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Assembly requests recommendations for appellate judgeships

Leaders of the General Assembly courts committees have asked statewide bar organizations to evaluate and recommend candidates for three seats on Virginia’s appellate courts.

One Supreme Court position and two on the Court of Appeals will be vacated by retirements at the end of the year.

Without saying why, the legislature’s courts committees delayed requesting the evaluation process after first indicating the request would be make the week of Sept. 7. The official request to the Virginia State Bar came late Friday, Sept. 19.

Legislative leaders still do not know if the appellate vacancies will be filled later this year by the 2014 Assembly during the 2015 session that starts Jan. 14.

“While we do not know when the General Assembly will next meet to discuss the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals Judicial appointments, we believe it would be best for the Bar to start working now on their evaluations,” wrote Del. David B. Albo Friday to VSB executive director Karen Gould. Albo, R-Springfield, is chair of the House Courts Committee.

“I do not know the timing, but the sooner the better,” Albo added. “It would be best to have them done no later than early November.”

The VSB released a schedule Monday, with résumés and questionnaires from interested candidates due by Sept. 30.

“We have decided on October 21st for the interview date,” Gould said.

Traditionally, the VSB’s Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee and certain other statewide bar groups coordinate candidate interviews on the same day.

The 13-member VSB panel investigates each candidate in advance of the meeting. The committee votes on those candidates deemed “Qualified” and then votes for those rated “Highly Qualified.”

The vacancies will be created Jan. 1 by the retirements of Supreme Court Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser and Court of Appeals Judges Walter S. Felton Jr. and Robert P. Frank.

The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association requests CVs, questionnaires and writing samples at jharris@vtla.com by Sept. 30.

The Virginia Bar Association does not conduct personal interviews, but requests candidates submit the following information:

  1. Responses to the form questionnaire used by the VSB,
  2. A personal resume or CV, and
  3. A writing sample.

Candidate submissions should be made electronically to VBA executive director Yvonne C. McGhee at yvonnemcghee@vba.org. The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6.

Old Dominion Bar Association will be participating in the judicial vetting process and will conduct interviews on Oct. 21 at the VSB offices, according to Beverly A. Burton, chair of the ODBA Judicial Selection Committee. Candidates desiring an interview with ODBA should submit electronic copies of the same documents they submit to the VSB at BABurton@aol.com by the close of business on Sept. 30.  ODBA will coordinate with the VSB and the other participating bars to develop a candidate interview schedule and will notify candidates individually of the time of their ODBA interviews.

The Virginia Women Attorneys Association will be conducting interviews with candidates for both vacancies on Oct. 21 in Richmond. Information for candidates to submit materials is on the VWAA website.

Candidates can submit their information to the Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association in care of Vernida R. Chaney at vrchaney@gmail.com.

The Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys will not conduct interviews, but the VADA requests submission of the VSB questionnaires and other supporting documents of the candidates’ choosing by Oct. 6. The address is mterry@vada.org.

Updated Sept. 23,  25, 29 and 30 with additional bar organization information.

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