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W.Va. Justice, Judge named 2019 Bar Foundation Fellows

Press Release from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Supreme Court Justice John Hutchison and Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Kanawha County) Judge Jennifer Bailey have been named 2019 Bar Foundation Fellows.

They and other 2019 Fellows will be honored at a dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

Bar Foundation Fellows are judges and lawyers whose professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession. There have been about
375 lawyers and judges selected as Fellows from the approximately 6,000 judges and lawyers in West Virginia.

Justice Hutchison was appointed to the Supreme Court in December 2018 by Governor Jim Justice. He previously was appointed to the bench in the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Raleigh County) by then-Governor Gaston Caperton in 1995, and he was elected to that seat in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, 2008 and 2016.

As a circuit judge, Justice Hutchison was a member of the Supreme Court’s MassLitigation Panel and was a judicial representative on the Commission to Study Residential Placement of Children. He was appointed several times to sit on the Supreme Court when a Justice was recused. He also served as treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president of the West Virginia Judicial Association and was chairman and vice-chairman of the association’s legislative and pensions committees.

He born in and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He has a 1972 bachelor’s degreein history and political science from Davis and Elkins College and a 1980 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was assistant basketball coach at Davis and Elkins College (1972 to 1974) and was dorm director and assistant basketball coach at Concord University (1975 to 1977). After law school, he practiced law in Raleigh County for ten years with Gorman, Sheatsley and Hutchison. In 1991 he opened the Nationwide Insurance West Virginia Trial Division Office and served as its managing trial attorney for four years. From 1974 to 1975 he also taught and coached in Raleigh County Schools. During holiday and summer breaks from school he worked as a construction laborer, a carpenter’s helper, anda framing carpenter, and one summer he worked as a steelworker on the bridge construction over the New River in Hinton, West Virginia.

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Justice Hutchison was a registered official with the Secondary School Activities Commission in soccer and baseball for approximately fifteen years and also has served on the board of directors at the Beckley-Raleigh County YMCA.

He is married to Victoria Lagowski Hutchison and they have two children and two grandchildren.

Judge Bailey was born in Charleston and raised in Belle. She is a 1977 graduate of Hollins College and a 1980 graduate of West Virginia University College of Law andalso completed classes at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and I’institut d’etudespolitique de Paris.

She practiced law in Charleston from 1980 to 1993, completing her practice as a partner with the firm of Hamb, Poffenbarger & Bailey. Having worked during eleven legislative sessions for the West Virginia House of Delegates and one session for the West Virginia Senate, in 1993 she became the first full-time lawyer for the West Virginia Senate where she primarily served as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In 2002, then-Governor Bob Wise appointed her to the bench. She was elected in 2004, 2008 and 2016 and has served as Chief Judge in Kanawha County in 2008, 2013 and 2017. She was instrumental in establishing the Kanawha County Day Report Center and serves on its board. Since its opening in 2009, she has presided over the Kanawha County Adult Drug Court. In 2016, the Drug Court celebrated the graduation of 100 participants since its inception.

She is the recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Public Servant Award by the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the WestVirginia Legal Aid Society and on the Division of Juvenile Services Director’s AdvisoryCouncil. She has also served on the committees for Dropout Prevention Summit Planning Group, Project INTER-CEPT (Interventions Needed To End Recidivism – Critical Entry Point Team) and presently serves on the Board of Recovery Point-Charleston, a treatment facility for women.

In 2017, she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to serve as the West Virginia Chairwoman of the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI), whose membership includes representatives from Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

In addition to the State of West Virginia, she is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

She has served longer than any other female circuit judge presently on the bench in West Virginia. Judge Bailey previously served on the Legislative Committee and now serves on the Education Committee and as Chairwoman of the Drug Court Judge Committee of the West Virginia Judicial Association.

She is a member of Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, where she has served on the Board of Trustees and on the Staff Parish Relations Committee.

She has one adult daughter.

To attend the Bar Foundation Fellows dinner, contact Tom Tinder at (304) 343- 9823, [email protected] or WV Bar Foundation, P. O. Box 4845, Charleston, WV 25364. The cost is $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of ten. Net proceeds fund Bar Foundation grants to improve the administration of justice in West Virginia.

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