WELLSBURG – Jason A. Cuomo was sworn in Aug. 3 as the new circuit judge in the first judicial circuit.
Every seat in the circuit courtroom of the Brooke County Courthouse was filled and people were standing around every wall – even out the door – for Monday's ceremony.
State Supreme Court Justice Brent D. Benjamin, First Circuit (Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio counties) Judges Ronald E. Wilson and James P. Mazzone, and the new judge’s father, Frank Cuomo, spoke and gave the Judge Cuomo advice on how to be a good jurist.
The father and son had been practicing law together before his appointment. Their relationship was more like two squabbling brothers, they both said.
The younger Cuomo recalled a time when his father even objected to a question he asked a witness in court, although though they were on the same side of the case. Mazzone was presiding at the time and verified the story, saying the elder Cuomo told him, “Your honor, I was taught to object to a question that I thought was dumb.”
Mazzone said, “Having known Jason for over 25 years, I can state without equivocation that he exemplifies all of the traits most desired by lawyers in a jurist; an unparalleled work ethic, a genuine scholar’s love for the law, a gentleman’s civility, and an absolute fearlessness in pursuing what’s right, not what’s safe.”
Cuomo was appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on July 10 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Martin J. Gaughan on June 30.
He is a graduate of Allegheny College and West Virginia University College of Law and has been practicing law since 1996. He has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Brooke County Schools Education Foundation and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. He has coached several youth sports teams.