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Assembly to hold fewer interviews after delegations make cuts

The General Assembly will be interviewing judicial candidates today and local delegations have been making cuts to reduce the number of people who will or won’t become a judge.

The chopped-down list of interviewees suggests that at least 10 delegations have made substantial progress in reaching agreement on a candidate. For several vacancies in circuit and district courts, only one person is on the list, virtually guaranteeing election.

In the 2nd Circuit, which includes Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, the only candidate to be interviewed by the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees for an Eastern Shore vacancy is W. Revell Lewis III.

There’s a vacancy in Virginia Beach with Glenn R. Croshaw and General District Judge Gene A. Woolard listed for interviews. A third possibility, Glen A. Huff, is a candidate for a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Virginia, and might be considered if he doesn’t get an appellate seat.

The only candidate being interviewed for a general district vacancy in Virginia Beach is Kathryn N. Byler.

In the 5th Circuit, W. Richard Savage III appears to be the choice of the delegation for a circuit seat, with Alfred W. Bates III to be interviewed for a general district vacancy that would be created by the elevation of Savage.

In the 9th Circuit, J&DR Judge Richard Y. AtLee Jr. is likely to be elevated to circuit court with Cressondra B. Conyers and James S. Insley to be interviewed for the J&DR seat.

James J. O’Connell III, a deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Chesterfield County, is the only candidate being interviewed for a general district seat in the 12th Circuit.

In the 14th Circuit, General District Judge James S. Yoffy appears likely to be elevated to a circuit vacancy with Mary Bennett Malveaux getting his seat.

In the 15th Circuit, General District Judge Sarah L. Deneke appears set to be elevated to a circuit seat with Ricardo Rigual or J. Bruce Strickland being appointed to the general district post. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon O. Hoehl is the choice of the delegation for a J&DR seat in Hanover County.

The Alexandria delegation has selected James C. Clark to fill a circuit seat in the 18th Circuit.

In the 20th Circuit, J&DR Judge J. Gregory Ashwell will move to general district court and Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney Jonathan S. Lynn with get the J&DR seat.

The delegation for the 24th Circuit has decided to elevate General District Judge F. Patrick Yeatts but apparently hasn’t come up with a replacement for Yeatts. No one is on the agenda for an interview.

That’s similar to the situation in the 30th Circuit, where General District Judge Chadwick S. Dotson is the choice of the delegation but no one is being interviewed to replace him.

That probably means that judges in those two circuits will fill the lower court seats.

Unless the delegations in the 6th, 10th, 26th and 27th circuits reach a last-minute agreement, the task of filling circuit seats will fall to Gov. Bob McDonnell, and circuit judges will appoint judges to the lower court vacancies.

Election of judges probably will be on the legislative agenda for tomorrow but may be pushed backed to Thursday.

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