Nine lawyers filed applications for temporary replacement of the late Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King on Thursday, according to the governor’s office.
Longtime Judge King, 73, died on December 28 after serving on the bench for more than 30 years. Governor Jim Justice will appoint his successor and end the remainder of the king’s tenure, which expires in 2022.
Senior Status Judge Dan O’Hanlon stands for King until a replacement is selected. The interviews for the position are scheduled for February 11, according to the governor’s office.
Here are the nine applicants and their brief legal biographical information:
Akers currently serves as the senior assistant to the district attorney at the Kanawha District Attorney’s Office. She has been pursuing cases that, according to her résumé, had been assigned to the king’s court.
Akers graduated from West Virginia University College of Law shortly after accepting a position in the juvenile delinquency division of the Kanawha District Attorney’s Office. She prosecuted cases in both Kanawha Magistrate Court and Kanawha Circuit Court before assuming the office of chief of staff in 2008.
From 2013 to 2014, she served in the Consumer Protection Division of the West Virginia Attorney General, prosecuting cases against drug manufacturers. Akers also served as general counsel for the West Virginia State Ethics Committee before assuming the position of chief prosecutor.
Baker served as the Charleston district attorney from late 2019 to date. According to his résumé, he graduated from the American University’s Washington College of Law in 2008.
From 2010 to 2019, he served as an advisor to the Minority Leader and the Judiciary Committee in the West Virginia Senate, drafting and summarizing laws, preparing items for discussion, presenting them to the Legislative Review Committee and other work.
Baker founded and ran a Charleston law firm from 2009 to 2012 working on a variety of cases and issues. He has worked for US District Judge Joe Goodwin and the United Mine Workers of America in Fairfax, Virginia.
Ballard has been a judge at the Kanawha Family Court since 2008 and, according to his bio page, is also the past president of the Family Court Judges Association. He was elected to the position in 2008 and 2016. He could not be reached for information Friday.
Ballard is also the judge of Kanawha County’s Juaw Drug Court.
Ballard graduated from the David A. Clarke School of Law in the District of Columbia. He worked for a private company before opening his own practice in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 he was the district’s hygiene commissioner.
According to his résumé, Browning currently works in Charleston for Public Defender Services in the Habeas Corpus Division.
Browning graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1984. From 1985 to 2014, he worked for the Shuman, McCuskey and Slicer law firm, where he worked primarily in civil litigation defense. From 1995 to 1996 he was President of the Kanawha Bar Association.
For nearly 30 years with the company, he has defended corporations, individual doctors, and other corporations and individuals. Browning also worked for the Hendrickson and Long law firm in Charleston from 2014 to 2018.
Fox was most recently the king’s clerk. She could not be reached for information on Friday.
According to her LinkedIn page, she previously served as a clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court and for three different private companies in Charleston.
She graduated from the WVU College of Law in 1991.
Griffith works as a defense attorney at Griffith Law Center, which he founded in 2015, he said on Friday. He handles cases in the areas of employment, personal injury, school education, medicine, family and other legal forms.
He graduated from the Appalachian School of Law in 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he worked for a private law firm in Charleston before starting his own law firm, Griffith Law Offices, specializing in general litigation, criminal and family matters.
He co-founded another company in 2009 before splitting up and starting the company he now works for.
Kavitz opened her own practice, Kavitz Law, in June 2015. She said that on Friday she mainly handled child abuse and neglect cases.
She graduated from WVU College of Law in 2006 prior to filing bankruptcy proceedings with the Hoyer, Hoyer and Smith law firm in Charleston. She then worked for the following four years on various cases for the law firms DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley and Simmons.
Kavitz said she worked briefly at LexisNexis Corporation before starting her own company.
Marsh currently serves as the attorney general’s assistant at the Kanawha District Attorney’s Office, where he has served since 2015. He was serving as a defense attorney in Charleston the previous year, according to an earlier Gazette Mail story. He could not be reached for information Friday.
Marsh previously worked for the US Attorney’s Office in Southwest Virginia and as assistant prosecutor for Kanawha. He also worked for the Department of Justice in Washington, DC
Mishoe has been with the Shaffer and Shaffer law firm in Charleston since 2008, he said on Friday. He has handled a number of cases in a variety of areas including personal injury, medical malpractice, and insurance coverage.
He graduated from WVU College of Law in 2006. He said he is currently the vice president of the West Virginia Bar Association.
Prior to joining Shaffer and Shaffer, Mishoe spent two years as a clerk with Judge James Rowe in Greenbrier County.