John Thomas Copenhaver Jr.
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Assumed office
November 1, 2018
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
In office
September 3, 1976 – November 1, 2018
Appointed byGerald Ford
Preceded byKenneth Keller Hall
Succeeded byFrank W. Volk
Personal details
Born (1925-09-29) September 29, 1925 (age 96)
Charleston, West Virginia
EducationWest Virginia University (A.B.)
West Virginia University College of Law (LL.B.)

John Thomas Copenhaver Jr. (born September 29, 1925) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Copenhaver was the last actively serving district judge appointed by President Gerald Ford.

Education and career

Copenhaver was born in Charleston, West Virginia. He received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from West Virginia University in 1947 and a Bachelor of Laws from West Virginia University College of Law in 1950. He was in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946, and became a law clerk to Judge Ben Moore of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia from 1950 to 1951. He was in private practice in Charleston from 1951 to 1958, and a referee in bankruptcy for the Southern District of West Virginia from 1958 to 1973. Copenhaver was both an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University College of Law and a faculty member of the Federal Judicial Center from 1970 to 1976, and a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of West Virginia from 1973 to 1976.[1]

Federal judicial service

Copenhaver was nominated by President Gerald Ford on August 26, 1976 to be a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, to a seat vacated by Judge Kenneth Keller Hall. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 1, 1976, and received his commission two days later.[1] He assumed senior status on November 1, 2018.

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Legal offices Preceded byKenneth Keller Hall Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia 1976–2018 Succeeded byFrank W. Volk