West Virginia Judiciary

Justice William R. Wooton

Justice Bill WootonJustice William R. "Bill" Wooton was sworn into office on December 30, 2020, to a 12-year-term on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. He was elected June 9 to a term that began January 1, 2021.

A native of Raleigh County, Justice Wooton was educated in Raleigh County public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Marshall University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where he was editor-in-Chief of the West Virginia Law Review, Order of the Coif, and graduated at the top of his class.

He was a law clerk for the Honorable John A. Field, Jr., Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1971 to 1972; an assistant West Virginia Attorney General from 1972 to 74; 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 with Wooton & Wooton, Attorneys at Law, from 2014 through 2020.

Justice Wooton served in the West Virginia Legislature for 26 years. He was a member of the House of Delegates from 1977 through 1986, 1989 to 1990, and 2009 to 2010, and served as House Majority Leader from 1985 to 1986. He served in the West Virginia Senate 1991 through 2002 and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee 10 Years.

In addition to legislative service, he served more than thirty years in the United States Army Reserve and the West Virginia Army National Guard, where he retired as a Colonel. He was a longtime member of the Beckley Rotary Club and the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, and he has been a Beckley Little League coach.

Justice Wooton is a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit and is a West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow.

He and his wife, Shir, have three adult sons and five grandchildren. They live in Beckley.