The Jefferson County Circuit Courtroom was the setting for the wearing-in ceremony for Michael Lorensen last Friday.
Lorensen was appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in November to take the seat vacated by Judge Gina Groh who was appointed to a Federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of West Virginia.
Lorensen was sworn in by Chief Judge of the 23rd Circuit David Sanders who was joined by fellow judges John Yoder, 23rd Circuit and Andrew Frye, 21st Circuit. Sanders shared that Frye, and Judge Thomas Steptoe, had been helping to fill the spot vacated by Groh while her replacement was selected.
Lorensen, who will have a ceremonial swearing-in on Jan. 10 in Berkeley County, said Friday that he was delighted that his friends and family came out to share in the event.
"I embrace this work. I have sat with Judges Frye and Steptoe on how that have conducted practices and learned a lot already from them" he said. "I know I will learn a lot more."
The 23rd Circuit includes Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. Lorensen will likely hold court in Berkeley County the majority of the time but could sit in Jefferson or Morgan as well.
Prior to this appointment, Lorensen was a partner in the law firm, Bowles, Rice, McDavid Graff & Love, PLLC in Martinsburg, where he served for 25 years.
He is a former law clerk to U.S. District Judge Charles Haden, II and served on the West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board. A former president and board member of the Shenandoah Community Health Center, Lorensen was a reporter at The Dominion Post in Morgantown before attending WVU's College of Law.
Lorensen lives in Martinsburg with his wife, Maria, and two children, William and Lauree.