RIPLEY - Judge Thomas C. Evans, III officially retired as Circuit Judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit, Jackson, Mason, Roane, and Calhoun, on December 31, 2016.  During his 16-year tenure, Judge Evans deservedly was honored throughout the state as a hard-working, fair and intelligent Circuit Judge.

On December 22, 2016, Judge Evans rendered the oath of office to the duly elected next circuit judge, Lora A. Dyer.   

A  southern West Virginia  native, Judge  Dyer  earned her bachelor’s degree from Marshall University. Judge Dyer also spent  a semester  studying environmental engineering  abroad at the University of Newcastle  Upon  Tyne in England.  She earned her law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.    

Judge Dyer  began her legal career as an intern  to former Supreme Court Justice  Joseph Albright.    Following her  West Virginia Supreme Court  of Appeals  experience, she served as a law clerk to  Thirteenth  Circuit Court Judge James C.  Stucky.   Thereafter,  she served as an  Assistant  Prosecuting Attorney in Kanawha County, West Virginia  until she  joined the law firm of  Hendrickson & Long,  PLLC.   

In private practice, she gained experience in a  wide range of civil and criminal matters, including the representation of a police office in a one-week criminal trial that resulted in an acquittal.  

Judge Dyer also  served as law clerk to Judge Carrie L. Webster of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.    

Judge Dyer,  elected in May of 2016,  was  General Counsel to West Virginia State Auditor Lisa A. Hopkins and Senior Deputy Commissioner of the West Virginia Securities Commission,  until  she  assumed  office  as Circuit Judge on January 1, 2017.

At the investiture, Judge Dyer thanked her family, friends, and voters.  She also thanked Judge Evans for his public service and his generosity helping her with the transition.  

Judge Dyer’s speech also focused on the challenges that threaten our children and West Virginia ideals.  

In particular, she said that “with the holidays, I am mindful that the greatest gift is love.  Plainest expression of love is fellowship where you share your time, talents, and energy.”  

Judge Dyer ended her speech by acknowledging the late Fred Rogers of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’s request that all of us have to do our part to keep our children safe.  

Judge Dyer promised to honor Mr. Rogers’ request by doing everything in her power to keep our children safe and to help them reach their God given talents.  

Judge Dyer’s term will be eight years.  She resides on a farm in Jackson County with her husband and son.