State Supreme Court to hear cases at Marshall

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 5, 2014

HUNTINGTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals returns to Marshall University’s Huntington campus Tuesday, Sept. 16, to conduct a session in which it will hear four appeals.

The Court’s appearance will be its sixth at Marshall in the past decade. It is one of many events to be staged during the annual Constitution Week celebration at MU, which begins Monday, Sept. 8.

The public is invited to attend the session, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, and will be followed by a reception honoring the judges in the Performing Arts Center lobby. In addition to hors d’oeuvres, pizza will be served.

The four cases cover a variety of appeals:

  • Estella Robinson v. City of Bluefield, No. 13-0936 – Procedural background: This first appeal arises from an order entered in the Circuit Court of Mercer County that affirmed the Municipal Court of Bluefield’s order to euthanize the petitioner’s dog.

  • State of West Virginia v. Justin Sean Gum, No. 12-1292 – Procedural background: In Case No. 2 on the docket, the petitioner, Justin Sean Gum, appeals the Lewis County Circuit Court’s order finding sufficient evidence to support a conviction of second-degree murder and sentencing the petitioner to 40 years at the William Sharpe Hospital.

  • Alcan Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC v. Terry W. McCarthy, No. 13-1080 – Procedural background: In the third case, the petitioner, Alcan Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC, appeals the Kanawha County Circuit Court’s order, which reversed the Board of Review and the Administrative Law Judge’s decision that the respondent, Terrry W. McCarthy, engaged in “gross misconduct” under West Virginia Code 21A-63.

  • State of West Virginia v. Christopher D. Cox, No. 13-0778 – Procedural background: In the final case on the docket at Marshall, the petitioner, Christopher D. Cox, appeals his conviction for first-degree murder without recommendation of mercy.

“All Marshall University students and faculty, and high school students and faculty in the Tri-State Area are invited to join us for this unique opportunity to witness the Court in action as it hears and rules on these interesting, noteworthy appeals,” said Dr. Alan Gould, director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy at Marshall, which sponsors Constitution Week activities.

Constitution Week at Marshall is an annual observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution and the contributions of Chief Justice John Marshall, for whom the university is named. Constitution Week activities are sponsored by the John Deaver Drinko Academy.

Gould said Constitution Week was started by United States Senator Robert C. Byrd in order to draw attention to the important document that our system of government is based upon.

“Included within federal legislation that was passed in 2004 was a provision requiring educational institutions that receive federal funds to set some time aside on or near the September 17th anniversary of the document’s signing to study the United States Constitution,” he said.

Highlighting the other events planned during Constitution Week is the annual quoits tournament. Quoits, which is similar to horseshoes, was John Marshall’s favorite sport.

On Monday, Sept. 8, teams of faculty, staff, students, fraternities and sororities can sign up to play for trophies and prizes. To sign up, participants need to stop by the quoits pits on the west end of Buskirk Field between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. that Monday, or e-mail Kristen Pack at, or Renee Denny Deadline for team registration is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Competition begins Tuesday, Sept. 9, and runs through Thursday, Sept. 11. The winning team will play in the Quoits Presidential Round, taking on MU President Stephen J. Kopp. That game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, as in years past, the President’s Invitational Quoits Media Challenge will take place at 11:30 a.m. WSAZ’s Tim Irr and Keith Morehouse will return to defend their championship. All quoits action takes place on the west end of Buskirk Field.

Before the media quoits challenge begins, Kopp will cut the John Marshall birthday cake on the Memorial Student Center plaza. In addition to cake, kettle corn and punch will be served.

Here is a brief look at other Constitution Week events:

  • Thursday, Sept. 11 – 7 p.m., in the Marshall Foundation Hall – The Amicus Curiae Lecture, featuring guest speaker Laura K. Donohue, professor of law at the Georgetown Law Center;

  • Monday, Sept. 22 – 5:30 p.m., in the John Marshall Room in the Memorial Student Center – announcement of the winner of the Dan O’Hanlon Constitution Week and John Marshall Celebration Essay Competition;

  • Thursday, Sept. 25 – 12:30 p.m., in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center – The Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility, featuring the Hon. Steve Williams, mayor of Huntington. He will speak on “Civic Responsibility and Obligations Citizens have to Local Government.”

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