CHARLESTON – Looking back at 2010, Justice Robin Jean Davis recalls a lot of long hours on the job as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
But she also sees a lot of accomplishments that came about because of that work. And at the top of that list of accomplishments is the Court's Revised Rules for Appellate Procedure.
"It was a monumental task," she said recently before her year as Chief Justice officially ended. "We just rolled up our sleeves and did it. That was the result of thousands of man hours here at the court – hundreds of hours from the Justices.
"We said we could do it, and we did it."
And in December, Davis announced that the state will host the prestigious 2014 Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators at The Greenbrier. That also included many hours of extra work by her and others in the court system.
"I think that announcement is the feather in our cap," Davis said.
In her fifth time as Chief Justice, Davis also had to oversee the Court's day-to-day job of issuing opinions and hearing arguments.
"The Court work is the biggest job, of course," she said. "Of my five years as chief justice, I think this has been the most successful. I have had the full support of the Court and a fantastic administrator (Steve Canterbury).
"But I have worked harder and longer than I ever had before. But I don't mind that because I have seen results."
Now, Davis has given control of the Court to new Chief Justice Margaret Workman. It is the first time that the power has shifted from one female Justice to another in the Court's history. Workman previously served on the court, and she was Chief Justice in 1993 and 1997. She was re-elected to the bench in 2008.
"She'll do a great job," Davis said of Workman. "A lot of things have changed since she was here before. But she and I have been working together so it's a smooth transition."