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Division Overview

Appellate Division

The Appellate Division of the Attorney General's Office represents the State of West Virginia in criminal matters before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and in the various Federal courts. Our offices are in the Main Office of the Attorney General, at the State Capitol.

Attorneys in the Appellate Division brief and argue appeals from circuit court criminal convictions and denials of writs of habeas corpus, and defend original jurisdiction prohibition, mandamus and post-conviction habeas corpus petitions filed with the West Virginia Supreme Court in criminal cases.

Our attorneys also defend the State in federal habeas corpus proceedings filed by State prisoners under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Appellate Division attorneys provide advice to county prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement officers regarding criminal law and procedure, and may answer requests for Attorney General opinions if assigned to them.

The Contracts Section of the Appellate Division is responsible for the approval of State contracts, deeds and leases, surety bonds posted with State agencies, local government bond issues, and municipal charters for the Attorney General.

Deputy Attorney General - Dawn E. Warfield

Dawn E. Warfield
Dawn E. Warfield
Deputy Attorney General

Dawn E. Warfield, Deputy Attorney General of the Appellate Division, is a 1981 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, and holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from West Virginia University. She has been employed by the State of West Virginia since September 1981, first as a clerk for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, then as counsel for the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

Ms. Warfield joined the Attorney General’s office in August 1988, serving first as director of the Opinions Division, writing opinions on various subjects including local government law and procedure, and later as director of the Appellate Division, representing the State in criminal appeals and post-conviction habeas corpus proceedings in state and federal courts. She is also responsible for the approval of State contracts, deeds and leases, local government bond issues, and municipal charters for the Attorney General.

Ms. Warfield edited the Freedom Of Information Act and Open Governmental Proceedings Act handbooks for the Attorney General's Office, including the summary mandated by the 1999 amendments to the open meetings law. In addition to her other duties, Dawn handles public records and open meetings inquiries from public officials, lawyers, the public and the press for Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw, Jr.