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Kelsey appears to be choice for Supreme Court

Legislative leaders appear to have agreed on Virginia Court of Appeals Judge D. Arthur Kelsey to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Kelsey is the only candidate scheduled to be interviewed by the General Assembly courts committees Monday for the opening at the Supreme Court. A list of judicial interview candidates was released Friday afternoon and an updated list was released Saturday.

The listing of a single candidate meant negotiators for the House and Senate have reached agreement on the selection, according to House Courts chair Del. David B. Albo.

Kelsey was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2002. He previously sat for two years as a circuit judge in the 5th Circuit, including Suffolk.

He has authored numerous published legal articles and essays. He was rated as “highly qualified” by a Virginia State Bar evaluation panel last month.

If the Assembly elevates Kelsey to the Supreme Court, three seats on the Court of Appeals would be available. Four candidates are listed to be interviewed for the Court of Appeals.

“That would imply the negotiators are pretty close to a deal,” Albo said.

Albo said he understood that two of the Court of Appeals candidates were agreed upon by negotiators, but no agreement had yet been reached as to two other contenders.

Albo could not identify the agreed-on candidates for the Court of Appeals. The four names on the interview list are:

  • Richmond lawyer Wesley G. Russell Jr.
  • Fairfax County Circuit Judge Lorraine Nordlund
  • Wise County Circuit Judge Chad Dotson
  • York County Circuit Judge Richard Y. AtLee Jr.

The interview list indicates a Danville circuit court seat remains undecided. Four candidates — all Rocky Mount lawyers — are scheduled to be interviewed Monday afternoon for the position.

The names are:

  • Eric H. Ferguson
  • Allen Wayne Dudley Jr.
  • Clyde H. Perdue Jr.
  • David A. Furrow

A Chesapeake Circuit Court seat also has competing candidates. General District Judge Timothy S. Wright and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Rufus A. Banks Jr. are both scheduled to be interviewed.

Candidates who appear to have support from both houses are:

  • Roanoke lawyer Frank W. Rogers III for a Roanoke Valley Juvenile and Domestic Relations judgeship
  • Virginia Beach lawyer James C. Lewis for a Virginia Beach Circuit Court judgeship
  • Chesapeake lawyer Robert G. MacDonald for Chesapeake General District Court
  • Fairfax lawyer Daniel E. Ortiz for a Fairfax County Circuit Court judgeship
  • Fairfax lawyer William P. Daly for the Fairfax County Circuit seat of Lorraine Nordlund if she is elected to the Court of Appeals
  • Blackstone lawyer Joseph M. Teefey Jr. for a Petersburg Circuit Court judgeship
  • Richmond lawyer W. Reilly Marchant for a Richmond Circuit Court judgeship
  • Jonesville lawyer Shawn L. Hines for a 30th District General District judgeship
  • West Point lawyer B. Elliott Bondurant for a Williamsburg-area Circuit Court judgeship
  • Chesterfield lawyer Vanessa L. Jones for a Chesterfield County J&DR judgeship

This post was updated Nov. 8 with additional names provided by the Assembly staff.


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