A representative of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse says more than half of West Virginia’s residents think there should be an intermediate appellate court in the Mountain State.
A new survey from CALA shows 25% strongly support and 32% somewhat support such an addition which would allow for an automatic right to appeal in every case.
Right now, any appeals are filed directly with the state Supreme Court.
“West Virginia is the only state in the country where you do not have an automatic right of appeal,” Greg Thomas with CALA said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.
“It’s sort of like being pregnant, either you have it or you don’t, and we do not have it.”
He says such a change could help with the reputation, he says, West Virginia’s legal system still has, despite recent judicial reforms. “Across the country, people look at West Virginia like it’s not a place where it’s fair in court.”
Thomas says the Legislature needs to look at ways to change that during the 2013 Regular Legislative Session which begins Wednesday at the State House.
In the CALA survey, respondents listed jobs and economy as the most important issue to them followed by the education system, taxes and the legal climate, in that order.
About 52% of those questioned said they think legislative approval for lawsuit reforms would have a positive impact on the state’s economy.
For more on the CALA survey, go to www.wvcala.org.