- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
West Virginia Supreme Court
Seal of the West Virginia Supreme Court
Established 1863; 1872 Jurisdiction West Virginia , United States Location Charleston, West Virginia Authorized by West Virginia Constitution Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States Judge term length 12 Years Number of positions 5 Website Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Chief Justice Currently Margaret L. Workman Since 2011 Lead position ends 2012 Jurist term ends 2020
Although the West Virginia Constitution allows for an intermediate court of appeals to be created, the Supreme Court currently provides the only review of the decisions of the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction, the West Virginia Circuit Courts.
The justices of the court are elected to 12 year terms by staggered, state-wide, partisan elections. Pursuant to the West Virginia Code (chapter 51), the Court holds two regular sessions annually with the first session commencing on the second Tuesday in January and the second session commencing on the first Wednesday in September. The Court may also sit in special session as needed.
On September 10, 2008, then-Chief Justice Eliot E. "Spike" Maynard named former justice Thomas McHugh to temporarily replace Justice Joseph P. Albright. Justice Albright had taken medical leave after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Justice Albright died on March 20, 2009. On April 8, 2009, Governor Joe Manchin appointed Justice McHugh to Justice Albright's vacant seat; McHugh defeated Republican John Yoder in the November 2010 election to fulfill the unexpired term, which ceases on December 31, 2012.
The Chief Justiceship is a rotating office, which usually changes from one Justice to another each year. As instances sometimes require recusal or disability prevents a sitting justice from presiding, Article 8, Section 2 of the West Virginia Constitution authorizes the Chief Justice to appoint a replacement judge. The Court typically designates "senior-status" judges to temporarily fulfill vacancies when required. Upon the death, resignation, or removal of a sitting justice, Article 8, Section 2 of the West Virginia Constitution permits the Governor to appoint a replacement. An election to fulfill the unexpired term must be held by the next regular general election. 
The seats held by Justice Spike Maynard and Justice Larry Starcher were up for full-term election in 2008. On December 20, 2007, Justice Starcher announced that he would not seek another term on the Court.  In the May 13, 2008 primary election, Maynard was defeated for reelection, placing third in the Democratic primary. Maynard was defeated for the two available spots in the general election by former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman and Huntington attorney Menis Ketchum. Justice Workman and Mr. Ketchum, both Democrats, were elected to the Court in November 2008 by defeating Republican Beth Walker. Justice-Elect Ketchum was sworn in on December 18, 2008. Justice Workman was sworn in on December 29, 2008. Both Justice Ketchum and Justice Workman assumed their offices on January 1, 2009.
- ^ West Virginia Code - Chapter 51
- ^ Wheeling Intelligencer
- ^ Charleston Gazette
- ^ West Virginia Secretary of State Election Result Center
- ^ West Virginia Code - Article 8, Section 2
- ^ Charleston Gazette
- ^ WSAZ-TV Web-Page
- ^ Supreme Court of Appeals Press Release
- ^ Supreme Court of Appeals Press Release
- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia homepage
- Supreme Court of Appeals - Opinions homepage
- Supreme Court of Appeals - Court Calendar and Docket homepage
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Allegheny Mountains · Allegheny Plateau · Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area · Blue Ridge · Charleston Metropolitan Area · Cumberland Plateau · Cumberland Mountains · Eastern Panhandle · Huntington Metropolitan Area · North-Central West Virginia · Northern Panhandle · Potomac Highlands · Ridge-and-valley Appalachians · Shenandoah Valley · Southern West Virginia · Western West Virginia
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