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Alper among five to be interviewed for appeals court slot

Arlington Circuit Judge Joanne F. Alper is one of five candidates the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees will interview on Feb. 4 for the Virginia Court of Appeals vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jean Harrison Clements.

The other four interviewees – Loudoun County Circuit Judge Burke F. McCahill, Winchester Circuit Judge John E. Wetsel Jr., Leesburg sole practitioner Alexander N. Levay and Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kimberley Slayton White – participated in the procedures set up by statewide bar groups to recommend candidates. Most of those groups found all four to be qualified and rated White a notch below the others.

Alper did not participate in this year’s round of bar interviews, but she participated in the selection process for earlier openings on the appeals court and the Supreme Court and was endorsed by most bar groups then. The House Courts chair, Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, said Alper contacted him and asked to be considered for this opening.

After the hearing next week, the committee will certify one or more of the candidates as qualified for the position, and the names will go before each house, probably the next day. Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr., a pro tem appointment to the Supreme Court, and Judge Cleo E. Powell, a pro tem appointment to the court of appeals, are expected to be elected to full terms at the same time.

By Alan Cooper

One comment

  1. The Supreme Court has found it necessary to reverse the Court of Appeals 5-8 times per quarter in the last two years.

    Joanne Alper is one of the most reversed Circuit Court judges in the state.

    Promoting her to the Court of Appeals would be a step backwards.

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