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NAME: William R. “Bill” Wooton
CANDIDATE FOR: West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Division 2
BIOGRAPHY: I am a Marshall University and WVU College of Law graduate and small town lawyer with extensive experience in virtually every type of legal proceeding one can imagine. I’m a retired National Guard Colonel, worked as a prosecuting attorney, served as Majority leader of the House of Delegates, and was the long-time Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Website: www.WootonForJustice.com Legal/Judicial Experience Private practice of law for more than 40 years, involved in virtually every type of legal proceeding possible in WV. Editor-in-Chief, WV Law Review; Order of the Coif; graduated top of class; law clerk for the Honorable John A. Field, Jr., Judge, US Court of Appeals; former Assistant Attorney General; former prosecutor; extensive quasi-judicial experience as Judiciary Chair in legislature.
Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:
1. What changes would you like to see to the state’s court system?
The existing structure of our state judicial system is adequate for the needs of West Virginia. I believe I can improve the administration of justice while serving in that system. I don’t think we need radical change to our existing system, and don’t believe we need an intermediate appellate court. However, that is a legislative decision permitted by our constitution
2. How would you prioritize budget allocations for the court system (e.g., family court, drug court)?
The judicial budget has limited dollars available for discretionary spending; 84% goes for personnel expenses. Notwithstanding the current coronavirus pandemic, our opioid crisis persists and must be addressed. Responsibility for addressing this crisis rests primarily with other branches of government, but even with its budgetary limitations the judicial branch can help by prioritizing Drug Courts, Veteran’s Courts and Truancy Courts.