Eric Douglas Published

Judges Appointed For Inaugural W.Va. Intermediate Court of Appeals


In a virtual press conference, Gov. Jim Justice announced the appointments of judges Thomas E. Scarr of Huntington, Daniel W. Greear of Charleston and Donald A. Nickerson Jr. of Wheeling to the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals.

A total of 25 individuals applied to fill the three seats. The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission, made up of appointees, received the applications, performed interviews, and provided a list of candidates to the Governor.

Justice appointed these initial judges, but terms are staggered. West Virginia voters will choose future judges without the possibility of the entire court being replaced at one time.

Scarr’s term will end on Dec. 31, 2024, Greear’s term will end on Dec. 31, 2026 and Nickerson, Jr.’s term will end on Dec. 31, 2028. The three newly appointed judges must be confirmed by the West Virginia Senate.

Once the confirmation process is complete, the panel of judges will assume their duties by July 1, 2022.

The West Virginia Legislature created the Intermediate Court of Appeals during the 2021 Legislative Session. The court will hear cases including:

  • Appeals from circuit courts in civil cases and those concerning guardianship or conservatorship.
  • Appeals from family courts, except for domestic violence proceedings.
  • Appeals from state agencies or administrative law judges.
  •  Appeals from decisions or orders issued by the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges after June 30, 2022, until its termination, and from orders or decisions of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review after June 30, 2022.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals still has the final say when it comes to appeals in the state. According to the legislation that created the court, a written opinion, order, or decision of the Intermediate Court of Appeals “is binding precedent for the decisions of all circuit courts, family courts, magistrate courts, and agencies unless the opinion, order, or decision is overruled or modified by the Supreme Court of Appeals,” as stated in SB 275.

One judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals shall be chosen Chief Judge in a manner determined by the Supreme Court. The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall also act as the Clerk of the Intermediate Court of Appeals and may employ additional staff to do so. The Administrative Director of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall provide administrative support and may employ additional staff to do so.