02 June 2008

Supco Appeal Refusals, Revisited

The Associated Press explores the implications from the state Supreme Court's unanimous decisions last month rejecting appeals requests. One stemmed from a high profile coal-contract dispute involving Massey Energy, the other from a fight over natural gas royalties that resulted in a record-high jury award.

"Parties on both sides of those debates question whether either case fits neatly into the narrative that casts the Mountain State as hostile to business and prone to award 'jackpot' jury awards," AP reports. "So does the author of an upcoming West Virginia Law Review article that examines the continuing push to label the state a 'judicial hellhole.'"

But AP also relays views that "what the court's decisions may instead reveal is a potential gap in the state's judicial system, created by the absence of an intermediate appeals court and the absolute discretion wielded by its Supreme Court when considering which cases to hear."

Update: An official from Chesapeake Energy, hit by the record verdict, echoes calls for a mid-level appeals court to MetroNews. With audio.

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