W.Va. Supreme Court Division 1: Jeff C. Woods
NAME: Jeff C. Woods
DIVISION: Division 1
BIOGRAPHY: Education: Greenbrier East High School, West Virginia State University (BA Sociology, Magna Cum Laud – 1975), West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, Howard University School of Law (J.D. Magna Cum Laud – 1979), U.S. Army Judge Advocate Advanced Course (1985), Newburgh Theological Seminary (Ph. D. - 2015), Laud Hall Seminary.
LEGAL/JUDICIAL EXPERIENCES: Managing Attorney, The Law Office of Jeff C. Woods (2008-present); Retired Member, Jackson Kelly PLLC (1983-2008); Judge Advocate/Senior Trial Counsel, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Judge Advocate WVARNG & U.S. Army Reserves,
Law Clerk/Staff Attorney; Acting Director of W.Va. Magistrate Court System, W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals; Municipal Court Judge, City of Nitro, WV.
1. How would you make the judicial budgeting process more transparent?
The judicial budgeting process should be open to the public. Prior to submission, the proposed budget should be explained in a public forum. The Court’s budget should be subject to an annual audit the results of which should be available to the public and the legislature.
2. Do you believe the current system of voluntary recusal is effective in avoiding real or perceived conflicts of interest or do we need a change in the system to ensure public confidence in the process? What changes would you propose?
Judges and Justices should strive to “avoid even the appearance of impropriety.” The current system of “voluntary recusal” is open to abuse. All potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed. The failure of judges to rescuse themselves should be subject to mandatory review by an independent panel of three independent judges. The decision of the panel should govern.