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Aug 16, 2021

Legislature elects judges to Virginia’s lower courts

In addition to electing eight new judges to the expanded Court of Appeals, the General Assembly elected six new judges to Virginia’s lower courts. Those judges are: Curtis M. Hairston Jr., Chesterfield General District Court R. Lucas Hobbs, Washington General District Court Claire G. Cardwell, Richmond Circuit Court Jayne A. Pemberton, Chesterfield Circuit Court Tasha […]

Aug 9, 2021

Judge Petty to retire from Virginia Court of Appeals

Virginia Court of Appeals Judge William G. Petty will retire later this year, which opened the eighth vacancy on the court that the General Assembly filled on Aug. 10. Petty’s retirement will be effective in November, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Petty, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 73 next year, has served […]

Judge holding law book
Aug 2, 2021

New rules for judges: High court proposes revisions to judicial canons

The Supreme Court of Virginia is floating proposed new Canons of Judicial Conduct for public input and comment. Under the proposal, which streamlines the current canons, a judge may: Participate in social media, within restraint. Participate in community activities, to prevent the judge from being isolated from the community. Vote in all elections, including primaries. […]

Jul 28, 2021

Mims to leave high court next year

Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims has notified the governor and legislative leaders that he will not seek reelection to the court next year when his term comes to an end on March 31. By letter this morning, the justice said, “Serving the people of the Commonwealth for a 12-year term on the Court, and […]

Jul 26, 2021

VSB rates 45 for 7 appeals court seats

A Virginia State Bar committee has reported recommendations to the General Assembly for 45 candidates for seven vacancies on the Virginia Court of Appeals. The VSB’s Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, or JCEC, rated candidates as “qualified” or “highly qualified” for the court. The candidates were recommended based on votes taken across several interview dates, including […]

Jul 19, 2021

Two vacancies pending in Virginia’s federal courts

A pair of U.S. District Court judges are taking senior status later this year, creating additional Virginia federal judgeships to be filled by President Joe Biden. Judge James P. Jones of the Western District of Virginia and Judge John A. Gibney Jr. of the Eastern District of Virginia both have announced that they are taking […]

Jul 12, 2021

Biden taps Heytens for 4th Circuit

President Joe Biden has nominated Virginia Solicitor General Toby J. Heytens to a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Upon confirmation, Heytens would fill the seat of Judge Barbara Milano Keenan, who will take senior status in August. Biden also made nominations June 30 to two open district judgeships in Virginia’s Eastern […]

May 29, 2021

Special powers: Lawyer-legislators pick judges, can stop cases with privilege

Virginia lawyers who serve in the General Assembly enjoy outsized powers and privileges in their interactions with the judges who rule on their cases. But any regulation would be impractical, many of them say. In Virginia, lawyer-legislators can have a major role in picking the judges who will decide their cases, since majority party caucuses […]

May 29, 2021

Roanokers seek gender diversity on bench

Fifty-two Roanoke-area lawyers have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee for more women candidates to be appointed to circuit and general district judgeships in their circuit. In a letter to the committee sent May 14, the group noted that only one woman, Judge Diane McQ. Strickland, ever has been named to the 23rd Circuit Court, and […]

May 17, 2021

Interviews planned for appeals court candidates

Volunteer lawyers are gearing up to evaluate 46 candidates identified by legislators as new potential contenders for seven open seats on the soon-to-be expanded Court of Appeals of Virginia. The process will take a few months longer than anticipated. General Assembly leaders are hoping to get recommendations from various bar organizations by July 30. The […]

Feb 1, 2021

Assembly’s first round of judicial elections

The following is a list of judges and others elected by the two chambers of the General Assembly on Jan. 26. Most are sitting judges re-elected to new terms. Another round of judicial elections is expected later in the session, which is scheduled to adjourn Feb. 11. Circuit Court Judges  Brenda C. Spry, 3rd Judicial […]

Oct 19, 2020

Assembly gives court power to delay judgments

After a decade of nuanced judicial refinements to the standard for deferring dispositions for criminal defendants, the General Assembly has agreed to give judges nearly unfettered discretion to delay criminal judgments for later consideration. The reform given final approval Oct. 7 is a “sea change” in the practice of criminal law, according to one of […]

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