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Interim Cabell judge aims to catch up docket

October 3, 2018

Senior Status Judge Dan O'Hanlon is sworn in Monday to temporarily oversee cases for Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell.

HUNTINGTON — A longtime Cabell County judge said he hopes he will be able to catch up court cases for Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell, who is overseeing Supreme Court impeachment hearings in Charleston, after he was temporarily appointed to fill his position.

Senior Status Judge Dan O’Hanlon was sworn in Monday at the Cabell County Courthouse by Cabell Circuit Judge Gregory Howard. The Supreme Court has assigned him to oversee Farrell’s docket until Nov. 6.

“I’m really pleased to be down here helping out,” he said.

O’Hanlon served more than 25 years in Farrell’s seat until his retirement in October 2010. Farrell was appointed to the seat and has remained ever since.

O’Hanlon said he hopes his experience and familiarity with the Cabell Circuit will help him catch up Farrell’s docket.

“Because I have 30 years of experience as a judge, I used to run what we called ‘the rocket docket,’” he said. “I think that may be why they asked me to come back down. I know all of the lawyers, I know most of the people on both sides and I’ve done this often enough that I think I can get his docket back under control before he comes back.”

Farrell temporarily left his position to sit on the Supreme Court after then-Chief Justice Margaret Workman appointed him to serve during the suspension of Justice Allen Loughry. He is currently serving as the acting chief justice during impeachment trials for the four remaining justices.

The circuit courts of West Virginia handle felony cases, civil cases seeking more than $2,500, habeas corpus, appeals from lower courts and several other cases.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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