CHARLESTON – Brian Abraham, a West Virginia Army National Guard lieutenant colonel and a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, has been appointed as general counsel for Gov. Jim Justice. In this role, Abraham will be the governor’s top legal adviser.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, Abraham served in Iraq with the 18th Airborne Corps. While in Iraq, he served as an operational law officer and prosecuted suspected insurgents.
Upon his return from active duty in Iraq, the governor’s office said Abraham launched Abraham & Ilderton, PLLC in Logan. Through his practice, Abraham has gained “extensive litigation experience and has represented businesses, individuals and government agencies,” the release said.
Abraham also served as the prosecuting attorney for Logan County from 1999 until 2009.
Abraham earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Fairmont State University. He received his law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law. According to Abraham’s LinkedIn profile, he also attended the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.
As part of his active and reserve roles in the U.S. Army, Abraham has also served as judge advocate.
Recognizing his legal and military endeavors, the West Virginia State Bar named Abraham its Citizen-Soldier of the year in 2006.
“Brian is a veteran and an accomplished attorney, and I know he will continue to make our state proud in this new job,” Justice said in the release.
The Logan Banner reported on June 22, 2016, that Abraham had been named one of The National Academy of Family Law Attorney’s (NAFLA) Top 10 Lawyers in West Virginia for 2016.
To be eligible for this recognition, an attorney must be nominated by a licensed attorney or one of NAFLA’s researchers. Besides family law, which earned Abraham recognition by NAFLA, his practice also included personal injury law and criminal defense.
In addition to appointing Abraham to his top legal post, Justice also named Joey Garcia as his senior counsel for legislation and policy.
“Brian Abraham and Joey Garcia have the legal talent to really help our team, and I am thrilled they will bring their experience to help get things done for the people of West Virginia,” Justice said.
The governor said in the release that Garcia “helped navigate the West Virginia Legislature for Gov. Tomblin and worked hard to keep our state on a responsible course. Both men love our state and have the skills to help me transform West Virginia.”
Specifically, the governor’s office said Garcia served more than two years as the director of legislative affairs for the previous West Virginia governor, Earl Ray Tomblin. He also held the post of deputy general counsel during Tomblin’s administration.
According to the release, Garcia’s has expertise in “providing legal counsel and developing strategy for accomplishing policy and legislative goals.”
Garcia brought his legal experience to the public sector from a position at Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC in Charleston.
Fairmont native Garcia received both his undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University.