West Virginia Judiciary

Justice Brent D. Benjamin

Justice Brent D. Benjamin Justice Brent D. Benjamin was elected to a twelve-year term on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in November 2004. He served as Chief Justice in 2009 and 2013. Justice Benjamin is a native of Marietta, Ohio, and holds both a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University, where he played varsity sports. After graduation from law school in 1984, Justice Benjamin joined Robinson & McElwee, PLLC, in its Charleston office, being a partner/member for most of his twenty years with the firm. His practice focused on general civil litigation, including civil rights, toxic torts, and complex litigation. Justice Benjamin is a regular presenter and speaker at forums on civil rights, equal access to justice, drug and treatment courts, judicial selection and judicial education. He has spoken at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting; the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.; the National Association of Drug Court Professionals; the Equal Justice Conference; and, internationally, to the International Association of Defense Counsel and to prosecutors and judges in Ankara and Antalya, Turkey, at the invitation of the Republic of Turkey. He also speaks frequently to law schools and bar-related groups, including most recently for the Journal of Law & Politics at the University of Virginia School of Law, and he is a frequent guest on broadcasts and in print media on the judicial system and constitutional principles. On the Supreme Court of Appeals, Justice Benjamin has been a leader in establishing and expanding treatment courts in West Virginia, including Drug Courts, Veterans Courts, and Mental Health Courts. As Chief Justice in 2013, he worked closely with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to bring Justice Reinvestment to West Virginia, and with legislative leaders to expand Drug Courts statewide. He established the New View Project and other related projects to enhance the permanent placement of children in the foster care system. As Chief Justice in 2009, he established West Virginia’s Access to Justice Commission, a Compliance Committee on Prisons and Jails, a nationally acclaimed Domestic Violence Database, and a statewide Mental Hygiene Registry. He has worked to enhance and expand court outreach, public education, and media-court relations. Before joining the Supreme Court, Justice Benjamin practiced before the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and various courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is a member of the Bars of West Virginia and Kentucky. Away from his judicial duties, Justice Benjamin is a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar in Austria, a graduate of Leadership West Virginia, and a member of the Hocking College Archaeological Mission. He previously was a member of the Amenmesse Project, co-sponsored by the Republic of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. He has participated in archaeological excavations in the United States and Egypt, including the recent discovery and excavation of tomb KV63 (the first intact tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun), the continued excavation of tomb KV10, and the re-excavation of cache tomb TT320 (also known as the “Royal Cache Tomb”). Justice Benjamin attends Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston. He is the father of five children and the grandfather of one.