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 2013 and 2009. He is a native of Marietta, Ohio. Justice Benjamin is a graduate of The Ohio State University, from which he holds a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree, and where he played varsity sports. After graduation from law school in 1984, he settled in Charleston, West Virginia, and joined the Robinson & McElwee, PLLC, law firm, eventually becoming a partner/member. Justice Benjamin is a regular speaker at national and international forums, including the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, the National Press Club in Washington D.C., and at numerous law schools and a variety of bar-related groups. Justice Benjamin also frequently appears as a guest on radio and television broadcasts and in print media to explain the judicial system and constitutional principles. On the Supreme Court of Appeals, Justice Benjamin has been a leader in the expansion of treatment courts in West Virginia, including Drug Courts, Veterans Courts, and Mental Health Courts. He has actively advanced court access issues, children’s issues, drug and mental health issues, and domestic violence issues. 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 also has worked to enhance and expand court outreach, public education, and media-court relations. Justice Benjamin’s twenty-year practice at Robinson & McElwee involved general civil litigation in state and federal courts, including civil rights, toxic torts and complex litigation. His civil rights practice focused on protecting children from physical and sexual abuse. He has 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 before various courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Justice Benjamin is a fellow of the Salzburg Seminar in Austria, a graduate of Leadership West Virginia, a member of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, and a member of the Hocking College Archaeological Mission and the Amenmesse Project. Away from his judicial duties, he has actively participated in archaeological excavations in the United States and Egypt, including, most recently, the excavation of KV10 and KV63 (the first intact tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun) and the re-excavation of TT320 (also known as the “Royal Cache Tomb”). Justice Benjamin attends Christ Church United Methodist, in Charleston, and is the father of five children.