CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – Today Governor Jim Justice announced his appointment of a new Justice to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

The announcement was made following the resignation of the previous holder of the title Evan Jenkins in February. Haley Bunn is a native of Oceana, Wyoming County, and has a great deal of court experience over her long career. Governor Justice spoke on Bunn’s history both as a litigator and as a West Virginian.

“Haley Bunn is a wonderful West Virginia story. She’s a coal miner’s daughter and a daughter of southern West Virginia who’s committed her life to serving her state and her community. She’s from Wyoming County, where the opioid epidemic hit as hard as it has anywhere in America, and she decided to devote much of her career to fighting that epidemic. Haley’s also a seasoned courtroom veteran whose experience as an elite litigator will be invaluable on our Supreme Court of Appeals.” 

Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)

Bunn is a lifelong West Virginian, and has spent her entire career trying to better the State with her expertise. After graduating with honors from West Virginia University and the West Virginia University College of Law, Bunn began her career in private practice with Steptoe and Johnson PLLC. She then served as a federal prosecutor and prosecuted a series of public corruption cases in Mingo County that drew national attention and resulted in the convictions of four elected officials. 

Bunn’s claim to fame was in her work with the United States Attorney’s Office towards alleviating West Virginia’s opioid epidemic. In 2017, the United States Department of Justice selected her as one of 12 prosecutors in the country to serve in a newly created Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, where she took a leading role in combating the state’s opioid crisis. Among her cases working with this unit are:

  • Prosecuing numerous major drug cases, including those of a group of methamphetamine traffickers whose collective prison sentences totaled more than 90 years
  • Prosecuting a Wyoming County doctor who prescribed opioids to patients without examining them
  • Prosecuting a Charleston neurologist sentenced to more than five years for illegally prescribing opioids
  • Prosecuting multiple distributors of deadly illicit fentanyl
  • Prosecuting an opioid dealer who was sentenced to seven years in prison after being arrested with more than 300 illegally obtained opioid pills and $570,000 in cash
  • Playing a key role in a parallel civil and criminal fraud investigation of one of the largest mental health care providers in the world, which resulted in a $17 million civil settlement.

After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she returned to private practice with Steptoe and Johnson to help the West Virginian business community and represent local clients. Bunn brings a wealth of courtroom experience to the position of Supreme Court Justice. Both as a prosecutor and in private practice, she has tried numerous cases to jury verdicts and handled a host of appeals in both federal and state courts. She has successfully argued before several courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the federal appellate court for West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. Governor Justice strongly supports her as both a Justice, and as a West Virginian.

“Haley will be a strong conservative voice on the court. She understands the importance of faith, traditional values, and law and order. Those things are the backbone of West Virginia. And she knows that for our economy to continue growing, employers and job creators have to be confident they can get a fair shake in our courts. She’ll apply the law fairly and impartially, and she’ll be a Supreme Court Justice that all West Virginians will be proud of.”

Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)

Bunn comes from a long line of West Virginian coal miners. Two of her great-grandfathers, both her grandfathers, her father, and many other family members have been underground coal miners, and her husband’s family operated coal mines in West Virginia for decades. She and her husband are living in Charleston with their two children. They attend Bible Center Church, and Bunn serves on the board of Bible Center School. Active in her profession and community, Bunn is a member of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America’s Legal Explorers Program.

C. Haley Bunn replaces temporary Judge Alan D. Moats, who was appointed to sit temporarily on the Supreme Court since February 7, 2022.