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Four get top VSB ratings for federal judgeship

Four candidates – two lawyers and two federal judges – have received high marks from the Virginia State Bar in their applications for an Alexandria federal judgeship.

The VSB and other statewide bar associations ranked as many as 15 candidates who applied to replace retiring U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Labeled as “highly qualified” by the VSB’s Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee were:

  • Assistant U.S. attorney Patricia T. Giles of Alexandria,
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence A. Leonard of Norfolk,
  • Washington litigator Terence J. Lynam, and
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak of Richmond.

Other applicants deemed “qualified” by the VSB committee were:

  • Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr.,
  • Arlington attorney George R.A. Doumar, and
  • Middleburg litigator Edward B. MacMahon Jr.

The recommendations from the VSB and other bar groups go to Virginia U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine who will make recommendations to President Donald Trump. The Virginia Bar Association’s recommendations – in alphabetical order – were:

  • Alston,
  • Washington litigator John P. Elwood,
  • Giles,
  • Leonard,
  • Lynam,
  • MacMahon,
  • Alexandria litigator Daniel D. Mauler,
  • Novak, and
  • Assistant U.S. attorney Jay V. Prabhu of Alexandria.

The Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association endorsed the same three sitting judges as “highly qualified” for the seat: Alston, Leonard and Novak.

The Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association listed Alston, Giles, Leonard and Novak as highly qualified. The NOVABAA also recommended assistant U.S. attorney Dennis M. Fitzpatrick of Alexandria, Lynam, MacMahon, Prabhu and corporate counsel Michael L. Whitlock of Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia listed three attorneys as “highly recommended”: Alston, Leonard and MacMahon. The HBA-VA described as “recommended” Novak, Prabhu and Giles.

Recommendations also are expected from the Virginia Women Attorneys Association and The Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Warner and Kaine have said they expect to recommend nominees to President Trump this fall.