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Raleigh County judge appointed to state supreme court

(WVVA) Gov. Jim Justice has appointed Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge John Hutchison to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Gov. Justice made the announcement Wednesday in Beckley.

Judge Hutchison will fill the seat vacated by now convicted Justice Allen Loughry.

“I have known John Hutchison my entire life,” said Gov. Justice. “He has been a Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge for 23 years and is one of the most conservative, respected jurists in the state of West Virginia. He has served on the state’s Mass Litigation panel since 1997. I spoke with some judges prior to making this appointment and they encouraged me to appoint a circuit judge to this position. I’m very pleased to appoint Judge Hutchison to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.”

Hutchison will serve until a special election in May 2020. At that time, whoever wins the seat will serve until the end of Loughry’s term in 2024.

“Judge Hutchison is one of the most experienced and respected circuit judges in West Virginia,” Chief Justice Margaret Workman said. “I applaud the governor for making such a wise choice.”

Hutchison has served as circuit court judge in Raleigh County since 1995.

Read full news release from the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of West Virginia:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Supreme Court Justices welcome Circuit Judge John A. Hutchison to the Supreme Court.

Governor Jim Justice appointed Judge Hutchison today to fill the vacancy on the Court left by the resignation of Allen Loughry. He will serve on the Court until the May 2020 election, at which time he can run to retain the seat until the end of Justice Loughry’s term in 2024. 

“Judge Hutchison is one of the most experienced and respected circuit judges in West Virginia,” Chief Justice Margaret Workman said. “I applaud the governor for making such a wise choice.”

Justice Beth Walker said, “I congratulate Judge Hutchison on his appointment and I’m excited about the vast experience he will bring to the Court. He will be a great help in our efforts to improve transparency and accountability at the Court.”

Justice Tim Armstead said, “I have a good working relationship with Judge Hutchison from my days as Speaker of the House of Delegates. He, with other
judges, often represented the judicial association in meetings with legislators about issues involving circuit judges. I look forward to continuing to work with him, now as a colleague.”

Justice Evan Jenkins said, “I congratulate the governor on choosing an outstanding candidate. Judge Hutchison will bring years of judicial experience to the Supreme Court and I look forward to working with him.”

Judge Hutchison was born in and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He has a 1972 bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Davis and Elkins College and a 1980 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. From 1972 to 1974 he was assistant basketball coach at Davis and Elkins College and from 1974 to 1997 he taught and coached in Raleigh County Schools. From 1975 to 1977 he served as dorm director and assistant basketball coach at Concord University.

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. Then‐Governor Gaston Caperton appointed him to the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Raleigh County) in 1995. He was elected in 1996 and re‐elected in 2000 and 2008.

He is a member of the Supreme Court’s Mass Litigation Panel and was a judicial representative on the Commission to Study Residential Placement of Children. He has been appointed several times to sit on the Supreme Court when a Justice has been recused.

He has been treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president of the West Virginia Judicial Association and he has been chairman and vice‐chairman of the association’s legislative and pensions committees.

Judge 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.


Paul Hess

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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