New judge sworn in for 19th Circuit

Submitted photo Shawn D. Nines was sworn in as Judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit, for Barbour and Taylor counties, by current Judge Alan D. Moats, in front of a packed courtroom in Philippi. From left are Senior Status Judge John Lewis Marks Jr.; Moats; Nines; David L. Nines; Mary A. Nines; Donette M. Nines; and Nines’ children.

PHILIPPI — A second judge was recently appointed to help with the case load in the 19th Judicial Circuit, which serves Barbour and Taylor counties.

On Dec. 11, Shawn D. Nines, Taylor County assistant prosecuting attorney, was appointed by Gov. Jim Justice to the position of Circuit Judge.

The appointment was in response to the passage of Senate Bill 528 by the West Virginia Legislature, which provided for the addition of a Circuit Judge to the 19th Judicial Circuit, effective Jan. 1.

Previously, the 19th Circuit had only one Circuit Judge, the honorable Alan D. Moats; however, due to a substantial and steady increase in the number of cases before the Circuit Court in both Barbour and Taylor Counties, the Legislature concluded that an additional Circuit Judge was needed to effectively handle the caseload.

This outcome was deemed necessary by a Circuit Judge Workload Study completed by the National Center for State Courts in connection with the West Virginia Circuit Judge Workload Study Advisory Committee which placed the Barbour and Taylor County Circuit near the top of all West Virginia Judicial Circuits for need of an additional Judge.

Nines was selected by Justice after being evaluated by the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Committee, through both an extensive application and interview process that reviews candidates’ education, experience, and fitness to serve as a Circuit Judge.

Nines served as assistant prosecuting attorney in Taylor County, serving under John L. Bord, and had held that position since 2007. He was also an assistant prosecuting attorney in Barbour County, under E. Lynn Phillips, from 2007 until 2013, according to a press release.

In addition to working in the prosecutors’ offices of both Taylor and Barbour counties, Nines operated a private practice law office for many years and also served as the city attorney for the city of Grafton.

Prior to 2007, Nines spent time in Charleston working for the law firm of Huddleston Bolen, LLC, where he specialized in corporate and railroad defense cases involving complex litigation and mass torts.

Immediately following law school, he was employed for two years as the Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Alan D. Moats, at which time he also became a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the release stated.

Nines attained his law degree at the University of Akron in 2003, and received both a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from West Virginia University in 1998 and 2000, respectively.

He is a former graduate of Grafton High School, where he has been an assistant coach and a radio commentator for many years.

Nines was sworn in at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 2, in the Barbour County Courthouse in Philippi.

Nines resides in Thornton with his wife Donette and their two twins, and is the son of Mary and David Nines, also of Thornton.