WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement regarding the Revised Rules of Appellate Procedure that were unveiled earlier today by West Virginia Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis:
“While these revised rules are a step in the right direction, the best way to ensure a meaningful and automatic right of appeal in West Virginia is through the establishment of an intermediate court of appeals, as was previously recommended by the West Virginia Independent Commission on Judicial Reform.”
“The Institute for Legal Reform will continue to work with interested stakeholders to encourage the creation of an intermediate appeals court when the West Virginia state legislature reconvenes next year.”
In 2009, Governor Joe Manchin established the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform to comprehensively review the state’s court system. The commission recommended that the legislature act to establish an intermediate appellate court.
Although legislation was reported unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Chairman Jeff Kessler, a bill to create an intermediate appellate court failed in the Senate Finance Committee in February 2010.