HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.
Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right. Candidates who have not received a questionnaire can send an email to acopley@HDMediaLLC.com with their name, candidacy and phone number.
NAME: Bill Schwartz
CANDIDATE FOR: West Virginia Supreme Court, Division 3
PARTY: nonpartisan race
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.schwartzforwv.com
HOME CITY: Charleston
HOME COUNTY: Kanawha County
EDUCATION: B.A. from St. John's University in New York where I was a student athlete award winner and Big East medalist and a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee School of Law where I was a Justice on the school Moot Court Board meaning I was a top student advocate and a Regional Champion in the National Trial Competition
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: attorney and listed in the Top 100 by the National Trial Lawyers, a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation and the President's Award from the Association for Justice.
FAMILY: two sons.
Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:
1. What changes would you like to see to the state’s court system?
I would like to see changes in our court system where I believe former justices and politicians put us in a mess. I'm an agent for change as a lawyer, business owner and taxpayer who will work to have the best administrator of 130 million tax dollars and I will always remember that those dollars belongs to the taxpayer.
2. How would you prioritize budget allocations for the court system (e.g., family court, drug court)?
I would prioritize the budget to the family and drug courts that deal with an opioid crisis and 7,000 children in state custody. These are problems that need to be dealt with immediately and more funds and resources need to be focused there.
Additional questions from The Herald-Dispatch:
3. One proposal that’s been floated recently is for elections of county prosecutors to be nonpartisan, just as elections for the state’s judges are. Do you think that is a good step? Why or why not?
I believe prosecutors and judges should be non partisan and in fact unaffiliated. They serve the public and not a party and I don't know how else citizens will truly believe that Lady Justice doesn't peek to see who should win.
4. In 2018, four of the five Supreme Court justices in West Virginia were impeached. Three either retired or resigned, one was acquitted, and a fifth was not tried on the charges against her because a reconstituted temporary Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature had overstepped its bound in terms of the separation of powers. Do you agree with that ruling, or do you agree with some lawmakers who want to pass legislation to overturn that court ruling?
The legislature has the right to impeach and the impeached a right to trial in the Senate. However, I do not believe any further laws on this issue are necessary.
5. Do you believe West Virginia needs an intermediate court system to operate between the circuit courts and the Supreme Court?
No. An intermediary court system is an unnecessary expense we cannot afford and do not need. It will cause unnecessary delay and expense to litigants. This money can better be spent dealing with the opioid crisis and 7,000 children in state custody so drug and family courts can be better funded.