WAYNE -– James H. Young Jr. became West Virginia's newest circuit judge when he was sworn in Dec. 8 at the Wayne County Courthouse.

Wayne Circuit Chief Judge Darrell Pratt delivered the oath of office. Pratt and Young are the only judges in the one-county 24th Judicial Circuit.

Young's seat was one of three new Circuit Judge positions created by Senate Bill 291, which the Legislature passed during the 2008 regular legislative session. Gov. Joe Manchin appointed Young on Dec. 5 to fill the Wayne County seat.

Young said he expects to begin hearing cases as soon as next week.

Since 1997, he has served as the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney, and he is the immediate past president of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

A native of Pennsylvania, Young has spent most of his life in the Huntington area. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Marshall University in 1974 and a law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1979. He has been a member of and partner in law firms in Cincinnati and Huntington, most recently Woelfel & Young (1995-1997). He is married and has two children.

"For the past 10 years it has been an honor to serve the citizens of Wayne County as prosecuting attorney," Young said. "I look forward to continuing to serve Wayne County as circuit judge, and I want to thank Gov. Manchin for this honor. I pledge to him and the citizens of Wayne County to honorably discharge my duties."

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