Seven new judges join the Virginia Court of Appeals

Seven new judges joined the Virginia Court of Appeals on Sept. 1. The Virginia General Assembly elected eight judges to the court on Aug. 10, 2021. The eighth judge, Dominique Callins, will take office on Nov. 1, 2021, following the retirement of Judge William Petty. 

Established in 1985, the Virginia Court of Appeals was originally made up of 11 judges, but the passage of Senate Bill 1261 in March 2021 increased the number of judges to 17. The bill also expanded the “jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals of Virginia by providing for an appeal of right in every civil case.” Apart from the increase in judges, the bill has a delayed effective date of Jan. 1, 2022. 

The following seven people joined the court on Sept. 1. Their terms end on Aug. 31, 2029:

  1. Doris Henderson Causey 
  2. Vernida Chaney
  3. Frank Friedman
  4. Junius P. Fulton III
  5. Lisa Lorish 
  6. Daniel E. Ortiz
  7. Stuart Raphael

Virginia is one of two states to use legislative elections to select judges. The legislative election method of judicial selection is a process by which state legislators choose judges to serve on a court. This method is unique among selection types in that neither the governor (via appointment powers) nor the public (via direct elections) has a role in this selection process. South Carolina is the other state to use this method.  

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