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Four get top VSB rating for federal judgeship

VSB respFour 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 succeed U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, who retired Sept. 30. 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. Mac-Mahon 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 Old Dominion Bar Association rated Alston, Leonard and Novak as “Highly Qualified and Recommended.”

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 candidates as “highly recommended”: Alston, Leonard and Mac-Mahon. The HBA-VA described as “recommended” Novak, Prabhu and Giles.

The Virginia Women Attorneys Association endorsed Fitzpatrick, Lynam and Novak as “highly recommended.”

Recommendations also were expected from The Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

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

Updated Oct. 24 to add recommendations from the VWAA. Updated Oct. 27 to add recommendations from the ODBA.