All indications currently point to continued growth in new business in West Virginia in the coming years. This is why the new Intermediate Court of Appeal system in Mountain State is so urgent.
The Intermediate Court, which was established by the West Virginia legislature in 2021, is a body that hears appeals from lower courts before they go to the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals.
In the past, many frivolous lawsuits brought at the local level were automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court, overloading the role of the High Court. This created a hostile business climate for Mountain State and potential businesses and industries considering relocating to West Virginia.
Now, the new intermediate court of appeal can serve as a filter tool for these frivolous lawsuits before they reach the High Court. Cases will either be accepted or rejected on the basis of their legal grounds at the level of the intermediate courts.
This gives the West Virginia Supreme Court more leeway in which cases will be heard while helping to lighten its caseload.
Across the country, 41 of the 50 states now have an intermediate court of appeal. Thus, West Virginia finally aligns itself with the majority of states when it comes to establishing an intermediary judicial system.
Last week, Republican Gov. Jim Justice announced the three judges who will take the seats on the new court. He appointed Thomas E. Scarr of Huntington for a two and a half year term, Daniel W. Greear of Charleston for a four and a half year term, and Donald A. Nickerson Jr. of Wheeling for a six and a half year term. .
“This is an incredible milestone for our state that reflects West Virginia values and continues to make West Virginia more and more business friendly,” Justice said during his official announcement. “Over the years, I have always tried to defend court reform in West Virginia. I thank our legislators and everyone who worked to make this historic day a reality and I congratulate our appointees. “
The creation of the new Intermediate Court of Appeal is an important and long overdue step for West Virginia. This will help improve the business climate in West Virginia while making the state more conducive to business.
It will guarantee a right of appeal and add stability and predictability to the legal system, a point correctly noted last week by the West Virginia Hospital Association. Establishing an intermediary court system will also allow the West Virginia Supreme Court to focus on the most important legal issues facing the Mountain State.
The establishment of the tribunal is an important victory for West Virginia.