WV Supreme Court oral arguments done until September - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Supreme Court oral arguments done until September

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Although today marked the end of oral arguments before the state Supreme Court until September, justices still have a lot of work to do.

So far this term, the state Supreme Court has issued 672 decisions; 557 were memorandum decisions, 45 were per curiam (unsigned) opinions, 24 were concurring/dissenting opinions and 46 were signed opinions.

Of the 24 concurring/dissenting opinions, 10 were concurring opinions, five were concur/dissent in part and nine were dissenting opinions.

And they're not done yet.

"There will probably be a number more," explained clerk of the court Rory Perry. "A number of cases are approved in conference right at the end of the term. For logistical reasons, we don't release everything on the same day … You don't want to issue 100 cases on the same day because it's a lot for everyone to take in."

Perry explained by mid July, the court has typically entered about 800 decisions, which was more than in the entire year in 2011.

"In 2011, we had 678 for the whole year," Perry said. "Last year, it went up to just over 900. This year, we are on pace to issue more than 1,000 decisions. Part of that is the court fully implementing the new system of issuing decisions on the merits on every case."

Perry said it's taken a while for the new rules of appellate procedure to be fully implemented.

"In gardening, they say the first year, you sleep, the second year, you creep and the third year, you leap. This is a leaping year," he said.

The next term starts in September, where the court has half as much time to issue decisions. Perry explains the rule mandates that cases must be decided in the same term they are submitted or argued.

He noted the court has met that goal this term.

"Unlike the January term, where cases are argued January through the end of May, the September term, cases are argued in September and October and due by Thanksgiving," he said.

So far, 84 cases are set for argument in the fall term, Perry said.

"They will spend the summer preparing for those in addition to processing the material they have on a daily basis," Perry explained, later adding, "While the term is over in terms of oral arguments, we're still here. We're still working."