CHARLESTON. WV (LOOTPRESS) – Beckley attorney William R. “Bill” Wooton will be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Dec. 30, in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Courtroom.
Although invitations were previously extended, because of the COVID Pandemic, the ceremony will now be held virtually by webcast. To protect the health and safety of everyone involved, the public and previously invited guests will not be admitted to participate in person.
You can watch it remotely on the West Virginia Judiciary YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/wvsupremecourt.
Justice-elect Wooton was elected June 9 to the seat being vacated by Justice Margaret Workman, who is retiring December 31.
He is a native of Raleigh County and was educated in Raleigh County public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marshall University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where he was editor-in-Chief of the West Virginia Law Review, Order of the Coif, and graduated at the top of his class.
He was a law clerk for the Honorable John A. Field, Jr., Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1971 to 1972, was an assistant West Virginia Attorney General 1972 to 1974, and an Assistant Raleigh County Prosecutor 1974 to 1977. He practiced law in Beckley with the firm Wooton, Wooton & Fragile from 1977 until 1994, with The Wooton Law Firm from 1994 until 2014, and Wooton & Wooton, Attorneys at Law, from 2014 through 2020.
Justice-elect Wooton served in the West Virginia Legislature for 26 years. He was a member of the House of Delegates from 1977 through 1986, 1989 to 1990, and 2009 to 2010, and served as House Majority Leader 1985 to 1986. He served in the West Virginia Senate 1991 through 2002 and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 years.
In addition to legislative service, he served more than thirty years in the United States Army Reserve and the West Virginia Army National Guard, where he retired as a Colonel. He was a longtime member of the Beckley Rotary Club and the Beckley- Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, and he has been a Beckley Little League coach.
Justice-elect Wooton is a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit and a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow.
He and his wife, Shir, live in Beckley. They have three adult sons and five grandchildren.