News and Information
January 04, 2022

The Hon. S. Bernard Goodwyn New Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Virginia

In a whirlwind of end of year activity for the Supreme Court of Virginia, Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons stepped down as chief justice on December 31, 2021, and Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn was elected as the Court’s new leader as of January 1, 2022.

Chief Justice Goodwyn has served on the Supreme Court of Virginia after being appointed by Governor Tim Kaine and unanimously elected by the General Assembly in 2008.

A native of Southampton, Chief Justice Goodwyn served as a circuit court judge and in general district court before joining the Supreme Court of Virginia. He made history as the first African American judge appointed to the Chesapeake General District Court, after he left the Norfolk firm of Willcox and Savage, where he was partner practicing as a civil and commercial litigator, in order to join the bench. 

Chief Justice Goodwyn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, before receiving his law degree from the University of Virginia. 


Painting: Oil on canvas, 36 x 44 in., by Nancy C. Mauck, 2009

Updated: Jan 14, 2022