” said Ms. Stoker. “So starting        guide them to where the stuff is or make them aware of
     out a new system, I saw this as an opportunity to set up     existing policy. You are just basically troubleshooting,
     the system from scratch the way it should be.                solving problems, relaying problems to the AO
                                                                  (Administrative Office) they need to know about.”
          “The more I became involved, the more interest I
     took in it and it just kind of mushroomed.”                       But Ms. Stoker is more than just a liaison. She takes
                                                                  calls day and night; she travels three to four days a week,
          In the early 1980s, Ms. Stoker was asked by then-       training and helping court employees. She has even sat
     Court Administrative Director Ted Philyaw to help            in as a temporary clerk for weeks at a time in counties
     develop a computer system to handle traffic tickets          that needed a clerk until someone could be hired — and
     and worthless checks. She worked with a computer             then Ms. Stoker trained them.
     programmer to develop those programs and tested the
     programs in Monongalia County before the Court                    “Caroline is unflappable, uncommonly proficient,
                                                                  and a model of excellence.  Court employees always call

 Monongalia County Magistrate Clerk Caroline Stoker poses in her home-away-from home, an office in the West Virginia Capitol,
 where she also serves the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia as a liaison and trainer in the
 Magistrate Courts Division. Photo by April Harless

on her to handle the most difficult, stormy situations                  West Virginia Uniform Citation Traffic Records
at magistrate courts all over the state – and when she’s                Committee, West Virginia Regional Jail Authority
finished, all is calm, clear, and collected,” said Supreme              Cost Containment Committee, Magistrate Court
Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury.                         Staff Education Committee, and the Unified Judicial
      “I honestly believe that, if a court she was                      Application (UJA) Steering Committee.
visiting was on fire during an earthquake, Caroline                          “I have often wondered if my enthusiasm would
would get through it all without a single hair out of                   wane, and so far it has not, only because every day to
place while managing to save everything essential.                      me is a new challenge. Every day is different, and yet
She’s truly indispensable.”                                             the same,” said Ms. Stoker. “I have always felt so fortu-
     Ms. Stoker also has been involved in a number of                   nate that I fell into a job I love.”
court-related committees, and she currently serves
on the following committees: Domestic Violence
Registr y Oversight Committee, West Virginia
Commercial Driver Safety Management Work Group,

                               Division of Probation Services

            robation officers provide many services to circuit         president of the national Association
            courts, such as conducting investigations and              of Juvenile Compact Administrators.
            drug screenings, preparing pre-sentence reports,           He was also appointed by Chief Justice
     recommending sentences for criminal offenders, and                Elliott E. Maynard as West Virginia’s
     monitoring offenders sentenced to probation. Officers             representative to the new national
     also work closely with community agencies such as                 Commission of the Interstate Compact
     schools, substance abuse facilities, local community              for Juveniles. He has since been desig-
     health centers, community service work providers, the             nated as the state’s Commissioner to
     Department of Health and Human Resources, and                     the national Commission and also
     other state agencies in order to link services for persons        serves as the state Administrator of the
     under probation officers’ supervision.                            Juvenile Compact. Director Lacy also
          The West Virginia court system at the end of                 serves as Chairman of the Governor-
     2008 had forty-two adult, ninety-four adult-juvenile              appointed West Virginia Partnership
     and forty-eight juvenile probation officers. Probation            for Community Well-Being, which is
     officers supervised 14,449 adult and juvenile offenders           the state’s designated substance abuse
     in 2008, with an average caseload of seventy-nine per             prevention and intervention planning
     officer, and an annual cost of $1,033 per offender.               body.
          In 2008, probation officers operated Juvenile                     The Compact regulates the
     Drug Courts in Cabell and Wayne Counties with                     movement and supervision between
     two additional juvenile drug courts being planned                 states of juveniles under community
     for implementation in 2009. These programs offered                supervision. It is designed to ensure
     intensive intervention, supervision, and treatment to             public safety and create an effective and
     juvenile drug court participants. A total of four Adult           efficient means of transferring, track-
     Drug Courts operated in 2008 in Brooke, Hancock,                  ing, and supervising juveniles between
     Marshall, Ohio, Wetzel, Wood, Wirt, Mercer, Boone,                states.    Juvenile probation officers
     Lincoln, and Logan Counties. The Adult Drug Courts                provide courtesy supervision of juveniles
     were operated, in most instances, by a Drug Court                 transferred to West Virginia through
     Coordinator/Probation Officer. In addition, a Mental              the Interstate Compact. The Probation
     Health Court serves the Northern Panhandle. Teen                  Division’s Compact Office managed an
     Courts, in which youths are prosecuted, defended, and             average of seventy-seven active cases in
     sentenced by a jury of their peers for status offenses            2008 and handled the return of forty-
     and minor misdemeanors, operate in Marion, Mercer,                seven juvenile runaways, absconders,
     and Monongalia Counties with plans to expand into                 and escapees. Randall Wagner serves
     other circuits in 2009. Also, the Logan County Board              as the Administrative Coordinator of
     of Education has collaborated with the Supreme Court              Probation Services and the Interstate Compact.
     Administrative Office to provide funding for a full-                  Chief Probation Officer Caren Bills of the
     time, school-based probation officer to provide early             Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit was hired as Deputy
     intervention and diversion services.                              Director of the Division of Probation Services, a new
           At the end of 2008, there were twenty-nine day report       position, starting September 1, 2008. One of her
     community corrections programs covering thirty-nine               primary responsibilities is to implement, and oversee,
     counties. Probation officers participate in, and/or make refer-   the six Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Regions
     rals to, all those programs, which provide intensive offender     with their thirty specialized, multi-circuit, intensive
     supervision and personal accountability, individual treatment     supervision officers.
     plans, job training, education, restitution, counseling, and          Also in 2008, the West Virginia Association of
     community service programs.                                       Probation Officers honored Jonny Winkler, Chief
         The Division of Probation Services also contains              Probation Officer in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of
     the office for the West Virginia Interstate Compact for           Cabell County, as the Probation Officer of the Year at
     Juveniles. In September 2008, West Virginia Director              the November 2008 Probation Education Conference
     of Probation Services Mike Lacy began his third term as           at Glade Springs Resort.

  A new Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Probation Officer signs his oath of office after being sworn-in by Justice Brent D. Benjamin.
  Photo by Michael Switzer

         Other Judicial Officers                                        8,877 in 2006; 7,773 in 2005; 7,878 in 2004; 7,950 in
                                                                        2003; 7,026 in 2002; 6,141 in 2001; and 5,553 in 2000.
     Circuit judges are assisted by judicial officers called
mental hygiene commissioners and juvenile referees.                                      Juvenile Referees
Most decisions of these judicial officers are subject to
circuit court approval.                                                      Among other duties, juvenile referees hold deten-
                                                                        tion hearings when children are arrested or taken into
         Mental Hygiene System                                          custody. West Virginia has one part-time and two full-
                                                                        time juvenile referees serving Wayne, Kanawha, and
     Mental hygiene commissioners are lawyers who
                                                                        Cabell Counties. In most counties, magistrates act as
preside over hearings on involuntary hospitalization,
                                                                        juvenile referees. In 2008, there were 9,439 filings in
guardianship, and conservatorship. There is at least one
                                                                        circuit and magistrate court involving juvenile matters.
mental hygiene commissioner in each of West Virginia’s
                                                                        That compares to 9,460 in 2007; 9,110 in 2006; 8,786
thirty-one circuits. In 2008, 7,961 mental hygiene
                                                                        in 2005; 8,259 in 2004; 7,950 in 2003; 8,547 in 2002;
petitions were filed in West Virginia’s circuit courts
                                                                        8,609 in 2001; and 8,856 in 2000.
and magistrate courts. That compares to 6,549 in 2007;

                Child Protection Act pilot program begins

              he first probation officers hired specifically          “You are about                 sentenced to probation
              to supervise sex offenders under provisions of                                         in lieu of serving time in
              the Child Protection Act of 2006 (House Bill             to embark on                  a penal institution. The
     101, passed June 14, 2006) were sworn in on Friday,               what is truly a               Leg islature, however,
     November 7, 2008, in the Chamber of the Supreme                                                 chose in this law to have
     Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Supreme Court                 historic mission.              probation officers carry
     Justice Brent D. Benjamin delivered the oath of office.          Cong ratulations               out the extended super-
          The five probation officers, referred to as Sex Offender                                   vision of sex offenders.
     Intensive Supervision Probation Officers, will work in
                                                                        and welcome                  Mr. Canterbur y said
     Region Five, which consists of Boone, Cabell, Lincoln,             to the team .”               that was in part due to
     Logan, Mingo, Putnam, and Wayne Counties. The five                                              the high level of profes-
     officers will operate a pilot program to carry out provi-
                                                                        Justice Brent                sionalism and excellence
     sions of the new law, which requires extended supervi-             D. Benjamin                  of the corps of probation
                                       sion for sexual offenders,                                    officers in West Virginia.
                                       “especially those convict-                                        “The five of you today
                                       ed of crimes against           are entering a remarkable tradition,” Mr. Canterbury
                                       children,” said Mike Lacy,     said. “If you do your job right, you will never see your
                                       Director of the Division       name in the paper. If you do your job right, the media
                                       of Probation Services.         never notices — but we notice. You can count on us.”
                                            Their only duty will be        After the pilot program runs for approximately nine
                                       to supervise sex offenders.    months, the supervision program will be expanded one
     They work out of their cars, not offices. They work holidays,    region at a time throughout the state over the next two or
     nights, weekends, and hours in between to provide intensive      three years. A total of thirty probation officers eventually
     supervision. The officers also work with circuit court judges    will be hired to carry out provisions of the law.
     and treatment providers to make sure offenders are complying          A new position already has been created within the
     with court orders. The extended supervision includes frequent    Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals to
     polygraph examinations and electronic monitoring.                oversee the Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Program.
         “We will have safer communities and we will have safer       Caren Bills began work on September 1, 2008, at that
     families,” Mr. Lacy said of the new program.                     position, Deputy Director of the Division of Probation
          “You are about to embark on what is truly a historic        Services. She previously was Chief Probation Officer in
     mission,” Justice Benjamin told the officers. “Congratulations   Putnam County and has worked as a probation officer in
     and welcome to the team.”                                        West Virginia since 1991.
         The new officers are Jason Adkins, Courtney Lewis,                The Sex Offender Intensive Supervision program was
     Casey McCann, Jeremy Mitchell, and L. Paul Pratt.                developed under the leadership of Justice Robin Jean Davis
                                                                      when she was Chief Justice in 2006 and 2007. Her support
          Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve
                                                                      was crucial in refining the vision of the supervision proto-
     Canterbury noted that parole officers, who work
                                                                      col. Her work was a continuation of her interest in protect-
     in the Division of Corrections, normally supervise
                                                                      ing children in our communities during her “Year of the
     people who have been incarcerated while probation
                                                                      Child” in 2006 and “Year of the Child, Too,” in 2007.
     officers typically supervise offenders who have been

2008 Judicial Association                         2008 West Virginia Magistrate
        Officers                                      Association Officers
      President: Alan D. Moats,                            President: Riley Barb of Tucker County
        Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Barbour
                                                           Secretary: Carol Wolfe
        and Taylor Counties
                                                             of Gilmer County
      Vice-President: O.C. Spaulding,
        Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit                      Treasurer: Janice Snider
        of Putnam County                                     of Preston County
      Secretary: Jack Alsop,
                                                           Vice President First District:
        Fourteenth Judicial Circuit
                                                             Cathy Reed-Vanata of Marion County
        of Braxton, Clay, Gilmer,
        and Webster Counties                               Vice President Second District:
      Treasurer: Ronald E. Wilson,                           Gail Boober of Jefferson County
        First Judicial Circuit of Brooke,                  Vice President Third District:
        Hancock, and Ohio Counties                           Mike Parsons of Fayette County
                                                           District Representatives
   2008 Family Court                                       First District:
  Association Officers                                       Mike Alman of Brooke County
                                                             Mike Griffin of Tyler County
      President: Jaymie Godwin Wilfong,                      Patty Murphy of Ohio County
        Twenty-Second Family Court                         Second District:
        Circuit of Grant, Randolph,                          Tom Reynolds of Jackson County
        and Tucker Counties                                  Dave Roberts of Wirt County
      President-Elect: Ronald E. Anderson,                   Julie Yeager of Kanawha County
        Sixth Family Court Circuit                         Third District:
        of Cabell County                                     Kevin Miller of Monroe County
      Secretary: Annette Fantasia,                           John Morton of Nicholas County
        Third Family Court Circuit of                        Mike Woelfel of Cabell County
        Pleasants, Ritchie, Wood,
        and Wirt Counties                               2008 West Virginia
      Treasurer: Charles E. Parsons,
        Twenty-Third Family Court                Association of Probation Officers
        Circuit of Hampshire, Mineral,                     President: Matt Meadows,
        and Morgan Counties                                  Cabell County
      Executive Committee:                                 Vice President: Gail Fry,
        Jane Charnock Smallridge and                         Wayne County
        Mike Kelly, Eleventh Family Court                  Secretary: Karen Lemons,
           Circuit of Kanawha County;                        Greenbrier County
        Beth Longo, Twenty-First Family                    Treasurer: Kay Browning,
           Court Circuit of Barbour, Preston,                Logan County
           and Taylor Counties;
        Louise G. Staton,
           Thirteenth Family Court Circuit
           of Raleigh and Wyoming Counties;
        William T. Wertman Jr.,
           Twenty-Fourth Family Court
           Circuit of Berkeley
           and Jefferson Counties

                                            Court Conferences
          The Supreme Court sponsored the following conferences in 2008:
     January 7-9, 2008              Drug Court Planning Initiative: Phase Two, Morgantown 1
     January 18, 2008               Administrative Office Staff Retreat, Charleston
     January 31, 2008               New Leave Record-Keeper Training Teleconference
     February 1, 2008               Experienced Leave Record-Keeper Training Teleconference
     February 28, 2008              Courts and Media Regional Conference, Putnam County
     April 18, 2008                 Courts and Media Regional Conference, Wheeling
     April 21-22, 2008              Family Court Mediators’ Conference, Charleston
     May 7-8, 2008                  Circuit Court and Supreme Court Law Clerk Writing Workshop, Charleston
     June 3-6, 2008                 Spring Circuit Judges’ Education Conference, Pipestem
     June 16-18, 2008               Mental Hygiene Commissioners’ Conference, Logan
     June 23-24, 2008               Spring Family Court Conference, Charleston
     June 23, 2008                  Circuit Court Secretaries’ Regional Child Abuse and Neglect
                                    Database Training, Lewisburg 2
     June 24, 2008                  Circuit Court Secretaries’ Regional Child Abuse and Neglect
                                    Database Training, Charleston2

         Funded by West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Grant No. G080268
         Funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Improvement Program Grant No. 0701 WVSCID

June 26, 2008                                 Circuit Court Secretaries’ Regional Child Abuse and Neglect
                                               Database Training, Martinsburg2
June 27, 2008                                 Circuit Court Secretaries’ Regional Child Abuse and Neglect
                                               Database Training, Morgantown2
July 14-15, 2008                              Court Improvement Program Child Abuse and Neglect
                                               Cross-Training, Morgantown2
July 15-16, 2008                              Court Improvement Program Child Abuse and Neglect
                                               Cross-Training, Parkersburg2
July 16-17, 2008                              Court Improvement Program Child Abuse and Neglect
                                               Cross-Training, Charleston2
August 3-5, 2008                              Circuit Clerks’ Conference, Charleston
August 19-21, 2008                            Magistrate Conference One, Morgantown
August 26-28, 2008                            Magistrate Conference Two, Morgantown
August 27-28, 2008                            Law Clerks’ Conference, Charleston
August 28-29, 2008                            New Circuit Court Law Clerks’ Conference, Charleston
September 11-12, 2008                         Probation Secretaries’ Conference, Flatwoods
September 23-24, 2008                         Regional Summit on Domestic Violence and Firearms, Beckley3
September 25, 2008                            Circuit Court Secretaries’ Child Abuse and Neglect Database
                                               Training Make-Up Session2, Charleston
November 3-7 and 10, 2008                     New Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Officers’ Training,
November 5-7, 2008                            Court Security Conference, Pipestem4
November 14, 2008                             Court Employment Teleconference (for Court employees who
                                               retired, changed jobs, or left court employment as a result of the
                                               2008 elections)
November 17-18, 2008                          New Probation Officers’ Conference, Daniels
November 18-21, 2008                          Probation Officers’ Conference, Daniels
November 30-December 2, 2008                  New Circuit Judges’ Education Conference, Morgantown
December 2-5, 2008                            Fall Circuit Judges’ Education Conference, Morgantown
December 2-4, 2008                            Bailiffs’ Conference, Morgantown4
December 8-12, 2008                           New Magistrates’ Conference, Charleston
December 14-15, 2008                          New Family Court Judge Administrative Meeting, Charleston

    Funded by the U.S. Office of Justice Programs Grant No. 2007-WE-AX-0010
    Funded by a West Virginia Court Security Board grant

                              Justice Davis receives Graduate
                                    of Distinction Award

           upreme Court Justice Robin Jean Davis received            My teachers followed my career, and continue to do so
           a Graduates of Distinction Award on June                  even today. For them, teaching was a passion. I hope
           10, 2008, from the West Virginia Education                every West Virginia student is as lucky as I was. School
     Alliance. She and University of Charleston Graduate             was a very nurturing environment.”
     School of Business Dean Charles Ryan were honored                   At the Supreme Court, she said she has worked
     as graduates of West Virginia public schools who have           to improve the living conditions of all West
     achieved a high level of professional success.                  Virginia children.
          In her acceptance speech, Justice Davis praised                 “According to West Virginia Kids Count, 24
     the Supreme Court staff and pledged to continue her             percent of West Virginia youth lived below the pover-
     commitment to address West Virginia’s high poverty              ty rate in 2003, compared to seventeen percent nation-
     rate. She also thanked her mother, and her teachers             ally. That’s almost one-fourth of our children, and it is
     in Boone County                                                                                   simply an unaccept-
     public schools. And                                                                               ably high number,”
     she saluted the work                                                                              Justice Davis said.
     of the Alliance.
           “The Alliance’s                                                                                   high poverty leads
     research and reports                                                                                    to high rates of child
     have shed light on                                                                                      abuse and neglect.
     problems in our                                                                                         West Virginia’s child
     schools and have led                                                                                    abuse rate per one
     the way to achieve                                                                                      thousand children in
     improvements. Your                                                                                      2003 was about 22
     grants have funded                                                                                      percent,    compared
     the inspired projects                                                                                   to a national rate of
     of many exceptional                                                                                     about twelve percent.
                                Justice Robin Jean Davis receives a Graduates of Distinction Award from the
     te a c hers ,” Ju st ice Education Alliance. Photo by Lawrence Pierce of The Charleston Gazette         And in 2005, 2,100
     D av i s s a id . “ You                                                                                 new petitions alleging
     have linked hundreds of schools with business partners. child abuse or neglect were filed in West Virginia circuit
     And, of course, I love your Read Aloud project so much courts. Another 2,300 cases were carried over from previ-
     that last year, when I was Chief Justice, I launched our ous years,” Justice Davis said.
     own court system version.
                                                                               “In response to this, the Court Improvement
           “Robes to Schools encourages judicial officers at all Program in 2006 applied for two new grants for train-
     levels of the court system to read to school students. I’m ing initiatives and data systems, and received both.
     happy to report most judges, family court judges, and Those funds will be used to improve the administration
     magistrates throughout the state have seized the oppor- of abuse and neglect cases throughout the court system.
     tunity and have been reading to literally thousands of
                                                                               “And the addition of Overlap Rules in 2006 have
                                                                         closed loopholes between family court and circuit
           “I myself am a proud graduate of Boone County court so that children are not lost in the system,”
     public schools,” Justice Davis said. “I was lucky enough Justice Davis said.
     to go to school with the same thirty students from first
                                                                               “As a Supreme Court Justice, I also have tried to
     grade through high school. With today’s transient
                                                                         honor my teachers by educating West Virginia children
     society, I doubt many 2008 graduates of Van High
                                                                         about the court system. That’s why I started the Robes
     School – or virtually any other high school – can say
                                                                         to Schools program last year and the LAWS program for
     the same thing.
                                                                         high school students when I was Chief in 1998.
           “Every teacher who ever taught me made a great
                                                                               “So, as you can see, the Supreme Court shares The
     impact on my life. I can honestly say I never doubted
                                                                         Education Alliance’s goal of supporting public educa-
     that each teacher truly cared about me and my future.
                                                                         tion,” Justice Davis said.

Judges Cookman, Gaughan receive                                       someone who has shown excellence in the area of child
                                                                      abuse and neglect by relentlessly seeking safety, timely
  Bar Foundation Fellow awards                                        permanency, and well-being for children.
   Judges Donald H. Cookman and Martin J.                                 As Chairman of the West Virginia Court
Gaughan were among the twenty-two recipients of the                   Improvement Program Oversight Board, Judge
West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow Awards for 2008.                  Johnson has led multiple initiatives to improve the child
     Judge Cookman at the time was the only judge in the              welfare system in West Virginia. The West Virginia
Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit of Hampshire, Hardy,                   Court Improvement Program is a multidisciplinary group
and Pendleton Counties. Although the Legislature creat-               funded by the federal Administration f or Ch i ld ren
ed another seat in that circuit during the 2008 regular               a nd Fa m i l ie s a nd t he Supreme Court of
session, it was not then filled. Judge Gaughan is chief               Appeals of West Virginia. Information about the Court
judge in the first Judicial Circuit of Brooke, Hancock,               Improvement Program is available at www.wvcip.com.
and Ohio Counties.                                                         Judge Johnson also is a member of the Commission
   They were honored April 24 at a dinner at The                      to Study the Residential Placement of Children, which
Charleston Marriott.                                                  is led by West Virginia Department of Health and
      The Bar Foundation Board of Directors chooses                   Human Resources Secretary Martha Walker.
Fellows each year. Fellows are attorneys whose profes-                     Upon receiving the Extra Mile Award, Judge
sional, public, and private careers have demonstrated                 Johnson thanked the members of the Court
outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communi-               Improvement Program and all collaborative disci-
ties and honorable service to the legal profession, with the          plines for their dedicated work. He emphasized the
individuals selected each year reflecting the diverse nature          need for prevention of child abuse and neglect, saying
of the legal profession in West Virginia.                             he thinks that assisting “a child in the playpen” is a better
                                                                      use of resources than housing that child later as an adult
   Judge Gary L. Johnson receives                                     “in the state pen.”
      the “Extra Mile Award”                                               Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve
                                                                      Canterbury said, “Judge Johnson’s absolute dedica-
                                                                      tion to children, his common sense approach to
                                                                      issues, and his depth of knowledge of the law does
                                                                      all of us in the Court system proud. He’s clearly one
                                                                      of our best.”
                                                                           This award follows recognition that Judge Johnson
                                                                      has received from the Nicholas County Family
                                                                      Resource Network and Nicholas/Webster Foster Parent
                                                                      Association for his commitment to finding permanent,
                                                                      safe homes for abused and neglected children. He has
                                                                      been declared an “Angel in Adoption” by the United
                                                                      States Congress and the Congressional Coalition on
                                                                      Adoption Institute.

                                                                              Judge Recht receives
                                                                          Association for Justice Award
                                                                           First Circuit Judge Arthur Recht was named Judge
Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson receives the Extra Mile Award from      of the Year by the West Virginia Association for Justice,
Michele Bush, Director of the West Virginia Court Appointed Special   which represents more than five hundred attorneys
Advocates Association, at the annual conference of the Children’s
Justice Task Force. Photo by Kandi Greter                             in West Virginia. Judge Recht was nominated for the
                                                                      honor by Wheeling attorney James M. Bordas, Jr. He
     Circuit Judge Gary L. Johnson of the Twenty-                     accepted the award during an association regional
Eighth Judicial Circuit in Nicholas County received the               meeting in Wheeling in mid-November, 2008.
“Extra Mile Award” from the West Virginia Children’s                      “Many other judges in the state are worthy of this
Justice Task Force at its annual conference on October                award, and I am honored to receive it,” Judge Recht said,
9, 2008, in Charleston. The award is given each year to               according to The [Wheeling] Intelligencer.

                                                                          Judge Recht is a native of Wheeling and a gradu-
                                                                     ate of public schools in Ohio County. He obtained his
                                                                     undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh
                                                                     in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.
                                                                     Judge Recht graduated from the College of Law at
                                                                     West Virginia University in 1962. He was elected to
                                                                     the Order of the Coif and was chosen editor-in-chief
                                                                     of the West Virginia Law Review.
                                                                         He practiced law in Wheeling until January
                                                                     1981 when he was appointed and then elected Judge
                                                                     in the First Circuit. Leaving the bench in late 1983
                                                                     he returned to the private practice of law until May
                                                                     1995 when he was appointed by then-Governor
                                                                     Gaston Caperton as a Justice of the Supreme Court
                                                                     of Appeals of West Virginia. In December 1996 he
     First Circuit Judge Arthur Recht was named Judge of the Year
                                                                     was again appointed Judge of the First Circuit, and
     by the West Virginia Association for Justice. Photo courtesy    subsequently was elected and re-elected.
     of The [Wheeling] Intelligencer
                                                                         Judge Recht has been the Chairman of the
         In his acceptance speech, he said a secret to being         Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia
     a good judge is not caring about which side wins or             State Bar; a member of the Wheeling Human Rights
     loses but that the case is handled to the best of the           Commission; the assistant Solicitor of the City of
     judge’s ability and in the quickest fashion possible.           Wheeling; and President of the Police Civil Service
                                                                     Commission of the City of Wheeling. He served as
         “Another important thing is that you have fun,”             a Captain in the United States Army Reserve in the
     he said.                                                        Judge Advocate General Corps, where he was honor-
         “Judge Recht is a dedicated jurist who gave up a            ably discharged in 1972.
     lucrative private practice to serve the people of West              Judge Recht has received the Certificate of
     Virginia,” Mr. Bordas said. “In his career, he has              Merit from the West Virginia State Bar and was
     accepted the toughest assignments, the most challeng-           named West Virginian of the Year in 1982 by the
     ing work, and he excelled in those tasks.”                      Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail. He is the recipi-
        Mr. Bordas said Recht’s selection by the awards              ent of the Distinguished West Virginian Award and
     committee was unanimous and without debate.                     the Margaret Baldwin Friend of Education Award.
         “He is a judge’s judge,” Mr. Bordas said. “And I            Judge Recht has received the highest honor of the
     know I speak for all lawyers when I say I always look           West Virginia College of Law, the Justitia Officium
     forward to practicing in front of him. He serves the            Award, recognizing excellence and superior schol-
     court with integrity, wisdom, patience, and a strong            arship in the legal profession. Judge Recht was
     work ethic.”                                                    President of the West Virginia Judicial Association
                                                                     in 2002-2003.
          Association President Allan N. Karlin, a Morgantown
     attorney, said, “As both a circuit judge and as a Justice for       Judge Recht is married to the former Karen
     the West Virginia Supreme Court, Arthur Recht has been          Markham of Belle, West Virginia, and is the
     a jurist for all seasons. We honor him today for the wisdom     father of two sons, Jason and Judd, and he also
     of his decisions and the respect he has earned from litigants   has two grandchildren.
     and attorneys alike.”

               In Memoriam: Justice Thomas Miller
F   ormer Supreme Court Justice Thomas B. Miller died
    August 12, 2008, at his Wheeling home. He was 79.
                                                                  People look at them today, and they say, ‘This is masterful.’”
                                                                       Justice Miller was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1929.
     Justice Miller was elected to the Supreme Court in 1976      He was a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he was
and re-elected to a second twelve-year term in 1988. He served    a member of the NROTC. After his graduation in 1950, he
as Chief Justice in 1982, 1985, 1986, and 1991. He retired        received a commission as an ensign in the United States Navy.
August 30, 1994.                                                  He was assigned to the U.S.S. Leyte Gulf, an aircraft carrier.
     After his retirement, he served as a special counsel with    The ship served in the Seventh Fleet off Korea during the
Schrader, Byrd & Companion, returning to the Wheeling             Korean War. He was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant
law firm where he practiced law for                                                    (JG) in 1953. He was a 1956 graduate
nearly twenty years before his election                                                of the West Virginia University College
to the Court.                                                                          of Law, where he was a member of the
                                                                                       West Virginia Law Review.
     “He was the epitome of
what a justice should be: simply a                                                          “He was a judge’s judge,” former
wonderful man, decent, honorable,                                                       Supreme Court Clerk Ancil Ramey,
professional at all times, a perfect                                                    a member of the Board of Law
gentleman,” said Supreme Court                                                          Examiners, told the AP. “He was a
Justice Robin Jean Davis. “He was                                                       very hard worker, very intelligent,
a true scholar of the law.”                                                             had great passion for the law, had
                                                                                        great compassion for the litigants
     Supreme Court Justice Larry
                                                                                        and the lawyers.”
Starcher said, “Justice Miller was one
of the intellectual giants of our Court                                                      Ramey wrote a 1995 article for
in recent years. The opinions that he                                                   the Law Review that said Justice
wrote are referred to by lawyers on a                                                   Miller was the most prolific writer
regular basis.”                                                                         among the justices he served on the
                                                  Former Supreme Court Justice
                                                      Thomas B. Miller                  Court, writing 671 opinions and
     “The news of the passing of Justice
                                                          1929-2008                     supervising the writing of hundreds
Thomas Miller saddens us all,” said
                                                                                        of other decisions.
Justice Brent D. Benjamin.
                                                                       During his time on the Court, Justice Miller
     Former Justice Margaret Workman told The Associated
                                                                  was named a Fellow of the West Virginia State Bar
Press, “Justice Thomas Miller will always be for me the
                                                                  Foundation. He received the Margaret Baldwin Friend
epitome of what a judge should be. He had a brilliant mind,
                                                                  of Education Award from the West Virginia Education
a compassionate spirit, and a heart of fairness. His impact on
                                                                  Association, the War Horse Award from the Southern
the development of the law in West Virginia is immense.”
                                                                  Trial Lawyers Association, and the Distinguished
    First Circuit Judge Arthur Recht served with Justice          West Virginian Award for Outstanding Achievement
Miller on the Supreme Court for about three weeks.                and Meritorious Service from then-Governor Gaston
     “It was the best three weeks of my legal and judicial        Caperton. In 1980 he received a Certificate of Merit
career,” Judge Recht told The [Wheeling] Intelligencer. “He       from the National Juvenile Law Center, Inc., for work
had the greatest legal mind I’ve ever had the experience to be    in the field of juvenile law.
around. He was the model judge, in terms of intellect, indus-          In May 1995 he received the Justitia Officium Award,
try, compassion, and temperament. There wasn’t anybody            the highest award given by the West Virginia University
better. We lost a great man. He made us all proud.”               College of Law for excellence in the legal field. In 2004 he
     Senior Status Justice Thomas E. McHugh told The              was inducted into the prestigious Wheeling Hall of Fame.
Charleston Gazette, “He was basically a very studious man             As an attorney, Justice Miller served as a member of
who liked writing opinions more than he liked the practice        the Unlawful Practice Committee of the West Virginia
of law. I don’t think he ever got up in the morning when he       State Bar and as a member of the West Virginia Board
wasn’t thinking of some legal concept.                            of Law Examiners. Justice Miller was survived by his
      “He was the major architect of solid West Virginia          wife of 54 years, Vaughan Nolte Miller, four sons, two
jurisprudence,” Justice McHugh said. “He was brilliant, just      grandsons, two brothers, a brother-in-law, and many
brilliant. He really came in and wrote so many solid opinions.    nieces and nephews.

                                               In Memoriam
                             Circuit Judge                                              Circuit Judge
                             Robert J. Ashworth                                         Dan Robinson
                               Ci rc u it Jud g e R ob er t J .                             Retired Si xth Jud icia l
                            Ashworth died October 2, 2008,                              Circuit Judge Dan C. Robinson
                            in Beckley, at the age of 99.                               died May 27, 2008, of cancer, at
                               “The entire Ashworth family                              St. Mary’s Medical Center. He
                            had, and continues to have, a                               was 86.
                            great impact on the Raleigh                                     Judge Robinson, a
                            County legal community,” said                               Barboursville resident, was
                            Judge Robert A. Burnside, Jr., of elected to the bench in Cabell County in 1976
     the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Raleigh County.              and ser ved more than thirteen years as a Circuit
          Judge Burnside said he has fond memories of Judge Court Judge.
     Ashworth and his late brother, John Ashworth, who was         “When I was elected in 1984, Judge Robinson was a
     also a Raleigh County circuit judge.                       mentor and a friend,” said Circuit Judge Dan O’Hanlon.
         “I remember Robert Ashworth very well,” Judge “He taught me a lot about how to be a judge. His sound
     Burnside said. “When I first came to town in 1977, judgment and pleasant demeanor will be missed by his
     he was a lawyer practicing with his brother, John, and friends, colleagues, and associates.”
     (current Judge) H.L. Kirkpatrick III.”                      Judge Robinson was born January 30, 1922, in
         Judge Kirkpatrick, now the Chief Judge in the Tenth Pikeville, Kentucky. He was a graduate of Marshall
     Judicial Circuit, called Judge Ashworth an “old-school” University and the West Virginia University
     lawyer. “He represented clients from all walks of life College of Law.
     with all types of legal matters. He was a true gentleman,    A well-known lawyer in the Huntington area, Judge
     an exemplary attorney, and a fine judge.”                 Robinson practiced law with Norman Rood, Bob Ellis,
         Judge Kirkpatrick told The [Beckley] Register- and Pete Shell.
     Herald that Judge Ashworth was his mentor.                       He was a World War II veteran serving in the
     “He was a constant source of inspiration for me,”           United States Army, and was a member of the First
     said Judge Kirkpatrick, who became a judge in               United Methodist Church in Barboursville. He was
     1995 following the death of John Ashworth.                  active in many organizations in the community, and he
          “He always had an interesting story to tell,” Judge    loved boating and tennis.
     Burnside said of Judge Robert Ashworth. “He was a               He was survived by his wife, Clotilda Elaine
     true gentleman, and to my understanding, did very well      Persinger Robinson, three daughters, one brother, four
     as a judge. I was told that not one of his cases was ever   granddaughters, three grandsons, five great-grandchil-
     reversed and not many were even reviewed. Now that’s                              dren, and one niece.
     saying something as a judge.”
                                                                                        Circuit Judge
          Judge Ashworth was born in McDowell County
                                                                                        Vance E. Sencindiver
     but raised in Moundsville. He graduated from West
     Virginia University College of Law. He began practic-                                  Retired Circuit Judge Vance
     ing law in 1931 and practiced for more than 65 years.                              E. Sencindiver of Martinsburg
                                                                                        died May 6, 2008. He was 85.
          He was appointed circuit court judge in March
     1988 by then-Governor Arch Moore after Judge C.                                         Jud g e S enc i nd iver wa s
     Berkley Lilly retired. At the time, Judge Ashworth said                            a graduate of West Virginia
     he had no interest in participating in the 1988 general                            University College of Law, served
     election where voters were to choose a judge to serve the as Martinsburg’s city attorney for three years and Berkeley
     remainder of Judge Lilly’s eight-year term.               County’s prosecutor for twenty years. He was circuit judge
                                                               in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties for sixteen years, from
          Judge Ashworth also served forty years as fiduciary
                                                               January 1, 1969, to December 31, 1984.
     commissioner, served as Raleigh County Republican
     Party chairman for several years, and was a delegate to        Martinsburg attorney Patrick Henry III told The
     one Republican National Convention.                       [Martinsburg] Journal that Judge Sencindiver expected
                                                               attorneys to be prepared.

    “He was going to test you out. . . . to push you. He Bar Association. It honors a person who promotes better
made lawyers better lawyers,” Mr. Henry said.            understanding of the rule of law, encourages a greater
    He was willing to help – but only so much. One respect for law and the courts, stimulates a sense of civic
of his common sayings was “I will show you the road responsibility, and contributes to good government in
to Damascus, but I will not walk it for you,” Mr. the community.
Henry said.                                                       Born in Kermit, Mingo County, on February 14,
     Martinsburg attorney Charles “Chazz” Printz said        1925, Judge Staker served in the U.S. Navy as a radio-
that during the first nine years of his practice, he spent a man between 1943 and 1946. He attended Marshall
lot of time in front of Judge Sencindiver.                   University and West Virginia University and earned his
                                                             law degree from the West Virginia University College
     “I would say I did learn a lot from him, most of it
                                                             of Law in 1952.
the hard way,” Mr. Printz said.
                                                                  Judge Staker had his own private law practice for
     Outside of the courtroom Mr. Henry and Mr.
                                                             more than a decade. He then served Mingo County
Printz said Judge Sencindiver enjoyed “holding
                                                             first as a prosecutor and then on the circuit bench
court” at several Martinsburg eateries, and he was
                                                             from January 1, 1969, to September 22, 1979, when he
a wonderful storyteller.
                                                             was appointed by then-President Jimmy Carter to the
     Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher federal bench in the Southern District of West Virginia.
Wilkes said, “If you knew him or practiced in front of He served as a Senior United States District Judge from
him, you would never forget him. He was a very blunt 1995 until his retirement in 2005.
and unforgiving judge.”
                                                                                    Magistrate Ozell Eplin
                          U.S. District Judge                                          Retired Cabell County
                          Robert J. Staker                                          Magistrate Ozell Eplin died
                               Retired U.S. District                                June 3, 2008, at St. Mary’s
                          Court Judge Robert J. Staker                              Medical Center. He was 69.
                          died November 30, 2008, in a                                 Mag istrate Eplin was
                          Huntington nursing care facil-                            the owner of Eplin Paving
                          ity. The judge, who was 83,                               Company and enjoyed farming,
                          was a former Mingo County                                 gardening, horses, fishing,
                          Circuit Judge.                                            running his beagles, and politics.
     Supreme Court Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard               He served as a magistrate from August 22, 1986,
said, “He was a judge’s judge, and one of the finest to December 31, 1992, and from January 1, 1997, to
human beings I ever knew. The Bench and the Bar have February 28, 1999.
lost a giant.”
                                                                                       Magistrate Alvie Qualls
     Senior Status Justice Thomas E. McHugh said, “I
                                                                                            Cabell County Magistrate
was a circuit judge at the same time as Judge Staker. He
                                                                                       Alvie Qualls was found dead
was greatly admired by his fellow judges. He served our
                                                                                       June 10, 2008, in his Huntington
state and our country in an exemplary manner. I have
                                                                                       home. He was 78.
very fond memories of him.”
                                                                                            Magistrate Qualls had been
     Justice Robin Jean Davis said, “As a judge, his service
                                                                                       a magistrate for a total of almost
at every level was exemplary. He was an extraordinary
                                                                                       twenty-six years and previously
mentor. He will surely be missed.”
                                                                                       had been a justice of the peace. He
     Justice Brent D. Benjamin said, “Judge Staker was a                               originally served as a magistrate
gentleman, a fine judge, and a legal scholar. He possessed from January 1, 1997, to his retirement on September 30,
a kind and gentle manner on the bench, but was never 1999. He returned to the office on January 1, 2005.
afraid to make tough decisions when necessary. He will
                                                                  He was confined to a wheelchair after a stroke in 2005
be missed.”
                                                             and had been treated for congestive heart failure shortly before
     Chief Justice Maynard commemorated the fiftieth his death.
anniversary of Law Day on May 1, 2008, by presenting
                                                                  “Magistrate Qualls had a long, committed, and
the Liberty Bell Award to Judge Staker during the West
                                                             rather colorful service to the state,” said Supreme Court
Virginia State Bar’s Past Presidents’ Dinner. The Liberty
                                                             Administrative Director Steve Canterbury. “I think altogether
Bell Award is commissioned each year by the American
                                                             he will be remembered fondly by those who knew him.”

                                            Judicial transitions
               New judge positions created                          unopposed candidate to fill the seat left vacant by
                                                                    retiring Circuit Judge John Cummings, who had
          The West Virginia Legislature in 2008 authorized,         been a circuit judge since March 15, 1990. He is to
     through Senate Bill 291, additional circuit court judges       become a senior status circuit judge.
     for the Ninth, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fourth
     Judicial Circuits. The three new judicial positions were            Judge Alfred E. Ferguson retired from the bench
     effective September 1, 2008.                                   in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Cabell County, effective
                                                                    October 31, 2008. He had been a circuit judge since
          Wayne County Prosecutor James H. Young, Jr.,              July 1, 1977. He was re-elected November 4, 2008, and
     was sworn into office to take the new seat in the Twenty-      is to take office again on January 1, 2009.
     Fourth Judicial Circuit during a ceremony at the Wayne
     County Courthouse on December 8, 2008, and began                    Judge Charlie King retired effective October 16,
     work immediately. Judge Darrell Pratt delivered the oath       2008, from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Kanawha
     of office. Judges Pratt and Young are the only judges in the   County. He had been a judge since December 30, 1988.
     one-county circuit. Governor Joe Manchin III appointed         He was re-elected on November 4, 2008, and is to take
     Judge Young on December 5, 2008.                               office again on January 1, 2009.
          Also on December 5, 2008, Governor Manchin                     Judge Robert B. Stone chose not to seek
     appointed Princeton attorney Omar J. Aboulhosn                 re-election to his seat in the Seventeenth Judicial
     to the new seat in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of               Circuit of Monongalia County. He had been a judge
     Mercer County. Judge Aboulhosn, a former magis-                since October 1, 1985. He is to become a senior status
     trate, Princeton city court judge, and mental hygiene          circuit judge. Democrat Susan B. Tucker was elected
     commissioner, was elected on November 4, 2008, to              on November 4, 2008, to replace him.
     the position of family court judge in the Twelfth Family           Judge John L Henning was defeated in the
     Court Circuit of Mercer and McDowell Counties. He              Democratic primary in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit
     declined that elected position to accept the appoint-          of Randolph County. He had been a circuit judge since
     ment to the circuit judge seat. Judge Aboulhosn is to          August 1, 1991. He was replaced by Democrat Jaymie
     take office on January 1, 2009.                                Godwin Wilfong, who was elected November 4, 2008.
          Pendleton County Prosecutor Jerry D. Moore                She was a sitting family court judge.
     was sworn into office to take the new circuit judge seat            Judge Andrew N. Frye, Jr., chose not to seek
     in the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit of Hampshire,            re-election in the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit of Grant,
     Hardy, and Pendleton Counties. Chief Circuit Judge             Mineral, and Tucker Counties, where he had served as
     Donald Cookman delieverd the oath of office. Judge             a judge since January 1, 1987. He is to become a senior
     Moore was appointed December 19, 2008, by Governor             status circuit judge. Republican Lynn A. Nelson was
     Manchin. He had been prosecutor since 1988 and is              elected to that seat.
     a former mental hygiene commissioner. He is to take                Judge Thomas W. Steptoe, Jr., chose not to
     office on January 1, 2009.                                     seek re-election in the Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit
                                                                    of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties. He had
               Circuit court judge retirements                      been a judge since January 1, 1985. He is to become
                  and elections in 2008                             a senior status circuit judge. Republican State Senator
          Judge John T. Madden chose not to seek                    John Yoder was elected to that seat.
     re-election in the Second Judicial Circuit, which                  Judge John S. Hrko chose not to seek re-election
     includes Marshall, Tyler, and Wetzel Counties. He had          in the Twenty-Seventh Judicial Circuit of Wyoming
     been a judge since May 31, 1990. Democrat David W.             County, where he had been a judge since January 1,
     Hummel, Jr., was elected to that seat.                         1985. He is to become a senior status circuit judge.
         Governor Joe Manchin III on October 29, 2008,              Former Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw, a
     appointed F. Jane Hustead of Huntington to serve as            Democrat, was elected to that seat.
     Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Cabell              Republican Judge N. Edward Eagloski in the
     County. Beginning on November 1, 2008, Judge                   Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit of Putnam County
     Hustead filled the vacancy created by the retirement           was defeated in the general election by Democrat Phil
     of Chief Judge Alfred E. Ferguson. Having won                  Stowers. Judge Eagloski had been a circuit judge since
     the Democratic Primary, Judge Hustead had been an              January 1, 2001.

          Family court judge elections                         Manchin appointed him to the circuit court bench,
           and retirements in 2008                             to take a new seat in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. The
                                                               governor then reappointed Judge Bisaha to the seat on
     Almost half of West Virginia’s forty-five family court    December 19, 2008.
judges will be new on January 1, 2009, as voters elected
candidates to fill ten new seats and chose eleven new judges       Democrat Lisa Clark was elected to the new seat in
for existing seats in the 2008 general election.               the Twelfth Circuit.
     Democrat Brian C. Dempster won election to the                 Democrat K. Bruce Lazenby, a former prosecu-
seat of Judge Annette Fantasia in the newly realigned          tor, was elected to the new seat in the newly realigned
Third Circuit, which consists of Pleasants and Wood            Thirteenth Circuit of Raleigh, Summers, and
Counties. Judge Fantasia was defeated in the May               Wyoming Counties.
primary. She had been a judge since January 1, 2002,                Democrat Donald K. Bischoff won election to
and previously had been a family law master since              replace Judge Timothy Ruckman in the newly realigned
November 15, 1992.                                             Sixteenth Circuit of Clay and Nicholas Counties. Judge
     Republican Connie Fisher Thomas defeated                  Ruckman, who ran for circuit judge and lost in the prima-
Democratic Judge Deloris J. Nibert in the newly                ry, had served since January 1, 2002, and previously had
realigned Fifth Circuit of Jackson, Mason, and Wirt            been a family law master since October 1, 1999.
Counties. Judge Nibert had been a judge since January               Democrat Cornelia Reep won the seat of Judge
1, 2002, and had been a family law master since June           M. Drew Crislip in the newly realigned Eighteenth
16, 2001. Republican Rebecca Stafford Cornett won              Circuit of Doddridge and Harrison Counties. Judge-
election to the new seat in the Fifth Circuit.                 Elect Reep defeated Judge Crislip in the primary. Judge
     Democrat Miki Jane Little Thompson was                    Crislip had been a judge since January 1, 2002, and
elected to replace retiring Judge Robert D. Calfee             previously had been a family law master since July 1,
in the Eighth Circuit of Mingo County. Judge Calfee            1995. He is to become a temporary family court judge
had served since January 1, 2002, and previously had           as needed. Democrat Lori Betler Jackson won election
served as a family law master since June 5, 1991. He is        to the new seat in the Eighteenth Circuit.
to become a temporary family court judge as needed, a              In the Nineteenth Circuit of Marion County,
position similar to senior status circuit court judge.         Democrat Amy Swisher won election to replace Judge
   Democrat Jason Harwood won election to the                  David Born, whom she defeated in the primary. Judge
new seat in the Ninth Circuit of Logan County.                 Born had served since January 1, 2002, and had previously
                                                               been a family law master since October 1, 1986. He is to
     Democrat Scott E. Elswick won election to the new         become a temporary family court judge as needed.
seat in the Tenth Circuit of Boone and Lincoln Counties.
                                                                   Democrat Randy Minor replaces Judge James
    Democrat Ken Ballard defeated Judge Jane                   Jeffrey Culpepper in the newly realigned Twentieth
Charnock Smallridge, a Republican, in the Eleventh             Circuit of Monongalia and Preston Counties. Judge
Circuit of Kanawha County. Judge Smallridge had                Culpepper, who ran for circuit judge and lost, had been
served since January 1, 2002, and previously had been          a family court judge since January 1, 2002, and had
a family law master since October 1, 1999. Democrat            previously been a family law master since July 1, 1997.
Sharon M. Mullens was elected to the new seat in the           He is to become a temporary family court judge as
Eleventh Circuit.                                              needed. Democrat Patricia Tole Hill won election to
     Judge Edwin B. Wiley retired from the Twelfth             the new seat in the Twentieth Circuit.
Circuit of Mercer and McDowell Counties on June                    Democrat Michele W. Good won election to
30, 2008. He had been a judge since January 1, 2002,           the seat of Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong in the
and previously had been a family law master since              newly realigned Twenty-Second Circuit of Tucker
July 1, 1990. Governor Manchin appointed Anthony               and Randolph Counties. Judge Wilfong was elected
Bisaha, a Mercer County public defender, to serve the          circuit judge.
remainder of the term that ends December 31, 2008.
Democrat Omar J. Aboulhosn was elected to the                       Democrat David Greenberg won election to the
seat in the November 4, 2008, general election. Judge          new seat in the Twenty-Fourth Circuit of Berkeley and
Aboulhosn declined to take the seat because Governor           Jefferson Counties.

         Democrat Amanda Hatfield See won election                     Democrat Sophia Tully was elected in Lincoln
     in the newly realigned Twenty-Fifth Circuit of Grant,         County. She will take the seat of Magistrate Helen
     Hardy, and Pendleton Counties. Democrat Jeffrey               McCormick, who is retiring at the end of 2008.
     Hall won election to the seat in the newly created            Magistrate McCormick has served since November
     Twenty-Seventh Circuit of Pocahontas and Webster              20, 1984.
     Counties, defeating Judge Roy David Arrington,                    In Mercer County, Democrat Charles N. Poe won
     whose home county of Pocahontas was moved from                the seat held by Magistrate Jerry Flanagan, who did
     the Twenty-First Circuit to become part of the new            not seek re-election after serving since January 1, 1989.
     Twenty-Seventh Circuit. Judge Arrington had been a            Also, Magistrate Roy Compton was elected to the seat
     judge since January 31, 2002. He is to become a tempo-        to which he was appointed on July 1, 2008. Magistrate
     rary family court judge as needed.                            Compton had been appointed to the unexpired term
                                                                   of Magistrate Danny Fulknier, who retired June 30,
           Magistrate elections, retirements,
                                                                   2008. He had been a magistrate since January 1, 1997.
                resignations in 2008
                                                                       Democrat Sandy Holepit was elected in
         West Virginia voters elected twenty-one new               Monongalia County to the position held by Magistrate
     magistrates in the general election on November 4,            Jennifer Wilson, who was not re-elected. She had been
     2008, and three magistrates who previously had been           a magistrate since November 19, 2004.
     appointed to the positions.
                                                                       Republican Joe Roxby was elected to one of four
         Democrat William Randy Smith was elected                  magistrate positions in Ohio County. He took the seat
     in Berkeley County, unseating Magistrate James H.             held by Democratic Magistrate Rose Humway, who was
     Humphrey, who had been a magistrate since July 23, 2005.      defeated. She had been a magistrate since January 1, 1977.
          Magistrate Larry Clifton, a Democrat, was                    In Pendleton County, Democrat Andrew Hinkle
     elected in Braxton County to the seat to which he was         was elected to one of two magistrate positions. He took
     appointed on July 1, 2008. On that date he replaced           the seat held by Magistrate Gene Boggs, who retired
     Magistrate Carolyn Cruickshanks, who resigned                 on December 31, 2008. Magistrate Boggs had served
     June 4, 2008. She had been a magistrate since January         since January 1, 1977.
     1, 1990.
                                                                       Democrat Randy Nutter was elected to one of two
          In Cabell County, Republican Rondall “Ron”               magistrate positions in Pleasants County. He took the
     Baumgardner and Democrat Don Maynard were elected             position held by Magistrate Dotte White, who retired
     in the seven-magistrate district. They replaced Magistrates   on December 31, 2008. Magistrate White had been a
     John Rice and Daniel Goheen. Magistrate Goheen                magistrate since January 1, 1993.
     had been appointed to the seat held by Magistrate Alvie
     Qualls after Magistrate Qualls’ June 10, 2008, death.              Democrat Janet L. Kershner-Vanover was elected
     Magistrate Rice was defeated in the primary. Magistrate       to one of two magistrate positions in Pocahontas
     Goheen also had lost in the primary and so could not seek     County. She took the seat held by Magistrate Danith
     election to the office in November. Magistrate Patty          Miller. Magistrate Miller was a senior status magis-
     Verbage-Spence also was re-elected in Cabell County.          trate appointed January 1, 2008, to replace Magistrate
     She had resigned March 31, 2008, for health reasons,          Doshia J. Webb, who resigned December 21, 2007.
     after having served as a magistrate since January 1, 2001.    Magistrate Miller did not seek election to the seat.
     After her resignation, Amber L. Hanna was appointed to            Republican Harold E. Jenkins, Jr., was elected
     replace her until the end of that term. Magistrate Hanna      magistrate in Preston County. He took the seat held by
     did not seek election to the office.                          Magistrate Richard Graham, who had been appointed
         In Kanawha County, Democrat Paris Workman                 on July 1, 2008, to replace Magistrate Marsha Diane
     was elected to the seat held by Magistrate Marva Crouch.      Thomas, who retired June 30, 2008. Magistrate Thomas
     Crouch had been a magistrate since July 24, 1995, and is to   had held the job since October 15, 1991. Magistrate
     become a senior status magistrate.                            Graham did not seek election to the position.

    Democrat Greg Tanner was elected magistrate in               Republican John Michael Coffman was elected
Raleigh County. He took the seat held by Magistrate K.       to one of two magistrate positions in Upshur County.
Bruce Lazenby, who was elected Family Court Judge            He took the seat held by Magistrate Helen Echard,
in the Thirteenth Family Court Circuit. Magistrate           who was appointed to the post on March 28, 2007. She
Lazenby had been appointed on July 1, 2008, to               sought election to the position but lost and returned to
replace Magistrate John E. Tanner, who retired April         her previous magistrate assistant job.
30, 2008. John Tanner had been a magistrate since                Democrat Randy Wiles was elected magis-
December 4, 1998, and is Greg Tanner’s father.               trate in Wayne County. He took the seat held by
    Voters in Randolph County elected two new                Magistrate Alfred T. Lynch, who was appointed
magistrates, Democrat Robert R. “Rob” Elbon, Jr.,            April 26, 2006. Magistrate Lynch was defeated in
and Republican Benjamin E. Shepler. One position             the Democratic primary.
had been held by Magistrate Michelle W. Good, who                In Webster County, Democrats John R. Stone and
was elected Family Court Judge in the newly realigned        Richard Robertson took the seats held by Magistrates
Twenty-Second Circuit of Tucker and Randolph                 Danny Markle and Gary Payne, both of whom retired
Counties. The other position had been vacant since           on December 31, 2008. Magistrate Markle had served
the March 31, 2008, retirement of Magistrate Rick            since January 1, 1981, and Magistrate Payne had been a
George. Magistrate George had held the job since             magistrate since January 1, 1985.
January 28, 1991. The Supreme Court of Appeals of
                                                                  In Wyoming County, Democrat Kim (Roach)
West Virginia had assigned Senior Status Magistrate
                                                             Farmer and Magistrate Craig Cook were elected.
Sharon Stone of Boone County to fill the vacancy
                                                             Magistrate Cook had been appointed January 4,
until the election.
                                                             2008, to replace Magistrate Wilburn Bolt, who
   Republican Jason D. Bennett was elected in Roane          retired December 31, 2007. Farmer took the seat
County. He took the seat held by Magistrate Denver           held by Magistrate John L. Daniels, who retired on
Gandee, Jr., who was not re-elected. Magistrate              December 31, 2008.
Gandee had been magistrate since January 1, 2001.
    In Summers County, Democrat J.W. (Bill)
Jeffries, Jr., was elected to the same position he retired
from on June 30, 2008. He had been a magistrate since
January 1, 1985. He was replaced on July 1, 2008, by
Linda Huffman, who was not a candidate for office.

                          The West Virginia Courthouse
                         Facilities Improvement Authority

             he Legislature established the West Virginia          The Authority board is composed of twelve voting
             Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority        members and eight advisory members. Voting members
             in 2001. The Authority gives financial assis-      make final funding decisions.
     tance to county governments for projects that modify            The twelve voting members are two assessors, two
     or build courthouses and related facilities. Counties      circuit clerks, two county clerks, two commissioners,
     must pay at least twenty percent of any project that the   two sheriffs, and two prosecuting attorneys.
     Authority funds.
                                                                     The eight nonvoting advisory members are two
         In 2003, as required by law, the Authority             circuit judges, two magistrates, one state senator, and one
     submitted a study on the condi-                                                 member of the House of Delegates.

                                            These buildings are
     tion of West Virginia court-                                                    The president of each state officials’
     houses. The study, conducted                                                    association also is on the board.
     by the West Virginia Institute                                                  Each president appoints the second
     of Technology, estimated $277
     million in improvements would          an important part of                     member from the association.
                                                                                     Authority board members elect a
     be needed over the next twenty                                                  chairman from the group and serve
     years. To fund such needs and
     to pay for Authority operational
                                             our history and our                     for four years.
                                                                                          The current chairman is Senior
     costs, the Authority receives
     revenue from fees on certain             heritage. Together                      Status Judge L.D. Egnor of Cabell
     services provided by the offices
     of every elected county official.       we can restore these                         The Authority’s Web site is
                                                                                      http://w w w.w vcfia .com. The
          To receive a grant, a county
                                                                                      mission of the Authority is to
     must submit a detailed applica-
     tion to the Authority board, which
                                             grand old buildings                      help repair historic courthouses.
                                                                                      Most counties require assistance
     reviews grant applications based
     on urgency and severity of need.       and renew the respect                     with accessibility law compliance,
                                                                                      document storage, space, and security
     Between 2004 and 2008, the
                                                                                      concerns. County commissions
     Authority granted $9.2 million.
     Grants were used for a wide
                                             which they deserve.                      often cannot afford to make such
                                                                                      improvements without help. The
     variety of improvements including
                                                                                      majority of the courthouses are listed
     structural integrity restoration;
                                                                on the National Historic Registry. They attract tourists
     new roofs; fire safety system installation; work safety
                                                                and generate revenue. “These buildings are an important
     enhancements; window replacement; masonry repair;
                                                                part of our history and our heritage. Together we can
     heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and electrical
                                                                restore these grand old buildings and renew the respect
     maintenance; space additions; security upgrades; and
                                                                which they deserve,” the Authority’s Web site says.
     Americans with Disabilities Act adaptations.

                      Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority
                             Fifth Cycle Funding Awards
County	              Type	of	Improvement	                                                 Project	Cost	        Award	Amount	
Barbour	              Step	replacement	                                                        $	    72,375	     $	 57,900
Berkeley	             Roof	replacement	                                                             575,450	         80,000
Boone	                Roof	replacement	                                                             213,000	         80,000
Brooke	               Masonry	repairs	                                                               62,800	         50,240
Cabell	               Stonework	and	mortar	repairs	                                                 197,000	         80,000
Calhoun	              New	steps,	railings	                                                           14,151	         11,316
Clay	                 Installation	of	fire	sprinkler	system		                                        80,300	         64,240
Fayette	              Remediate	penetration	of	water	                                               105,840	         80,000
Gilmer	               Sidewalk,	step	replacement	and	ADA	upgrades	                                   47,660	         29,200
Hampshire	            Installation	of	fire	suppression	system	                                      129,300	         80,000
Hancock		             Renovate	second	floor	for	office	space	                                       411,908	         80,000
Hardy	                Elevator	upgrade	                                                              18,777	         15,022
Harrison	             Window	replacement	on	south	side	                                             102,400	         80,000
Jackson	              Purchasing	and	remodeling	of	building	to	be	annex	                            770,000	         80,000
Kanawha	              Renovation	of	grand	jury	room	—	Phase	Two	                                    100,000	         80,000
Lincoln	              Installation	of	sprinkler	system	in	boiler	and	record	rooms	                  100,000	         80,000
Marion	               Phase	Four	of	roof	support	project	                                           100,000	         80,000
Marshall	             ADA	ramp,	single	entryway	                                                    295,740	         80,000
Mercer	               Installation	of	security	system		                                              80,000	         64,000
Mingo	                Modernization	of	elevator,	including	ADA	upgrades	                            166,425	         80,000
Monroe	               Renovate	basement	into	useable	storage	space	                                  44,864	         35,891
Morgan	               Full	construction	of	new	courthouse	                                     13,000,000	           80,000
Pocahontas	           Upgrade	power	distribution	                                                    30,000	         24,000
Preston	              Installation	of	new	fire	alarm	system	                                         28,227	         22,582
Ritchie	              Replace	roofing	on	courthouse	annex	                                           46,134	         36,900
Tucker	               Replacement	of	steps	                                                          75,000	         60,000
Wayne	                Remodel	restroom	                                                              50,000	         40,000
Wetzel	               Roof	repair	                                                                  100,000	         80,000
Wirt	                 Roof	and	clock	tower	renovation	                                              100,000	         80,000
Wood	                 HVAC	replacement	                                                             100,000	         80,000
Wyoming	              Construction	of	ADA	ramp	and	ADA	upgrades	to	restroom	                         90,000	         72,000

Totals	               	                                                                         1
                                                                                               $	 7,307,351	      1
                                                                                                                 $	 ,943,291

Please note that the $17,307,351 total incudes $13,000,000 for the Morgan County Courthouse.

            Hampshire County opens new Judicial Center

          ustices Brent D. Benjamin and Larry Starcher               The new Judicial Center includes the first complete
          joined Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit Judge           installation of all the equipment that eventually will be
          Donald Cookman, Governor Joe Manchin                  made available to all circuit courts in West Virginia. The
     III, Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve           circuit courtroom has a multi-media cart, a video confer-
     Canterbury, and Hampshire County officials in Romney       ence station, and assistive listening device. The multi-
     on September 3, 2008, for the                              media cart includes a video projector that can place an
     opening of the new Hampshire
     County Judicial Center. The
     $5.3 million, 3 4 , 0 0 0 -s qu a re-
                                          “We stand here today in front of
     f o ot bu i ld i ng w i l l provide
     new quarters for magistrates,         this beautiful building because of
     family court judges, circuit
     judges, probation officers, the
     Prosecuting Attorney, and the
                                           a vision and hard work of many,
     Circuit Clerk.
          The Judicial Center supple-
                                           a vision not only for the present
     ments a Main Street Courthouse
     that has been in use since January
                                           needs of Hampshire County, but
     31, 1922. The County Clerk,
     Planning Commission, and other        a vision for the future as well."
     county offices will remain in that
     Courthouse. The historic court-
     room in that building will remain
                                                                    Judge DonaldCookman
     available, if needed.
          “We stand here today in front
     of this beautiful building because of a vision and hard    image, from several sources, on an electronically controlled
     work of many, a vision not only for the present needs of   screen that drops down from the ceiling. The circuit judge
     Hampshire County, but a vision for the future as well,”    has at the bench a touch screen that allows him to lower a
     said Judge Cookman.                                        projector from a recess in the ceiling and simultaneously
                                                                lower the screen. The multi-media cart has a flat panel that
                                                                                        allows the presenter to view the
                                                                                        material that is being projected. A
                                                                                        document camera is provided with
                                                                                        the cart, so written material can be
                                                                                            The judge and witness also
                                                                                        have flat panel displays. These
                                                                                        touch screens allow annotation
                                                                                        and highlighting of portions
                                                                                        of the displayed document. A
                                                                                        video conference presentation

                                                                                        Governor Joe Manchin III and Circuit
                                                                                        Judge Donald Cookman at the opening
                                                                                        of the Hampshire County Judicial
                                                                                        Center. Judge Cookman presented the
                                                                                        Governor with a gift box of fly fishing
                                                                                        flies made by the judge’s friend, Romney
                                                                                        resident Bob Allen. Photo courtesy of the
                                                                                        Hampshire Review

can also be projected on the
screen as well as information
from a DVD or VHS tape. The
cart also has a docking station
for laptop computers. Attorneys
can present any material from
their computers. The docking
station allows connection of a
Computer-Aided Transcription
(CAT) System. With a CAT
system, a qualified court report-
er can display the written word
in real-time. A skilled reporter
can write with ninety-nine
percent accuracy at the speed
of normal conversation. This
allows a profoundly deaf person
to read everything in the court
proceeding as it happens.
      For those persons with
some hearing, there is an
assistive listening device. The
system takes the signal from
the courtroom amplification
system and broadcasts the
impulses through an Infrared
emitter. These emissions are
captured by a headset receiver
worn by the individual.
The headsets eliminate any
background noise and allow
users to adjust the sound until
it is loud enough for them to
hear. The assistive listening
system has two channels and
the headsets have a select switch so they can receive     an accessory telephone conference system that can be
“A” channel or “B” channel. This allows the devices to    rack-mounted with the sound system. Some obsolete
be used by a foreign language interpreter. The inter-     sound systems will not accept the rack-mounted version,
preter speaks into a microphone attached to one of        so a stand-alone Polycom full-duplex telephone confer-
the channels. The individual needing the interpreting     ence system can also be provided.
service listens to that channel without the distraction
                                                               The Supreme Court’s Division of Administrative
of the English language proceedings.
                                                          Services led the team that installed this equipment.
     The Supreme Court also provided a telephone          Division Director Fletch Adkins says his crew learned a lot
conference system. Some proceedings can be conducted      about the technical and physical requirements for instal-
by telephone, and it is convenient to have the service    lation of these systems during the Hampshire County
available in the courtroom. While county commissions      project that will help the team with installation of similar
are required to equip every courtroom with a sound        equipment in courtrooms elsewhere in the state.
amplification system, the Supreme Court can provide


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