Larry Starcher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Larry V. Starcher
Born (1942-09-25) September 25, 1942 (age 72)
Nationality American
Occupation Judge
Known for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Larry V. Starcher (born September 25, 1942) is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. In November 1996, he was elected as a Democrat in a partisan election to the Supreme Court of Appeals. He served as Chief Justice in 1999 and 2003.


A native of Roane County, West Virginia, Justice Starcher earned his A.B. in 1964 from West Virginia University and his J.D. in 1967 from the West Virginia University College of Law.

Legal career[edit]

Prior to being elected Circuit Judge of Monongalia County in 1976, he served as an Assistant to the Vice-President for Off-Campus Education at WVU, as Director of the North Central West Virginia Legal Aid Society, and as a private lawyer. He served as circuit judge for 20 years (1977-1996), including 18 as chief judge. While sitting as a circuit judge, Justice Starcher served as a special judge in 23 of West Virginia’s 55 counties. He presided over the trial of 20,000 asbestos injury cases and a six-month state buildings asbestos trial.

In November 1996, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals as a Democrat in a partisan election. He served as Chief Justice in 1999, and 2003. He promoted action in several areas of judicial administration, specifically: Court Facilities Committee; Public Trust and Confidence in the Judiciary; Mental Hygiene Commission; Court Technology Summit; Self-Represented Litigants Task Force; State Law Library improvements; and reactivated the Gender Fairness Task Force.

He had been highly critical of the actions of the executive of a coal company who had business before the court, which led to him recuse himself in at least some decisions involving that company.[1] He criticized a fellow Justice who won election with large contributions from the coal company executive and then cast deciding votes in favor of the company.[2][3] The situation led to a U. S. Supreme Court case, Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., about when judges should recuse themselves.[4]

Awards and associations[edit]

He was President of the West Virginia Judicial Association in 1992-93. As a trial judge, he was active in the area of juvenile justice, including establishing alternative learning centers for youths at risk and a youth shelter. He also pioneered the use of work-release and community service as punishment for nonviolent offenders. He has been a regular instructor at judicial conferences, and has been honored by many civic and community groups, including the NAACP, Jaycees, Trial Lawyers, and Probation Officers. In 1978, he was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities at Harvard University. Justice Starcher also has served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the West Virginia University College of Law from 1992 to the present.


  1. ^ Jones, Ashby (February 15, 2008). "Another Justice to Step Down in Massey Energy Case". Law Blog (The Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Liptak, Adam (October 11, 2008). "U.S. Supreme Court Is Asked to Fix Troubled West Virginia Justice System". New York TImes. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Liptak, Adam (October 1, 2006). "Case Studies: West Virginia and Illinois". New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Totenberg, Nina (March 3, 2009). "W.Va. Case Tests When Judges Should Step Aside". NPR. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph P. Albright
Justice for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Menis Ketchum