Click on this for printable version: Voters Guide Primary 2016 Justice of the Supreme Court
Voters Guide Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals May 10, 2016 Primary Election
This candidate information is brought to you by the League of Women Voters of West Virginia as a public service. Candidate responses are printed exactly as received, including spelling, grammar and content. Candidates’ responses were limited to 60 words.
Candidates for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals
Candidate: Brent Benjamin
County of Residence:
Candidate did not reply.
Candidate: Wayne King
County of Residence: Clay
I AM 71 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO SANDRA FOR 43 YEARS. THREE CHILDREN: TERRI, CHARLES AND CHRIS. TERRI IS A CLOTHING DESIGNER IN L.A.CALIF. CHARLES WAS A MARINE DURING DESERT STORM AND CONTRACTED CANCER AND DIED. REV. CHRIS IS A SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER IN GULFPORT, MS. TWO GRANDCHILDREN, TABITHA AND GIDEON. B.S. CIVIL ENGR. IN 1967
- Do you favor establishment of an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia? Why or why not?I do not favor the establishment of an Intermediate Court of Appeals in West Virginia and I believe that by using the Business Court, the current way of deciding appeals is being handled very quickly and efficiently. The intermediate court of appeals would add additional costs to litigants and possibly delay a final determination of the matter in controversy.
- Are there any reforms you feel are needed in the state’s magistrate court system? Please explain.The Magistrate Court jurisdiction could possibly be expanded to work with the Probation Office and possibly the Drug Court in monitoring first and second drunk driving and drug offenders and use first hand monitoring, counseling, community programs, education and rehabilitative services to end the problem of drunk driving and drug abuse. Also, limited right to appeal of default judgments.
Candidate: Darrell V. McGraw, Jr.
County of Residence: Kanawha
Educated: Wyoming County, Berea Academy, US Army Leadership School Honor Graduate, WVU. Involvement: Church, VFW, American Legion, Rotary, NRA.
Recognitions: Obtained USS West Virginia Mast, Appalachian Hero, Defense of Justice, Susan Anthony, Berea College Service, WVU’s Justicia Officium Awards.
Work: Legal; Justice on nationally Outstanding Appellate Court; Attorney General establishing nationally recognized Consumer Protection, recovering Billons “$2,000,000,000” for taxpayers.
- Do you favor establishment of an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia? Why or why not?No. The appeal system is not over-whelmed. An Intermediate Court would create another barrier to the final disposition of cases. It would increase cost to taxpayers for an additional court system infrastructure, including judges’ salaries. It would increase cost to litigants before reaching Supreme Court in their pursuit of justice.
- Are there any reforms you feel are needed in the state’s magistrate court system? Please explain.From the inception of the magistrate system it was recognized that issues would arise from the experience of those involved. A process to review issues was an integral part of the magistrate system. Adherence to this approach provides a process for immediate reform of revealed problems. Such reform must always be in compliance with WV Constitution Article III.
Candidate: Beth Walker
County of Residence: Monongalia
I have 26 years of experience handling cases in West Virginia’s courts, first as a partner in the Bowles Rice law firm and currently as Associate General Counsel for the West Virginia United Health System, Inc. I am a conservative committed to the rule of law and to decide cases fairly and impartially without regard to politics.
- Do you favor establishment of an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia? Why or why not?
Consistent with the West Virginia Constitution, which empowers the West Virginia Legislature to create additional courts including an intermediate court of appeals, I defer to the Legislature to make that decision based upon policy and budgetary considerations.
- Are there any reforms you feel are needed in the state’s magistrate court system? Please explain.The most significant necessary reform to the state’s magistrate court system already occurred in 2015 with the passage of House Bill 2010, which made the election of magistrates nonpartisan and according to division.
Candidate: William R. “Bill” Wooton
County of Residence: Raleigh
William R. “Bill” Wooton is a small-town lawyer with extensive experience as a practicing attorney. Public service has been a major part of Bill’s life. He is a retired National Guard Colonel, worked as a prosecuting attorney, served as Majority leader of the House of Delegates, and was the long-time Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Website: www.WootonForJustice.com
- Do you favor establishment of an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia? Why or why not?No. In 2011 the Supreme Court adopted rules guaranteeing every litigant the right to appeal. Since 2011 an average of 1,000 cases have been considered per year. While the Supreme Court is busy, the workload is manageable. Given the State’s current fiscal situation, it is not prudent to saddle the taxpayers with an expensive additional level of the judiciary.
- Are there any reforms you feel are needed in the state’s magistrate court system? Please explain.West Virginia is blessed to have a cost-effective minor judiciary system that adjudicates disputes expeditiously. Without exception, West Virginians can obtain the prompt resolution of a controversy by a fair and impartial magistrate at minimal cost. While every system devised by man can be improved, I am unaware of any “reforms” needed to the magistrate court system at this time.