News and Information
March 16, 2021

VSB to Evaluate Candidates for Virginia Court of Appeals Vacancies

The Virginia State Bar has been asked by Virginia Senator John S. Edwards, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Delegate Charniele L. Herring, Chair of the House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee, to evaluate candidates for seven vacancies on the Court of Appeals of Virginia.  

The General Assembly has passed SB1261 which creates an automatic right of appeal in all criminal and civil cases, expands the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and adds six new positions to the Court to accommodate new case volume.  The bill is on Governor Northam’s desk and he is expected to sign it. 
Coupled with the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Rossie D. Alston to the federal bench, there are now seven vacancies on the Court of Appeals. The General Assembly would like all interested applicants to be vetted by the Virginia State Bar. 

If you desire to be evaluated by the VSB, candidates must submit on or before 4:30 p.m. on April 15, 2021, a résumé, a brief writing sample, and responses to a questionnaire (Word document). Submissions should be sent electronically as a Word document (writing sample may be submitted in PDF format). 

Please submit your application materials by email to If you have previously been evaluated by the VSB, you do not need to reapply. 

N.B. Additionally, all candidates must copy Shannon Heard, legal associate with the Division of Legislative Services for the General Assembly of Virginia (, with their applications in order to receive further instructions on the application process, including additional paperwork such as a questionnaire, record checks, and a Statement of Economic Interest (SOEI); the questionnaire is required by committees, and record checks and SOEI are required by Code.

According to Delegate Herring and Senator Edwards, "Please note that § 17.1‐400 effective July 1, 2021, provides: 'The General Assembly shall consider regional diversity in making its elections.'  We are also dedicated to ensuring diversity of racial and practice areas to the Court."

The following bar groups will also participate in the interview process:

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia
Hispanic Bar Association
Old Dominion Bar Association
Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Virginia Women Attorneys Association 

The following bar groups will evaluate candidates and make recommendations, but will not conduct interviews:
Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
Virginia Bar Association
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association

The new judges should be prepared to begin serving on July 1, 2021.

Please contact Asha Holloman of the VSB if you have any questions.

Updated: Mar 16, 2021