FAYETTEVILLE — As students walked the halls of the local high/middle school in February, they were able to view a display honoring one of their own.
The RAZE Club of Fayetteville High School recognized The Honorable Dwane L. Tinsley during Black History Month. Displayed in the halls of the school were pictures of Judge Tinsley from his childhood to when he was sworn in to office. Also displayed was his 10th-grade report card while he was a student at Fayetteville High. The card was meant to encourage students to be whatever they choose as long as the “set their minds to it and stay focused.”
Tinsley currently serves as the federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
He will be the guest speaker at the 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lucile Smallwood Meadows Memorial Luncheon sponsored by the Fayette County Black Caucus on April 13 at the Holiday Lodge in Oak Hill. The event will begin at 2 p.m.
Anyone interested in attending can make reservations for $30 by contacting: Ms. Alma Logan, 2614 Scarbro Road, Scarbro, WV 25917 or at 304-469-2261, or Mr. Donald Kenney, PO Box 487, Mt. Hope, WV 25880 or at 304-877-3619.
• • •
A Fayetteville native, Judge Dwane L. Tinsley was the youngest of four children born to Ernest L. Tinsley Sr. and Anna Elizabeth Tinsley.
Tinsley graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 1975 with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology, from Howard University in 1978 with a master of social work, and from West Virginia University College of Law in 1981. After graduation from law school, he joined the office of the Fayette County prosecuting attorney as an assistant prosecuting attorney. In 1987, he accepted a position as assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. In 1991, he joined the law firm of Kay, Casto, Chaney, Love & Wise and worked in the offices in Charleston and Morgantown. In 1992, he accepted a post with the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Trial Division in Charleston. During his tenure there, he was selected as the managing trial attorney for the State of West Virginia and held this position on two separate occasions. In 1997, Tinsley was selected by Nationwide Insurance Company to serve as special investigation unit officer at the corporate office in Columbus, Ohio. In 2001, he became a trial attorney with Hendrickson & Long, PLLC and was a partner when he left the firm to accept the appointment of United States magistrate judge for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Tinsley served as a special assistant attorney general for the State of West Virginia from August 2010 to August 2011. He has served as a special prosecuting attorney for Kanawha County on two separate investigations and special prosecuting attorney for Mingo County. He has served as a hearing examiner and post hearing advisor for the West Virginia Board of Medicare, hearing examiner for the West Virginia Ethics Commission, and mediator for the West Virginia Human Rights Commission and the U.S. Postal Service.
He taught trial advocacy at the West Virginia University College of Law from 1989 to 2004. Tinsley taught in the paralegal department at the University of Charleston from 1989 to 1996. Since the inception of the executive master of forensic accounting program in 2008 at University of Charleston, Judge Tinsley has been one of the lead instructors and continues to teach in that program. He has also been a presenter for numerous continuing legal education seminars.
Tinsley was named Outstanding Black Attorney by the WVU Black Law Students Association in 1987. In 1994, he was given the Mountain State Bar Award of Merit. In 1990, he received a special achievement award from the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1998, he received the Outstanding Leadership to Nationwide Enterprise SIU. He was recognized for outstanding service as a member of the board of governors of the West Virginia State Bar from 2003-2006.
He was inducted into the West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academic Hall of Fame in 2009, and he was recognized in Super Lawyers Magazine (Virginia and West Virginia/2012).
Tinsley has served as president of the Mountain State Bar Association, co-chairman of the minority lawyers committee of the West Virginia State Bar, member of the lawyer disciplinary board of West Virginia State Bar, member of the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors, a West Virginia State Bar delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, and president of West Virginia State Bar from May 2008 to April 2009.
Tinsley has been a member of the following civic and professional organizations: West Virginia University College of Law Visiting Committee, Charleston Leadership Council, board of directors of the Beckley Child Care Center, board of director of the Kanawha Home for Children, board of directors of the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia, WVU College of Law Development Council. He currently serves on the University Of Charleston board of trustees.