The new Lewis County Judicial Annex was used for the first time Friday when former Harrison County assistant prosecuting attorney Kurt Hall took his oath of office as the new 26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge.
Senior Status Judge John Henning administered the oath of office, making Hall the first circuit judge to serve in the new judicial annex for Lewis County.
"That's an honor," Hall said. "This is an awesome complex."
Hall's first day on the job, however, will take place at the Upshur County Courthouse on Monday. The 26th Circuit covers both Lewis and Upshur counties.
"I'm very nervous, excited and happy," Hall said, adding that he is confident he will adjust to his new role after serving 11 years as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Harrison County. "I can't be a judge and act like a prosecutor."
While serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney, Hall said he had the opportunity to work in the presence of many judges.
"I've practiced in front of a lot of judges, and I'm going to take a lot of that with me," Hall said.
Hall told the audience he was not a man of many promises, but he will make one.
"I will do my very best to fulfill this appointment," Hall said. "I will do the best job that I can."
Dozens came to witness Hall receive the oath of office, including his wife, Liz Hall, who expressed confidence and excitement for her husband.
"We're just thrilled," said Liz Hall. "I'm so happy for him. He's definitely going to do a good job."
The new circuit courtroom did not have enough seating for all who attended. Some guests had to stand, while others lined up to watch from just outside the doorway. Kurt Hall said he was surprised by such a large turnout.
"I never expected there would be this many people to come out and recognize and support me," Hall said.
Although he has a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering technology from Fairmont State University, Hall said he found an opportunity in the field of law. He earned a law degree from West Virginia University's College of Law in 1995 after working as a project engineer/certified mine foreman's assistant.
Hall has since served as a law clerk at a firm in Elkins and as a public defender in the 2nd Judicial Circuit, which serves Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties. He also is a member of the Lewis County Democratic Executive Committee and the Lewis County Senior Center Board of Directors. Hall lives in Jane Lew with his wife and three children.