Justice Davis to head WV Supreme Court in 2014 - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Justice Davis to head WV Supreme Court in 2014

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Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, Robin Jean Davis will serve as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Davis will be the first person to serve as Chief Justice six times since the 1974 Judicial Reorganization Amendment unified the state court system into a single entity supervised by the Supreme Court. She previously served as Chief Justice in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2010. Retired Justice Thomas E. McHugh and Retired Justice Richard Neely each served as Chief Justice five times.

She also is one of three Justices elected three times to the Supreme Court: In 1996 she was elected to an unexpired term, and she was elected to full 12-year terms in 2000 and 2012. McHugh, who served 20 years and eight months, and the late Justice Frank C. Haymond, who served 26 years and 11 months, also were elected three times.

Davis took office in December 1996 and is the senior member of the Supreme Court.

She earned 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 private practice from 1982 until 1996 at Segal and Davis, L.C., with a concentration 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, and in 1991 the Supreme Court of Appeals appointed her to the seven-person West Virginia Board of Law Examiners, on which she served until her election.

Davis is the Supreme Court's designee to the Judiciary's Initiative on Truancy, and under her leadership in previous terms as Chief Justice the Court made advancements in technology, civics education, and worked cooperatively with other branches of government to improve the lives of abused and neglected children. When she was Chief Justice in 2010, the Court approved Revised Rules of Appellate Procedure, which modernize and comprehensively change the appellate process in West Virginia to provide a decision on the merits in every case, and new Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

In 2000, Justice Davis received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from then-Governor Cecil H. Underwood. In 2008 she received the Graduate of Distinction Award from the West Virginia Education Alliance.

Married to Charleston attorney Scott Segal, Davis is the author of several West Virginia Law Review articles and, with former Justice Franklin Cleckley and Louis J. Palmer, Jr., co-authored the Litigation Handbook on West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.

Should Davis be unable to serve, Justice Margaret L. Workman would assume the duties.