No need for intermediate court
West Virginians presently have the absolute right to appeal from every circuit court ruling directly to the West Virginia Supreme Court in every case. The Supreme Court hears every appeal. There is no backlog. An intermediate court would serve no purpose.
The only reason any other state has an intermediate court is because there are too many cases appealed in that state for their Supreme Court to hear. We have never had that problem in West Virginia.
There are three primary effects of adding an intermediate court:
1. It will cost a lot of taxpayer dollars.
2. It will add six months to a year to each case.
3. It will increase costs to all litigants and defendants.
Nobody has yet identified any tangible benefit for anyone if an intermediate court is added to our judicial system. Some corporate attorneys like the intermediate court idea so that they can bill more hours and make more money. That is not fair to their clients who have to pay the increased bills or the taxpayers whose money is wasted by adding an unnecessary step to the process.
I have practiced both criminal and civil law in the West Virginia court system at both the trial and appellate level for more than 40 years. I have served as president of the West Virginia State Bar and the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association. Please do not hesitate to call me personally if you feel that I can provide any additional information.