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Judicial appointments? Maybe

The General Assembly appears poised to fill at least three judicial vacancies, but legislators are still scrambling to find a Supreme Court justice, an SCC member and judges in Hampton and Norfolk.

Likely to be appointed are Fredericksburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles S. Sharp to replace Circuit Judge John W. Scott Jr., who died in April; Stafford sole practitioner Michael E. Levy to a general district seat in the 15th Circuit to replace Judge J. Overton Harris, who was elevated to the circuit court; and Uley M. Norris, a partner in the firm of Damiani & Damiani in Alexandria, to a juvenile and domestic relations district court seat created by the elevation of Judge Nolan B. Dawkins to Alexandria Circuit Court.

There was talk yesterday of elevating Chief Judge Walter S. Felton Jr. to the Supreme Court vacancy created by the appointment of Judge G. Steven Agee to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and of appointing Richmond Circuit Judge Richard D. Taylor Jr. to the SCC.

Some legislators had qualms about Taylor’s lack of experience in regulatory matters, which led to talk of Chesterfield Circuit Judge Cleo E. Powell for the SCC and Taylor to the court of appeals. Powell was a staff attorney for Dominion Power and also did regulatory work while in private practice. Powell also is a candidate for the court of appeals. She and Taylor are black, and the state has never had a black SCC member, and the court of appeals has no black judges now.

The movement for Taylor was strong enough that Courts of Justice Committee members interviewed three candidates to replace him: General District Judges Joi Jeter Taylor and Gregory L. Rupe and McGuireWoods partner Steve C. McCallum.
By Alan Cooper

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