Supreme Court recalls Recht to the bench

WHEELING — Senior Status Judge Arthur Recht will be donning court robes on a regular basis once again.

Recht, of Wheeling, was recalled Tuesday to active service in the First Judicial Circuit, filling the vacancy left by Judge James Mazzone. Mazzone, on Tuesday, assumed the post of federal magistrate left vacant by retiring U.S. Magistrate Judge James Seibert.

Recht was recalled to service on the order of state Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman, effective Tuesday. In her order, Workman wrote, “In consideration of the heavy caseload in the First Judicial Circuit and to prevent undue delay in trials, hearings and the general delivery of court services to the people of the First Judicial Circuit, and to provide timely access to the court, the Chief Justice deems it necessary to assign a senior status judge to preside in the First Judicial Circuit until a successor is appointed by the Governor and sworn into office.”

The temporary assignment will find Recht presiding over circuit court cases in Brooke, Hancock and Ohio counties. Recht’s assignment does not include matters of the Juvenile Drug Court.

Tuesday’s order is not the first time Recht has been recalled in his retirement to serve the courts.

In 2013, he filled in for First Judicial Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan while Gaughan was recovering from a health issue. In 2015, he was called on to fill the unexpired term of Judge Mark Karl who served the court in Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties.

Recht received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his juris doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law. He first joined the First Judicial Circuit in 1981 and served there until 1993 when he returned to working in private practice. He was then appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia by former governor Gaston Caperton and served from 1995-1996.

He was then re-appointed to the First Judicial Circuit in 1996.

Recht was elected and re-elected to full terms on the circuit court and retired on Jan. 31, 2012.