West Virginia Judiciary

Chief Justice John A. Hutchison

Justice John HutchisonChief Justice John A. Hutchison was appointed to the Supreme Court in December 2018 by Governor Jim Justice and elected on June 9, 2020, to a term ending December 31, 2024.

He previously was appointed to the bench in the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Raleigh County) by then-Governor Gaston Caperton in 1995, and he was elected to that seat in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, 2008 and 2016.

As a circuit judge, Chief Justice Hutchison was a member of the Supreme Court’s Mass Litigation Panel and was a judicial representative on the Commission to Study Residential Placement of Children. He was appointed several times to sit on the Supreme Court when a Justice has been recused. He also served as treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president of the West Virginia Judicial Association and was chairman and vice-chairman of the association’s legislative and pensions committees. He was certified as a mediator by the National Judicial College in 2017.

He was born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He has a 1972 bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Davis and Elkins College and a 1980 law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

He was assistant basketball coach at Davis and Elkins College (1972 to 1974) and was dorm director and assistant basketball coach at Concord University (1975 to 1977). After law school, he practiced law in Raleigh County for ten years with Gorman, Sheatsley and Hutchison. In 1991 he opened the Nationwide Insurance West Virginia Trial Division Office and served as its managing trial attorney for four years. From 1974 to 1975 he also taught and coached in Raleigh County Schools. During holiday and summer breaks from school he worked as a construction laborer, a carpenter’s helper, and a framing carpenter, and one summer he worked as a steelworker on the bridge construction over the New River in Hinton, West Virginia.

Chief Justice Hutchison was a registered official with the Secondary School Activities Commission in soccer and baseball for approximately fifteen years and also has served on the board of directors at the Beckley-Raleigh County YMCA.

He is a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow and the recipient of the 2019 Liberty Bell Award and the 2019 Champion of Children Award.

He is married to Victoria Lagowski Hutchison and they have two children and three grandchildren.