LEWISBURG – Senior Status Judge James J. Rowe is looking for new challenges after re-emerging himself in private practice after nearly 20 years on the bench as chief judge in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties.
Rowe still serves as a senior status judge and will continue to do so in that capacity while in private practice at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
“It was a last minute decision not to run for re-election,” Rowe said. “I had thought about retiring several times and I just decided on the last day that I wasn’t going to run again.”
Rowe said being in private practice again after 20 years is quite a change.
“It is a different feeling being back after all these years, but I am enjoying it and very excited about it,” Rowe said. “I hope to apply all of my experience over the last 40 years and help as many people as I can.”
Because he is still a senior status judge, Rowe is not able to go to court. But, he hopes to help clients in other ways.
“I’m hoping to help through mediation and through alternative dispute resolution,” he said. “I want to use my experience for public good.”
Rowe said he was straight forward when people asked about his decision before he chose not to seek re-election.
“You can’t control the rumors,” he said. “I was clear and public when people asked. I was straight forward.”
Rowe said he looks forward to working with Dinsmore & Shohl and that it is an exciting new challenge.
“It takes awhile to get the word out that I’m here, but I’m excited for this opportunity,” he said. “Dinsmore is a great resource to this city and people have access to a multitude of specialties. I am very fortunate to be part of this.”
Anna Dailey, the Charleston office managing partner, said as Dinsmore grows across the state, the firm is adding attorneys who bring a lot to the table.
“Jim can draw on the experiences cultivated over 30 years serving the Mountain State on the bench and in the Legislature,” Dailey said. “To be successful as a judge and state representative, you must be a problem solver. Jim’s insights and perspectives will be a valuable resource for our clients, especially his understanding of the state’s business court system.”
Rowe was appointed as a circuit court judge by Gov. Gaston Caperton in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000 and 2008. Prior to joining the bench, Rowe represented Greenbrier County in the West Virginia Legislature for four terms, serving on the Committee of the Judiciary and House Majority leader. At Dinsmore, he will practice as an of counsel attorney in the Lewisburg office.
“Jim has had an exceptional career, and I am pleased to add someone of his caliber to the office,” said Jason Long, Lewisburg Office Managing Partner. “Jim’s practice will complement the services we offer here and across the state.”
Rowe is a member of Lewisburg Rotary and active in his church serving as chairman of the Presbytery of West Virginia's Trustees. He earned his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law and received his B.A. from West Virginia University.