All Rise, Your Honor
After eight years on the bench, Second Judicial Circuit Judge David Hummel has been honored by his peers, recognized as the 2017 Judge of the Year by the West Virginia Association for Justice.
Hummel received a record high number of nominations by association members in the area earlier this year, before being invited to the group’s annual convention June 1, during which he received the award. Hummel was selected among circuit and federal court judges, which number nearly 100 across the state.
Hummel said the award reflected well on all members of his office, and that being able to succeed as a judge was a team effort he could not accomplish alone.
“We come up through school getting report cards. We do sports and get trophies, and feedback is what it is – this was a phenomenal feedback for what we do day in and day out,” Hummel said. “What we do on the bench is just a fraction of what we do behind the scenes. … It was just an honor to have the Northern Panhandle recognized as (having) one of the leading judges in the state, and that’s including federal judges.
“Sometimes, as the Northern Panhandle, we get sort of forgotten statewide, and for this to have gone to someone from the north, I felt it was really special,” he added.
Hummel lauded his assistant, Cheryl Duke, and court reporter Holly Kocher as crucial to his office’s operations.
“Cheryl’s top notch, second to none, Holly’s been here 25 years. It’s a team effort. We have a wonderful team in the circuit.”
Numerous association members with whom Hummel has worked nominated him, including former state Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, and attorney Rodney Windom. More than a dozen association members nominated Hummel for the award.
“I was told I had more nominations than anyone, ever,” Hummel said. “They all spoke and said some nice things. It was very nice words that they’d said. It was just phenomenal.”
Hummel said he intends to give the plaque to his father, David Hummel Sr.
Hummel was elected as a circuit judge in 2008 election, and ran unopposed for re-election in 2016. Prior to his term as judge, Hummel worked with the Wheeling law firm of Hartley and O’Brien, before opening his own practice in Moundsville and serving as an assistant prosecutor.
The West Virginia Association for Justice represents almost 500 attorneys throughout the state.