Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- A panel studying West Virginia's judicial system says the state needs another appeals court to lighten the state supreme court's caseload.
The new court wouldn't hear direct appeals from circuit courts. Instead, the supreme court would send appeals filed with it to the new intermediate court.
A report released late Sunday by the independent commission on judicial reform also recommends that the legislature standardize the process for governors to fill judicial vacancies.
Commission chairman Carte Goodwin says the panel discussed replacing the current system of electing judges with an appointment system, but decided not to propose scrapping the election system.
However, judges would be appointed to the new appeals court.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)