No Judge who is corrupt, who condones corruption in others, can possibly remains on the Bench.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Legal Kidnapping in Virginia Family Courts

Legal Kidnapping in Virginia Family Courts
on December 17, facing the Judicial Subcommittees of the Virginia House and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice in Richmond General Assembly Building, an attorney from the District of Columbia named Roy Morris spoke to press for the summon up of Arlington County J&DR Chief Judge Esther Wiggins-Lyles,

No Justice, Due process or protection for children Mr. Roy Morris declared on December 17th, 2009.

THE HAND OUT by Mr. Morris …..Reputation in DC area of violating children & Mothers human rights with ex parte hearings, without legal representation, or due process for Mother or child.
Illustrative cases of poor Judgments & Decisions

…Mothers like:
Naomi Parrish,
Benita Washington

Friday, December 25, 2009

Judge Leslie Alden- Fairfax County Circuit Court

Judge Leslie Alden allowed deceiving man to demonstrate forged Documents, under Oath.........

in regards of Judge Leslie Alden .....My Lawyer put my Ex husband on the stand and asked for his Driver’s License in the Judge Alden's Court room. Under oath of course, he presented a fake Washington DC, Driver’s License!!!!!!!!!

The fake Driver’s License had the Holliday Inn Hotel address in Washington DC with the room number!!!!!!!! The forged Drivers license was too evident, like printing $3.00 bill and try to shop with it.

Judge Leslie Alden let him to deceit under Oath.

The man testified that yes I’ve been living in Fairfax County for the 5 years (The address that was given by him to the Court & Dept. of Child Support for 5 years), but because I’m traveling for business to Washington DC , I often stay in this Holiday inn Hotel ....Hummm usually staying in the same room, so I got the Driver’s License with the Hotel address!!!!!!!

First of all from his apartment in Fairfax county to Washington DC is only 30 minutes drive, second of all Obtaining Driver’s License with the Hotel address?????

Judge Leslie Alden knowingly allowed perjured testimony in her court room.....

How bizarre is that?

Erratic and Legally Challenged
Although Judge Alden seems generally polite and respectful (better than other judges), her understanding of the law and concern for accurately following the law is very weak.

I have seen her invent non-existent rules and conditions concerning quantum meruit (a type of contract case) so as to screw a guy out of $50,000. Even though the law was clear, she was utterly confused about what the legal requirements of quantum meruit are, and announced an opinion that based her decision on non-existent requirements. It was clear to me that she really did not care all that much about what the law says, but was more interested in her own opinions of what the law should say. That is, she paid no respect to the precedents, but just made up "Alden's Law" to suit her own fancy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fairfax delegation selects judges
By Alan Cooper
December 15th, 2009 ·
Fairfax Circuit Court, Judicial Elections
The Fairfax delegation to the General Assembly has selected General District Judge Lorraine Nordlund and substitute judges Michael F. Devine and Brett A. Kassabian to fill pending vacancies on the county circuit court.

Del. David Albo, the Republican who chairs the House Courts of Justice Committee, said members of the delegation interviewed candidates for the positions last night.

Under the delegation’s procedures each delegate and senator gets a vote, and the candidate with a majority of those votes gets the nod.
All members of the delegation accept the vote of the majority and back the candidates in the General Assembly, where support by the local delegation is tantamount to election.
Nordlund was elected to the general district bench in 1996. She is a former prosecutor in the county, and her practice before joining the bench included domestic relations and criminal and employment matters.
Devine is a partner in the firm of Devine, Connell & Sheldon PLC and has tried more than 100 jury cases since he began practicing in the county in 1991.
Kassabian is a principal in Kassabian & Kassabian PLC and started his career as a Fairfax prosecutor in 1985. He has a general practice that includes criminal defense and personal injury work.The Fairfax Bar Association’s judicial nominating committee highly recommended Devine and Kassabian and found Nordlund to be qualified.
Kassabian and Devine were two of the three most popular candidates in an electronic vote on the candidates by 714 of the association’s 1,715 members. The second most popular candidate, General District Judge Michael J. Cassidy, was highly recommended by the nominating committee.
The votes for each of the candidates are
here. Members have a choice of voting “endorse,” “not endorse” or “no opinion” if they do not know enough about the candidate to vote one way or the other.
The vacancies were created by the retirements of Judges Gaylord L. Finch Jr., Stanley P. Klein and Michael P. McWeeny.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just seven federal judges have been formally disciplined in a decade, based on court statistics and documents:

Judging the judges
Does secret process let errant jurists get away with breaking the law?
Dec. 13, 2009, 5:31PM

Only seven judges in the last decade have faced formal disciplinary action as a result of the nation's secretive misconduct review process. In that same period, citizens filed more than 6,000 formal misconduct complaints, the Chronicle found.

Judicial misconduct rules say that when facts are reasonably in dispute, a chief circuit judge can form an investigating committee.

One federal judge got arrested for driving drunk while dressed in drag. Others stood accused of frequenting prostitutes, a strip club and a shady escort service; sexually assaulting female court employees; sucker-punching a stranger; or slapping a spouse.

Federal judges have made illegal campaign contributions, falsified court records, and illegally concealed cash gifts and gambling debts. Many more have engaged in unethical or irresponsible acts, according to an investigation by the Houston Chronicle of more than 3,000 judicial misconduct matters nationwide and analysis of related records over 10 years.
Most get away with it.
Only seven judges in the last decade have faced formal disciplinary action as a result of the nation's secretive misconduct review process. In that same period, citizens filed more than 6,000 formal misconduct complaints, the Chronicle found.

One judge was punished anonymously — shielded from shame by the same peers who voted for discipline.
Just two judges who admitted to breaking laws were recommended for the maximum punishment: impeachment and removal from office.

Most disciplinary reviews remain forever shrouded in secrecy to protect federal judges' privacy and ensure their reputations remain unsullied by scurrilous or absurd allegations from prisoners or disgruntled litigants.

“The federal judiciary takes its ethical responsibilities with the utmost seriousness,” said Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, a spokesman for the Judicial Conference of the United States in a statement to the Chronicle. “Every misconduct complaint is carefully reviewed and results in a public written order by a judge. Years of experience has shown that the overwhelming majority of misconduct complaints are from (unhappy) litigants. … Yet, when circumstances warrant, Circuit Judicial Councils have not been hesitant to impose a variety of public and private sanctions, as history has demonstrated.”
Other experts argue that disciplinary probes of high-profile or even criminal allegations should be more open for the sake of the public and the judges.
“Any type of misconduct impacts upon the integrity of judges and erodes public confidence in the federal judiciary,” said U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who has fought for years to improve judicial accountability.

Appointed for life
The nation's 1,700 full-time federal judges constitute a caste of elite jurists hand-picked for the difficult and sometimes dangerous job of enforcing our nation's laws and protecting our rights.
Appointed for life by U.S. presidents, district and circuit judges can be removed only by acts of Congress. Bankruptcy and magistrate judges serve limited terms but enjoy formidable power over life, liberty and the assets of others.

Yet, when it comes to misconduct reviews, federal judges privately judge themselves. At the pinnacle of the power structure stand chief circuit judges — a dozen men and women who quietly dismiss about 98 percent of the 700 complaints that arrive annually at regional U.S. courthouses scattered from San Francisco to New Orleans to Washington, D.C., the Chronicle found.
In 2006, a Supreme Court-appointed committee, formed in response to congressional complaints, released a report on the secret disciplinary system. The committee, led by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, found supervising judges handled run-of-the-mill matters well, but committed embarrassing errors in controversial cases.
Judges botched five of 17 high-profile reviews, the committee said, describing that “error rate” as “too high” and recommending standardized rules for disciplinary matters. In the aftermath, the Judicial Conference adopted the first national rules on handling complaints against federal judges and, for the first time, all circuit courts made complaint forms available on Web sites, Scirica noted.
Chief judges alone generally decide whether to conduct even a “limited review” — which usually involves reading case documents or sometimes asking a judge to respond. Rarely, those judges form committees to formally investigate — but findings are almost never revealed.
Russell Wheeler, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who helped research the Breyer committee report, told the Chronicle: “If there are credible public allegations that a judge has done something wrong, you ought to show the public you're dealing with it, either to establish the wrongdoing or to clear the name of the judge.”
Former U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, of Galveston, was convicted of obstruction of justice this year after admitting he lied to judges who in 2007 secretly investigated allegations that he had molested female court employees. In March 2007, his former case manager, Cathy McBroom, filed a formal complaint accusing Kent of repeatedly trying to sexually assault her. But the 5th Circuit's judicial council first described the matter only as “sexual harassment” in a September 2007 reprimand.
The 5th Circuit has never released its investigative records. Ultimately, a criminal probe was launched, but only after the Chronicle documented McBroom's allegations and only after McBroom went to the FBI. Kent was subsequently impeached and imprisoned.
Other documents show Kent had drawn complaints about bias and bursts of temper that were quietly and anonymously handled years before his admitted alcohol, emotional and judgment problems landed him behind bars.
Even when criminal behavior is uncovered, some investigating judges have decided not to share it with the public or police.
In fact, the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section, whose prosecutors specialize in rare criminal allegations involving federal judges, has no public record to show whether any case has ever been referred to them as a result of a judicial disciplinary review, DOJ spokeswoman Laura Sweeney told the Chronicle.
A case in point
Few cases better illustrate the judges' insistence on secrecy than that of former Colorado Chief District Judge Edward Nottingham.
Records show that Nottingham faced at least seven formal complaints over the years, initially for abuse of power and bias, and later for potential criminal allegations. None resulted in formal disciplinary action or prosecution.
Yet in 2007 and 2008, enough had surfaced about Nottingham to prompt creation of two investigating committees, documents released by the Denver-based 10th Circuit show.
First, he was reported to have run up a $3,000 bar tab at a strip club and claimed he drank too much to remember doing it. A disabled woman alleged he'd threatened her over a handicapped parking spot. Later he was accused of frequenting prostitutes and an escort service, using his government-issued cell phone to make dates with call girls, and cruising porn sites on courthouse computers.
“This conduct, whether alleged or admitted, has brought disrepute to the judiciary. To contend otherwise is to declare that, ‘The King Can do No Wrong,' ” one of four complaints said.
The two committees submitted a secret report to the 10th Circuit judicial council on Oct. 8, 2008.
Two days later, a self-described prostitute filed another complaint, claiming Nottingham coached her “to lie to federal investigators” about having paid her “in exchange for sex.”
Abruptly, Nottingham resigned. He said his decision was “in the public interest and the interest of the federal judiciary.”
The misconduct complaints were dismissed as moot. The disciplinary system does not apply to ex-judges, and its findings and recommendations were never released to the public.
Nottingham, now an attorney in Colorado, did not respond to a request for comment.
“This is a democracy. People ought to know what public officials are doing — even those who have life tenure,” said Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University. “The public would be better served if the circuit councils and the chief judges provided more and better information.”
Most federal judicial misconduct complaints deserve dismissal. Unreadable rants regularly arrive from litigants or prisoners who misuse the process or fling outrageous claims.
Some involve alleged or perceived criminal behavior outside the courtroom — matters supervising judges are often reluctant to investigate.
In one complaint, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith, assigned to the Southern District of New York, stood accused of encouraging her nephew to cover up knowledge of a summer night's attack on teenage skinny-dipping girls — and hitting a distraught mother who questioned Smith about it, records show.
Smith was approached at a beach campfire by the woman, who swore at the judge and her family, and claimed they were lying to protect others who assaulted her daughters and stole their clothes.
Smith struck the woman and screamed: “You can't call me a (expletive) liar — I'm a U.S. magistrate judge,” a related civil lawsuit alleged.
The judge later denied she'd intentionally hit anyone, records show. “The plaintiff was screaming and yelling obscenities in front of the judge's children … and there was contact between the plaintiff and the judge, whether intentional or not, we'll never know,” Smith's attorney, Kevin Hulslander, told the Chronicle.
A ‘private dispute'
Judicial misconduct rules say that when facts are reasonably in dispute, a chief circuit judge can form an investigating committee. The chief circuit judge for the New York-based 2nd Circuit alone reviewed the complaint and dismissed it in 2007 as a “private dispute between private citizens, one of whom happens to be a judge.” He did not name the judge.
His order concluded that alleged illegal behavior should not automatically be classified as judicial misconduct, even if it involved a crime: “Categorization of an offense under state law is not a sufficient basis for a finding of misconduct,” wrote Dennis Jacobs, chief judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
In December 2008, a civil jury found Smith had committed battery, but awarded no damages.
In February 2009, a New York City bankruptcy judge, known for presiding over the breakup of Lehman Brothers, allegedly slapped his wife, who phoned 911, records show. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck was arrested, and his wife was taken to a hospital. But charges were dropped after she decided not to cooperate. The judge's attorney described it as a “private matter” and got the record sealed. Peck's attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
The New York 2nd Circuit's chief judge did no public review of the matter.
In February 2008, Boston-based U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Somma, wearing a cocktail dress, was arrested after crashing his Mercedes-Benz into a pickup in New Hampshire. Somma later was convicted of drunken driving and, after taking six weeks of paid leave, resigned.
The judge did not respond to requests for comment.
It's unknown whether there was any formal disciplinary review.
Susan Goldberg, deputy circuit executive, told the Chronicle: “Information pertaining to the referenced matter is confidential.”
Sarah Hinman Ryan of the Albany Times Union contributed to this report.

Judge Grodner is up to be Re Appointed on December 14 2009

Re: the Honorable Chief Judge Teena Grodner
Judge Teena Grodner is up for reelection on Monday 12/14/09
Posted by: Judicial Activist ()
Date: December 12, 2009 09:53PM

The judicial interviews for the local Northern Virginia judges will be this Monday, Dec 14 from 5 pm - 9 pm in Fairfax. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD - ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT JUDGE GRODNER WHO WISHES TO SPEAK NEEDS TO BE PRESENT MONDAY, OTHERWISE THIS JUDGE WILL BE RE-APPOINTED!! The Judicial interviews will be held at the NVRC (Northern Virginia Regional Commission) building. The NVRC is on the 5th floor of 3060 Williams Drive Fairfax, VA. That building is South of Merrifield. The conference room is at the back of their offices. I am sure they will have someone at the front desk who will be checking people in. That person should be able to direct you to the room. The Google web site for the map is [] The Judicial interviews are scheduled from 5 PM to 9 PM. Plan to be there a little early.
Re: the Honorable Chief Judge Teena Grodner
Posted by: Ashley ()
Date: December 11, 2009 02:57PM
my sister was an amazing girl, my mother did raise myself and my older sister whom are both making great lives for ourselves. All of these awful comments, these people dont know my family, we loved Sydney, she did make a bad choice and the fact, most dont know, she did not first shoot heroin into herself, someone else did, that person is already DEAD from an overdose, the peole Sydney was with the night she died had hours to save her, they did NOTHING! They called our family and lied about who they were and where my sister was, we were on the other side of the country and could only beg these people to bring her to the hospital, TEN, count them, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ten hours later they realized she was not okay and brought her to the hospital, but it was too late, she was brain dead and died shortly after. We have to live with those memories! Sydney, made the choice, when she was a child, and reality is that it could have been anyone child. NO ONE can watch their child 24/7.

Re: the Honorable Chief Judge Teena Grodner
Posted by: Ashley ()
Date: December 11, 2009 03:34PM
rehab or jail would have been better, 18 yes, but a child, as any adult knows, that is exactly what an 18year old is. My sister was ill, she did not deserve to die, she loved life, she made a big mistake when she was 16 and all it took was one time to become addicted, and although we are told not to do things, like drugs, speeding, smoking, they all kill, but im sure we have all done one of them before. My sister was so smart, in so many ways, she greaduated high school a year early, she was funny and soooo beautiful. She had the biggest heart and loved her highschool sweetheart so much that after him begging her time and time again she finally caved and tried heroin, which we know now he was already addicted too. NO ONE SANE wants this for someone, and all the horrible things people have wrote, you do not know my sister or my family. Evil comments are just that, and unless you have lived with an addict, you know NOTHING!!!
Re: the Honorable Chief Judge Teena Grodner
Posted by: Ashley ()
Date: December 11, 2009 03:47PM
She was on probation, she had a dirty pee test and the probation officer let her go! As oppose to do her job and lock her up. Fairfax County failed my sister. She should have been locked up and put in rehab, and given a chance. We her family were trying to get her help. We didnt know enough about the drug or the addiction. We still dont. She had us fooled, and I say she, but Sydney was no longer Sydney, she was a addict, the drug, is what spoke to us,that told us all was fine when in reality it was not. We loved her so much and we trusted her. And if it had been Sydney, trust would have been enough, with an addict it is hard to know when they are well or sick, this is a horrible way to lose someone. Sydney was loved by so many people. She did not want to be sick. She in 2 weeks of moving cross country had a job and had applied to UNLV. She had big hopes and dreams for life, she wanted to one day get married and be a mother, she wanted also so badly to be an auntie. Her life was cut short. Laws need to change, people who let hours pass without getting an overdosed person medical help need to be criminally charged. If the world and people were not so money hungry, drugs would go away.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bribery in Fairfax County Circuit Court

Bribery in Fairfax County Circuit Court
next time, if these judges are not stopped from running the court system as they please, it could be you.
My journey in the Fairfax County Circuit Court began in the Spring of 2004 and continues to this day. CH2003-182004 for the curious, as I can only touch on a few details of the egregious miscarriage of justice in this post.
The Commissioner's Hearing in March 2004 was presided over by Steven Garver of Reston. The thrust of his subsequent report was to strain to make everything 50/50.
He minimized my ex's lengthy massage parlor/prostitute/pornography habit, despite his testimonial admittance and documented social diseases, equating it on "fault" grounds as tantamount to my fibromyalgia, which he seemed to imply may have justified and provoked it. Apparently he missed the part in the transcript where the ex admitted his habit had begun well before I met him, porno at 13, prostitutes at 20, and was concealed in whole or in part for most of our 20 year marriage.
Mr. Garver is still a Special Commissioner and in my opinion, a spouse behaving badly's best friend. The next stop was the Equitable Distribution Trial, now retired Langhorne Keith presiding over a two day debacle and most of the post Final Decree hearings. He allowed, over my fervent opposition, the marital residence, with its multitude of hidden problems, to be sold without full disclosure at the top of the bubble real estate market, specifically ordering me to be gagged and evicted when it was shown. For my efforts on behalf of truthtelling, I was heavily sanctioned. The marital residence was subsequently foreclosed upon and Fairfax County's own property records indicate it was sold at an "invalid sales price." Then came Jonathan Thacher, still on the bench, who rubberstamped most of Langhorne Keith's handiwork in February 2005, and accepted and charged me with a variety of questionable bills, some clearly fraudulent on their face, associated with the ex's sale of the marital residence. About the same time, fed up with the antics of the ex and his new wife, noting his behavior got infinitely worse after he hooked up with her in the fall of 2002 , a "prize" just six weeks off her last affair with a married man (admitted under oath) when that happened, I brought two tort suits, L226331 and L226453, because of their distressing conduct - such activity as rerouting my mail, canceling my credit cards, and an IRS audit which resulted from the ex's claiming as "alimony" money he gave me in early 2002, when we were separated but trying to work things out, as his share of the running of the marital residence which he still frequented. The Pendente Lite Order was not entered until January 2003. Judge Arthur Vieregg, now retired, ordered a sanctions trial on my Motions for Judgments, and in his Letter Opinions called the ex's tax fraud "...not taken steps related to income tax returns..." and "...not filed the necessary tax forms...". You can read the Tax Court opinion which ultimately went against the ex to see how off base the Fairfax County Circuit Court judge was. In June of 2007, a hearing was held, motioned by the ex's attorney, Michael A. Ward of Fairfax, but intentionally not noticed to me so that I would not have knowledge of it until after the fact, seeking to get money from the joint escrow account from the sale of the marital residence for all these bogus judgments aforementioned against me. Judge Gaylord Finch presided and less than 30 days later, in violation of the court's own "default" judgment rules, $76,957.21 was released to my ex and his new wife and his attorney.
I did not find out until November 2008. Almost from the start, the ex has been non compliant with the Final Decree. The alimony payment was rarely on time. His work information changed twice. I found out about it, but not because he ever informed me - or the court - per the dictates of the Final Decree. The first time he wrote me a note, signed and dated, copy in the case file, saying he did not have to comply; the second time, it was because he lost his high level security clearance and good government job, in part over the tax fraud which Judge Vieregg had found so insignificant, and there has been no response to my letters, from the ex, or from his attorney, who drafted the Final Decree. For years. Fed up, I filed Motions for Contempt and Sanctions and Motions to Compel thinking that might prod compliance. Nada. The motions were finally docketed per order of Judge Marcus Williams, to be heard on November 24, 2008, for a full day trial. That day, the judge was Leslie Alden. She was in and out in less than an hour, spent most of that time listening to Mr. Ward, never heard my Motions for Contempt and Sanctions and banned me from bringing any further ones. In January 2009, after bombarding all the members of the court with my complaints, I received a letter from her allowing me to bring these motions in Motion for Order to Show Cause form. The documents were promptly filed against the ex, the new wife and Michael A. Ward. And then began the stall to hear them by Erica Everhart, Judge Alden's then law clerk. I would have to come on three separate Fridays, and would at best get part of thirty minutes. Portions would not be heard. Not necessary to be on Judge Alden's docket, although in her letter dated March 26, 2009, the judge specified they were to go to her and her alone. These particular type of motions require a judge's order, which to date, almost a year later, despite being promised but has not been forthcoming. Fed up with the run-around from Erica, I contacted the Chief Judge.
His July 7, 2009 response indicated a willingness to assign a particular judge and give me the entirety of a Friday motion day. I argued for the original full day trial on a day other than Friday, in line with how the original Motions for Contempt and Sanctions and Motions to Compel were scheduled.
His response, a letter dated September 21, 2009, was a blow off where he went back on his word, claiming these were appellate matters, which they could not be, since they were just filed and never heard. Nonsense. I wrote back to him at the beginning of October and there has been no response to date. All of the court's ex parte communications, noting mine were not, have been placed in the file.
The ex's violations of the Final Decree continue, and shortly they will impact my rights to his retirement account, if he hasn't raided it like all the others already. You can't make this stuff up, and this is just a thumbnail tip of the iceberg rendition. The file is not sealed; read it for yourself. Because next time, if these judges are not stopped from running the court system as they please, it could be you. And check back for future installments on my experiences with the Fairfax County Circuit Court and with their appellate brethren in this state.
Karen Ann DeLuca

Monday, December 7, 2009

three circuit judgeships from Fairfax County to fill during the 2010 session.

Subject: Three Fairfax County seats head ’

10 vacanciesPub: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Author: Alan Cooper

Issue Date: 12/07/2009

Three Fairfax County seats head ’10 vacanciesby Alan CooperDolan Media Newswires
RICHMOND, VA -- The General Assembly will have at least 16 judicial vacancies – including three circuit judgeships from Fairfax County – to fill during the 2010 session.

Most of the vacancies will be created by retirement, many of them because a judge has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, but that’s not the case with the Fairfax judges, Gaylord L. Finch Jr., Stanley P. Klein and Michael P. McWeeny.

Finch reached an agreement with Northern Virginia legislators earlier this year to step down at the end of the year if he was appointed to another term. Litigants who were upset because they believed Finch had handled their claims in a cursory manner had pressed their delegation to oust him.

McWeeny and Klein said recently that they wanted to pursue a legal career after leaving the bench.
Both can receive their full judicial pensions so long as they do no courtroom work.
Not surprisingly, with one-fifth of the Fairfax circuit bench turning over in a single year, the seats have attracted great interest from potential candidates.

Judicial screening committees for Northern Virginia bar groups have interviewed 13 candidates for the Fairfax judgeships, including Fairfax General District Judges Michael J. Cassidy and Lorraine Nordlund.
The other candidates are Penney Sue Azcarate, David Bernhard, Grace Burke Carroll, William P. Daly Jr., Michael F. Devine, Brian N. Hirsch, Brett A. Kassabian, August W. Steinhilber III, Alicia L. Summers, John M. Tran and Robert Edward Worst.
Judicial selection works differently in Fairfax, compared to other regions of the state. The area’s bar groups are asked for their endorsements and input. Those endorsements are passed on to the legislators representing Fairfax. Those delegates and senators operate in a bipartisan fashion. All members of the legislative delegation meet to interview candidates, with each member of the delegation getting one vote. Candidates who receive a majority vote of the delegation get the support of the entire delegation for election by the legislature.
The bar endorsement process is already under way.
Electronic ballots have been sent to Fairfax Bar Association members, and the deadline for responding is this Friday, Dec. 11, at noon.
Under the FBA procedures, members received background information on the candidates and a rating for each candidate of highly recommended, recommended or qualified. Each member was asked to vote “endorsed,” “not endorsed” or “no opinion.”
The FBA screening committee highly recommended Cassidy, Daly, Devin and Kassabian and recommended Azcarate. It found all the other candidates to be qualified.
The Northern Virginia chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association also interviewed candidates.
NOVABAA highly recommended Kassabian and Tran for the seats and recommended Berenhard, Daly, Devine, Hirsch and Nordlund.
APABA highly recommended Daly, Kassabian and Tran and recommended Bernhard, Devine, Hirsch and Steinhilber.
HBA-VA highly recommended Bernhard, Devine, Kassabian and Tran and recommended Azcarate, Cassidy, Daly and Hirsch. All three groups found all the candidates to be qualified.
Dennis Somech of HBA-VA said, “This was a very strong group of candidates, all either leading lights in their fields or judges with proven track records, making these evaluations particularly difficult.”
The VWAA chapter had not completed their endorsement procedures by press time.
Judges seeking reappointment are scheduled to appear Dec. 17 before a joint session of the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees.
Around the state
In addition to the three Fairfax circuit judgeships, other circuit judges who will retire include A. Joseph Canada Jr. of Virginia Beach, Westbrook J. Parker of Southampton County, Thomas V. Warren of Powhatan County, Theodore J. Markow of Richmond and J. Leyburn Mosby Jr. of Lynchburg.
The legislature will try again to fill the vacancy in Gloucester County created by the death last year of Judge N. Prentis Smiley Jr. The impasse in replacing Smiley occurred because two legislators from the area, Del. Thomas D. Gear and Sen. Thomas K. Norment, both Republicans, clashed over a replacement for Smiley.
With no assurance that any appointment he made would be elected to a full term, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine did not fill the seat after the legislature was unable to do so.
General District seats
General district judges who will leave the bench include Virginia L. Cochran of Virginia Beach, Kenneth Nelson Nye of the 6th Judicial District, Thomas O. Jones of Richmond and Charles B. Foley of the 20th Judicial District.
The legislature was unable to fill the seat vacated last year by Judge A. Lee McGratty of the 25the District, and circuit judges did not fill the seat after legislators were unable to agree on a successor.
J&DR seats
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District judges who will leave include James E. Hume of the 11th District and Sharon B. Will of Henrico County. A seat in the 27th District awaits a full-time replacement for Judge M. Keith Blankenship, who resigned last year after he was charged with traffic misdemeanors in separate incidents.
Circuit judges appointed Harriet D. Dorsey to fill the seat until the 2010 session.