Virginia lawmakers elect 8 new judges to appeals court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Eight judges have been elected to the state Court of Appeals following a selection process that Republicans criticized as one-sided and secretive.

All of the judges were elected Tuesday. Six were chosen by the Democratic-controlled House and Senate as part of a court expansion plan approved by the legislature earlier this year. The other two were elected to fill vacancies on the court.

The court expansion plan drew charges of “court packing” from some Republicans who said it was an attempt to appoint Democrats to promote a liberal agenda.

Democrats, however, said the additional judges are needed to expand the intermediate court’s jurisdiction and give both criminal defendants and civil litigants an automatic right of appeal.

The newly elected appeals court judges, each of whom will serve an eight-year term, are: Dominique A. Callins of Front Royal, who practices family law at Simms Showers; Doris Henderson Causey of Henrico, managing attorney of Central Virginia Legal Aid Society; Vernida R. Chaney of Alexandria, a criminal defense lawyer at Chaney Law Firm; Frank Friedman of Roanoke, chairman of the Woods Rogers appellate team; Junius P. Fulton of Norfolk, a Norfolk Circuit Court judge; Lisa M. Lorish of Charlottesville, an assistant federal public defender and appellate specialist for the Western District of Virginia and lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law; Daniel E. Ortiz of Fairfax, a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge; Stuart A. Raphael of Arlington, a former Virginia solicitor general who is a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth.

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