Court approves former Justice McHugh, 12 others for senior status

CHARLESTON – Former state Supreme Court Justice Thomas McHugh is among those who have received senior status.

The court announced Jan. 8 that it approved senior status applications of McHugh and retiring Circuit Court Judge Thomas Keadle, who will retire from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial Circuit (Lewis and Upshur counties) on Jan. 31.

The court also approved the applications of 11 magistrates.

It will be the second time McHugh has assumed senior status. He was first elected to the court in 1980 but retired in 1997.

He began sitting on the court as a senior status justice in 2008 when former Justice Joseph Albright fell ill. Albright passed in 2009, and McHugh was appointed to take his spot until the 2010 election.

McHugh won a two-year term in 2010 but did not seek re-election in 2012. Former law clerk Allen Loughry won his spot.

Since then, McHugh joined Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff & Love in an of counsel capacity.

McHugh is a 1958 graduate of West Virginia University and a 1964 graduate of West Virginia University College of Law, where he was a member of Order of the Coif, a legal honorary, and was associate editor of the West Virginia Law Review.

In 1974, McHugh was elected a judge in Kanawha Circuit Court, and was re-elected in 1976. He served as Chief Circuit Judge from 1974 until 1980.

Keadle, meanwhile, announced last month that he would be stepping down from the bench after 28 years. He told WBOY that he wanted to do some senior status work and possibly move to his wife’s hometown of Romney, which is in Hampshire County.

The 11 magistrates who received senior status are:

-William D. Anderson of Marshall County, who was defeated in the Democratic primary after serving a total of 26 years as a magistrate;

-Kim M. Blair of Putnam County, who was defeated in the Republican primary after serving 10 years as a magistrate;

-Joan V. Bragg of Berkeley County, a Democrat who did not seek re-election after serving almost 25 years as a magistrate;

-D. Frances Davis of Doddridge County, a Republican who did not seek re-election after serving 28 years as a magistrate;

-Charles L. Garvin, III, of Fayette County, a Democrat who did not seek re-election after serving seven years as a magistrate;

-Donna Jackson of Wood County, a Democrat who did not seek re-election after serving for 20 years as a magistrate. She will become the judge of the West Central Regional Drug Court;

-Mary H. Jennings of Raleigh County, a Democrat who lost in the general election after serving for 25 years as a magistrate;

-Janet Kershner-Vanover of Pocahontas County, a Democrat who lost in the general election after serving a total of nine years as a magistrate;

-Sandra L. Miller of Berkeley County, a Democrat who did not seek re-election after serving 20 years as a magistrate;

-James D. “Dan” Moody of Lewis County, a Republican who lost in the general election after serving 35 years as a magistrate; and

-Janice L. Wiseman of Fayette County, who lost in the Democratic primary after serving since her appointment to the post in December 2010.

Wiseman previously served 16 years as executive assistant to two Supreme Court Justices and 12 years as magistrate assistant to her predecessor, former Magistrate Joe Parsons.

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