10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Justice picks intermediate judge with broad governmental experience

Gov. Jim Justice today announced that his predecessor’s chief of staff will be his selection for West Virginia’s intermediate appeals court.

Charles Lorensen

Justice selected Charles Lorensen for a term of six and a half years. The term concludes on Dec. 31, 2028.

Lorensen was selected following the withdrawal of Don Nickerson, a Wheeling attorney, a month ago. After Nickerson withdrew, Justice announced he would reopen the application process. A total of 19 people applied for the judicial role.

The newly-appointed judge was confirmed swiftly this morning by the state Senate.

The new appeals court will be operational by July 1, operating from Charleston and hearing cases from around the state.

Lorensen was chief of staff for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who held the office prior to Justice. Lorensen has also served as cabinet secretary for the state Department of Revenue and commissioner of the State Tax Department.

Most recently, Lorensen has with the Kay Casto & Chaney law firm. He has previously worked as general counsel for Stonerise Healthcare and at Jackson Kelly PLLC.

Justice has already appointed attorneys Dan Greear of South Charleston and Thomas Scarr of Barboursville as the judges on the intermediate court as it starts up. The positions will be up for election in the coming years.

The judges will hear appeals of civil cases, appeals from family courts except domestic violence cases, appeals from state agencies or administrative law judges, and workers compensation appeals.

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