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Committee certifies judges

The House Courts of Justice Committee finally got to see this afternoon the judicial performance evaluations of the first five judges to go through the process and quickly certified them to the full House, which is expected to reappoint them tomorrow.

Today was the fourth time the five – General District Judges Timothy Wright and David L. Williams from Chesapeake, Birdie H. Jamison from Richmond, Bryant L. Sugg from Newport News and Colleen Killilea from the 9th District – had appeared before the committee.

They were caught in the crossfire between members of the House and Senate Courts Committees and the Supreme Court of Virginia, which had infuriated the legislators by issuing an order barring dissemination of the evaluations beyond the legislature.

The impasse was defused earlier this week when the court rescinded the order and House Courts Chairman David B. Albo agreed to limit dissemination of the evaluations, although he emphasized that it was his decision to do so, not the court’s.

Most members of the committee appeared to be pleased at the information in the reports, which are based largely on confidential questionnaires from attorneys who appear before the judges with some frequency.

By Alan Cooper

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