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West Virginia business, industry leaders applaud Intermediate Court appointees


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) West Virginia business leaders and industry groups are applauding Gov. Jim Justice for his appointees to the new West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals.

The West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals was created during the 2021 legislative session by the passage of SB 275, and was signed into law by Justice in April.

On Tuesday, Justice announced he had appointed Thomas Scarr of Huntington to a term of 2 1/2 years, Daniel Greear of Charleston to a term of 4 1/2 years and Donald Nickerson of Wheeling to a term of 6 1/2 years.

Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, released a statement congratulating the appointees.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that these three will work to interpret and apply the law in a fair manner to all parties who come before this appellate body,” he said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Trump, R-Morgan, West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and his fellow justices also deserve praise for their efforts establishing the new court, Roberts said.

“They have spent this entire year working to create the best intermediate court of appeals in the nation, and I am confident they have succeeded at that goal,” he said.

The West Virginia Hospital Association, a not-for-profit statewide organization representing 64 hospitals and health systems, said the court will help guarantee a right of appeal and add stability and predictability to the law in West Virginia.

“As major employers in West Virginia, hospitals believe this court will help create a rational, consistent, and stable body of law. The governor’s appointees are esteemed and dedicated lawyers that will serve our state well.”

The West Virginia Health Care Association, the state’s largest trade association representing nursing facilities and assisted living communities, said an intermediate court of appeals has been a “long time coming.”

“These appointments to the Intermediate Court of Appeals should give West Virginians confidence that the newly established court will soon hear appeals in a fair and open-minded manner while applying the laws of the state as written.”

Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, said her organization have also been longtime advocates for an intermediate court.

“Having this new avenue for appellate proceedings means West Virginia will join the vast majority of states that have a special court to review decisions from trial courts and various administrative agencies,” she said. “Having this mid-level appellate court ready to handle administration appeals means our Supreme Court will be able to focus on those issues of utmost importance in the legal system.”

Traci Nelson, president of the West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association, which represents businesses engaged in the petroleum marketing, retail grocery and convenience store industries, said her organization is also pleased with Justice’s selections for the court.

“Thomas Scarr, Daniel Greear and Donald Nickerson are well-respected and fair individuals and we look forward to the positive impact they and the newly created court will bring to West Virginia’s judicial system,” she said.

The three newly appointed judges must be confirmed by the West Virginia Senate.

Once the confirmation process is complete, the panel of judges will assume their duties by July 1.

Story by Charles Young of WV News

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