By: States Attorney.
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William S. Thompson
Bringing a different perspective into the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, William S. Thompson took the oath of Office on October 13, 2021, to become the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Southern District of West Virginia. His nomination by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was announced on August 10, 2021, which was later confirmed by the United States Senate on October 5, 2021, following the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Michael B. Stuart. Attorney Lisa G. Johnston served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia prior to the appointment of Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson. U.S. Attorney William Thompson was sworn into the highest position in the Office of the United States for the Southern District of West Virginia by Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston in a private ceremony.
Table of Contents
- Educational Background and Bar and Court Admissions
- Bar Association
- Bar Admissions
- Court Admissions
- William Thompson’s Legal Career
- Early Professional Career
- Legal Career as a Lawyer
- Legal Career as a Circuit Judge
- Most Significant Litigated Cases
- 10 Most Significant Litigated Matters Handled by Attorney William S. Thompson
- Academic and Professional Honors and Awards
- Office Jurisdiction
- Published Writings by Attorney Thompson
- Contact Details
- Charleston Office
- Beckley Branch
- Huntington Branch
- Bluefield Branch (Unstaffed)
- Social Media Profiles of Attorney William Thompson
Educational Background and Bar and Court Admissions
Born in Charleston and raised in Boone County, U.S. Attorney William Thompson is a native of West Virginia. He also remained steady with his alma mater. He earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the West Virginia University College of Engineering in 1992. Subsequently, He received his Juris Doctorate from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1995. Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson was admitted to the West Virginia State Bar in 1995 and has been admitted to practice to the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia since October 1995, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit since April 1999.
- West Virginia University College of Law, 1992-1995
J.D. – May 1995
- West Virginia University College of Engineering, 1988-1992
B.S. – May 1992
- West Virginia Judicial Association, 2007-present
- West Virginia, October 1995
- United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (April 1999)
- United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (October 1995)
- All state courts in West Virginia (October 1995)
William Thompson’s Legal Career
Early Professional Career
Prior to attending law school, Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson spent the summer working as an Engineer at the American Electric Power Company, from May to August 1992. While working for his Juris Doctorate, U.S. Attorney William Thompson began serving as the Vice President at the Danville Lumber Company, which he held for 13 years from May 1994 to February 2007.
Legal Career as a Lawyer
In 1995, following his graduation from law school, U.S. Attorney Thompson embarked on his legal career and became a Lawyer at the Cook & Cook. Top Federal Prosecutor William Thompson handled a wide range of legal matters in this capacity, focusing on litigation. His area of practice emphasized on criminal defense, both retained and court-appointed. In addition, U.S. Attorney Thompson also managed an array of civil litigation, particularly cases involving personal injury and industrial accidents, as well as property work, wherein U.S. Attorney Thompson wrote deeds and wills as a part of his legal practice. In this line of work, U.S. Attorney William Thompson also represented claimants in Social Security Disability claims, dealing with cases before the Workers’ Compensation Division, and provided advice and representation for small businesses. For over a decade, U.S. Attorney Thompson served clients who were charged with a crime, injured in an accident, individuals who are unable to work due to a disability, and small, sole proprietorship businesses. He also represented several hundred indigent clients in criminal defense and other matters.
Legal Career as a Circuit Judge
In February 2007, Top Federal Prosecutor William Thompson left Cook & Cook and joined the West Virginia Supreme Court as the Circuit Judge for the 25th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia. As a circuit judge, he was familiar with the appeal process within West Virginia, as well as in the United States. Moreover, in this capacity, U.S. Attorney Thompson demonstrated an understanding of different procedures, which allowed him to effectively preside over several treatment courts, including the first family treatment court in West Virginia. Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson was first appointed into the position in 2007 and was re-elected twice as the Circuit Judge for the 25th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia in 2008 and 2016.
Apart from his professional work, U.S. Attorney Thompson served in an array of organizations, including being an Advisory Member of the West Virginia Criminal Justice Reform Initiative Stakeholder Group for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative since 2012; a member of the White Foundation Scholarship Advisory Board since 2008; and an Advisory Member of the Southwestern Regional Day Report Center since 2007. Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson was also previously a part of the Madison Little League Board from 2014 to 2019 and the 2016 Governor’s transition team for substance abuse.
- Advisory member of the West Virginia Criminal Justice Reform Initiative
- Stakeholder Group for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (2019-Present)
- White Foundation Scholarship Advisory Board (2008-Present)
- Advisory member of the Southwestern Regional Day Report Center (2007-Present)
- Madison Little League Board (2014-2019)
- Member of the 2016 Governor’s transition team for substance abuse (2016-2017)
Most Significant Litigated Cases
With over a decade of service in the legal field, U.S. Attorney Thompson has demonstrated his proficiency in litigation by handling numerous and diverse cases. Among his most significant litigated cases is the 2002-2006 foreclosure property case, wherein he was the sole counsel for the plaintiff. The final disposition for the case was a significant confidential monetary settlement, along with the return of the property. In addition to foreclosure proceedings, U.S. Attorney William Thompson also represented two coal miners, wherein he successfully defended motions for summary judgment. Moreover, U.S. Attorney Thompson acquired social security disability benefits and workers’ compensation for both clients.
In 2007, U.S. Attorney Thompson handled a case on behalf of five siblings against a sixth sibling involving annuities amounting to approximately $80,000, which belonged to their mother. Attorney Thompson and his clients alleged fraud and undue influence on behalf of the defendant in having the annuities transferred to the defendant upon the mother’s death. The jury awarded the five siblings a verdict of $76,578 – a number that was far greater than discussed in the settlement discussions. Other cases that U.S. Attorney William Thompson was involved in were kidnapping, robbery, and serious automobile accidents, among several others.
10 Most Significant Litigated Matters Handled by Attorney William S. Thompson
- Snodgrass vs. Logs One Land, Inc., et al, Boone County (2002-2006)
- Bragg, et. al v. Garrestson, et al., Boone County (2002-2005)
- State of West Virginia v. Jesse Swims, Boone County (1999-2003)
- White & Cook vs. Eastern Associated Coal Corp, Boone County (2002-2005)
- Woods, et al, vs. Ulbrich, Boone County (2004-2007)
- Snodgrass v. Christy, Boone County (2001-2002)
- Spurlock v. Titan Mining, Inc., Logan County (2003-2006)
- State of West Virginia v. Pelphrey, Boone County (2006-2007)
- Mitchell vs. Federal Kemper Insurance Company, Mingo County (1996-2008)
- Snodgrass vs. Boone County Ambulance Authority, Boone County (1995-1997)
Further details regarding the above litigations may be found in the public questionnaire accessible here.
Academic and Professional Honors and Awards
- Innovation Now Award from the Addiction Policy Forum, 2019
Criminal Scholarship Award from the West Virginia Public Defenders, 2019
- Chairman of the Judicial Board, West Virginia University, 1994-1995
- West Virginia University College of Law Marlyn T. Lugar Scholarship, 1992
- West Virginia University Presidential Scholarship, 1988
U.S. Attorney Thompson’s prowess and accomplishments in his professional career directly reflect his academic excellence. He was awarded several academic honors, including the West Virginia University Presidential Scholarship in 1988 and the West Virginia University College of Law Marlyn T. Lugar Scholarship in 1992. During his office as a Circuit Judge, U.S. Attorney William Thompson delivered commendable service. In 2019 alone, Top Federal Prosecutor Thompson earned the Criminal Scholarship Award from the West Virginia Public Defenders and the Innovation Now Award from the Addiction Policy Forum.
As the United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, William S. Thompson is the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official within the district. Leading a staff of approximately 34 Assistant United States Attorneys and 41 support personnel, Top Federal Prosecutor William Thompson works hand-in-hand with the employees of the Office of the United States Attorneys in order to efficiently prosecute federal crimes within the district. Additionally, the Office defends the United States in all civil litigations within its jurisdiction and collects debts owed to the United States.
Published Writings by Attorney Thompson
- Tennessee Judge Deserves Praise for Anti-Addiction Effort, Charleston Gazette November 21, 2017.
- Why WV Should Care that their Supreme Court is in Crisis, Charleston Gazette, September 28, 2018.
Full Name: William Stewart Thompson
District/State: Southern District of West Virginia
Public email ID: N/A
Robert C. Byrd U. S. Courthouse
300 Virginia Street
Charleston, WV 25301
United States Courthouse and IRS Complex
110 North Heber Street
Beckley, WV 25801
Sydney L. Christie Building
845 Fifth Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
Bluefield Branch (Unstaffed)
601 Federal Street
Bluefield, WV 24701
Social Media Profiles of Attorney William Thompson
Username: William Thompson
Username: U.S. Attorney SDWV
Username: U.S. Attorney William S. Thompson
Updated: February 24, 2022