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Justice Robin Jean Davis was born in Van, Boone County, on April 6, 1956, the daughter of a teacher and a coal miner. She received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1978 and her master’s and law degrees from West Virginia University in 1982.

From 1982 to 1996, she was in private practice with her husband, Scott Segal, where she focused on the fields of employee benefits and domestic relations. In 1993, she became the first lawyer from the state inducted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In 1991, the state Supreme Court of Appeals appointed her to the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners, on which she served until 1996, when she was elected to an unexpired term on the Supreme Court. In 2000 and 2012, Davis, a Democrat, was elected to 12-year terms on the court.

Davis served as chief justice in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2014. During her time as chief justice, the court approved new rules for the appellate procedure and for juvenile cases. Davis led the court’s efforts to address child abuse and truancy and established programs that educate students about the court system. She is the author of numerous articles in the West Virginia Law Review and the co-author of the Litigation Handbook on West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.

In August 2018, following a controversy involving the lavish remodeling and redecorating of court facilities and federal investigations of justices Allen Loughry and Menis Ketchum, the House of Delegates voted to approve 11 articles of impeachment against Davis and the other justices. On August 14, Davis retired from the bench to allow her seat to be included in the November general election, which was won by her appointed successor, Evan Jenkins. After a two-year hiatus, she returned to practicing law at the Segal Law Firm in 2020.

Last Revised on July 19, 2023

Related Articles


Dickerson, Chris. Davis Returns to Private Practice, Discusses 'Chaos' of Final Months on Supreme Court. West Virginia Record, July 2, 2020.

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e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Robin Jean Davis." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 19 July 2023. Web. 13 July 2024.


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