CHARLESTON, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – On Wednesday, Beckley attorney William R. “Bill” Wooton was sworn into office for a 12-year term in the Supreme Court of Appeals, following his election in June.
Wooton will begin his term on Jan. 1, replacing Justice Margaret Workman, who retires on Dec. 31.
Justice-elect Wooton served in the West Virginia Legislature for 26 years. He was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 years and served in both the House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate.
Wooton is also a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit and is a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow.
Educated in Raleigh County public schools, the Beckley attorney received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Marshall University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.
Throughout his law career from 1977 to 2020, he served as an Assistant West Virginia Attorney General and an Assistant Raleigh County Prosecutor.
Wooton was a law clerk for the Honorable John A. Field, Jr., Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1971 to 1972, an assistant West Virginia Attorney General from 1972 to 1974, and an Assistant Raleigh County Prosecutor from 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 to 2020.
Wooton also served in the United States Army Reserve and the West Virginia National Guard. He was a longtime member of the Beckley Rotary Club and the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.
Justice-elect Wooton expressed his excitement for working with the current Justices, believing they are committed to following the rules and norms of the judiciary.
“My aspiration as a Justice is to emulate the truly outstanding work of Justice Workman,” Wooton said. “It’s an honor to join the court.”
Justice Evans Jenkins took to Twitter on Wednesday and congratulated Wooton on his achievement.
“Today the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals officially welcomed Justice Bill Wooton to the bench. I congratulate Justice Wooton on his years of work as an accomplished attorney and decades of dedicated public service,” he wrote.
Wooton said there are already cases lined up for him to hear arguments on in the coming weeks. Other Justices have already been working on the cases but, according to Wooton, he has not been able to see the information because he had not yet been sworn in.
Wooton was sworn in at the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Courtroom in front of his wife, two sons and several of his grandchildren.