VBA Welcomes New Judges     

I had the privilege of attending the Judicial Conference of Virginia last week in Roanoke. One of the highlights was the introduction of our new circuit court and appellate judges. The number of new judges was unusually high this year. In fact, Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons noted in his State of the Judiciary Address that one-quarter of all Virginia judges joined the bench during the past year. The reason for this dramatic influx of judges is simple. We had been facing a critical shortage of judges, and the General Assembly acted to rectify the backlog that had been accruing in recent years.


As members of the VBA, we can take special pride in this progress. For several years, our VBA lobbying team, officers, and members have urged the General Assembly to fill judicial vacancies. We are grateful to the General Assembly for this substantial progress, but we have not fully succeeded yet. The National Center for State Courts determined that Virginia needs 429 judges to adequately serve our citizens and businesses. We are now up to 405. The VBA will continue to stand for funding of 429 judgeships. Having a sufficient number of judges to preside over cases is fundamental to the administration of justice and access to justice.  


We are fortunate in the Commonwealth. As a litigator who has tried cases in many states across the country, I can attest that the Virginia judiciary is consistently the best and most-qualified anywhere. The new class of judges upholds that fine tradition. Let's take a VBA minute and welcome all our new judges to the bench.


Have a great Memorial Day weekend!



 with The Virginia Bar Association
2015 photo
Harry M. "Pete" Johnson, III
The Virginia Bar Association 
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