CHARLESTON -- Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced on Friday the appointment of Paul T. Farrell to fill the vacancy in the state's Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy was a result of Judge Dan O'Hanlon's retirement. O'Hanlon served for nearly 26 years on the bench in Cabell County.

"The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission selected three qualified applicants for the Sixth Judicial Circuit," Tomblin said in a statement. "Mr. Farrell is very well qualified, and I believe he will serve the people of Cabell County well."

Farrell, a long-time litigator at Farrell, Farrell, and Farrell in Huntington, focused his practice on the defense of healthcare providers, public and private employers, and criminal defendants.

His past career experience includes serving as an assistant state attorney general, counsel for the West Virginia Senate, counsel to the Senate President, administrative law judge for the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Division, assistant prosecuting attorney for Cabell County and an assistant U.S. attorney.

The appointment is effective immediately, Tomblin's office said. Farrell is expected to take the prescribed oath in the coming days.

Farrell is a graduate of Xavier University and West Virginia University Law School. According to Tomblin's office, he is active in the Huntington community, participates in church activities, and has served on the board of the local Red Cross, the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors and the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia.

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