CHARLESTON — Menis Ketchum will become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on Jan. 1, 2016. He also served as Chief Justice in 2012.
Chief Justice Ketchum was elected to a full twelve-year term on the Supreme Court on Nov. 4, 2008.
He was born in 1943 in Huntington, raised in Wayne County and educated in Wayne County public schools before attending Ohio University in Athens. In college he played varsity baseball and was a member of the 1964 Mid-American Conference Championship Baseball Team.
While in law school at West Virginia University College of Law, he was a contributing writer and associate editor of the West Virginia Law Review. He received his law degree in 1967 and returned to Huntington to join his father, Chad W. Ketchum (1911-1998), in the practice of law with the firm of Greene, Ketchum & Baker. He practiced at that firm and its successors, eventually becoming the senior partner, until his election to the Court. Chief Justice Ketchum’s law practice included insurance defense, personal injury, and criminal defense.
The Best Lawyers in America recognized him continuously from 1989 to 2008 and he was a member of the Leading Honoraries, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Throughout his legal career he published legal articles and presented numerous continuing legal education seminars. Chief Justice Ketchum also served as a member of the Board of Governors of Marshall University from 2002 until his campaign for the Supreme Court, and served as Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Board from 2003 until 2008. At the time of his election, he served on the Boards of the Public Defender Corporations for the Sixth and Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuits. He previously served on the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority, participated in the statewide Vision Shared Health Care Team, and the Governor’s Mine Safety Task Force.
Chief Justice Ketchum has been married to the former Judy Varnum since 1966. They have three children – Kelli Morgan, Bert Ketchum, and Chad Ketchum – and six grandchildren.