CHARLESTON - Spike Maynard's first day since taking over as Chief Justice from Robin Davis turned into a long day -- at least for three Justices.
The Court heard oral arguments for more than two hours Tuesday morning, Jan. 8, and more than two hours after lunch.
Court Clerk Rory Perry said afterward that it might be the longest session the Justices will hold this year.
Maynard, Davis and Justice Joseph Albright carried most of the load. Justice Brent Benjamin missed the whole day and Justice Larry Starcher missed the afternoon.
Maynard opened the day by announcing that Benjamin was traveling and would monitor the proceedings.
"He's probably in mourning," Albright said with a grin.
Maynard caught the joke and shared it with the gallery.
"For those who didn't know," he said, "Justice Benjamin is a graduate of Ohio State University."
Ohio State had lost the national football championship game the night before.
Davis yielded the Chief's chair to Maynard after an unusual two-year stint. Normally the Justices rotate the job, but last year they stuck with Davis in preference to Larry Starcher.