Margaret Workman hears last oral arguments as WV Supreme Court Justice

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Margaret Workman heard her last oral argument docket as West Virginia Supreme Court Justice on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

After more than 30 years as a judicial officer, including 24 years as a Supreme Court Justice, Workman is not seeking re-election, and will retire when her term ends December 31, 2020. Justice Workman was first elected to the bench in 1988. This made her the first woman to be elected to a statewide office and the first woman elected to the WV Supreme Court of Appeals. She resigned from the Supreme Court in 1999 to practice law in Charleston, and was elected again in 2008.

Justice Workman served as Chief Justice five times during her career on the WV Supreme Court. In honor of her last day on the bench, she got to serve as Chief Justice one last time.

“I appreciate that generous and kind offer,” Justice Workman said. “After 31 years, I’m ready for retirement. But it is an honor to sit here again.”

In 1981, Justice Workman became the youngest circuit court judge in the state when then-Governor
Jay Rockefeller appointed her to the Kanawha County Circuit Court. She served as a circuit judge
until she was elected to the Supreme Court in 1988.

As Chief Justice in 1993 and 1997, she worked closely with domestic violence programs. She also created the Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts and the Task Force on the Future of the Judiciary. She formed the Broadwater Committee, which made reforms in the court system’s response to children’s issues and spearheaded the development of rules governing child abuse and neglect
cases.

In her tenures as Chief Justice in 2011, 2015, and 2018, she focused on improving the judicial
system budget process, rehabilitation services for juveniles, and magistrate court facilities. She
established the Adjudicated Juveniles Rehabilitation Commission, now the Juvenile Justice
Commission, which monitors juvenile facilities and works to improve rehabilitative services.

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