CHARLESTON – Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman is the new chief judge for Kanawha Circuit Court.
Kaufman assumed the responsibilities Jan. 1, It is the fourth time he has served as chief judge.
Kaufman served in the State Senate from 1982-1988, and he has been on the bench since 1988. He was born and raised in Charleston, graduated from Tufts University, attended London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law.
He practiced law in Charleston in his late father’s, law firm Kaufman & Ratliff before his election as judge.
Kaufman is a past president of the West Virginia Judicial Association, a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the West Virginia State Bar.
During his career, Kaufman has tried over 250 cases to jury verdicts. He has also lectured internationally about complex multi-state business litigation, and domestically about pro se access to the courts, and child abuse and neglect procedures and juvenile proceedings.
This past year, Kaufman was invited to speak at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, at Tufts University, near Boston, and at Harvard College about the court system in America.
Kaufman was a long-time gubernatorial appointment of the Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, having been an original sponsor of one King Day bills as a legislator.
He said his priorities as chief judge are “courthouse security, jury duty issues, bail bondsmen, and the administration of the myriad of program and people now entitled to public spaces and services under one roof."
The Judge and his wife, Barrie, have three grown daughters.