Justice Donald W. Lemons will become Virginia's next state Supreme Court chief justice.
The justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia chose Lemons as chief justice-elect on Aug. 18. He will succeed Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser, who will retire from the court Dec. 31. He assumes his new role on Jan. 1, 2015.
The Virginia General Assembly elected Justice Lemons to the Supreme Court in 2000 and in 2012. He previously served as a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia and of circuit court for the city of Richmond.
Justice Lemons earned his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Virginia and has served on the faculties of several law schools.
"Chief Justice-elect Lemons is a dedicated jurist who exemplifies integrity, civility and professionalism," Chief Justice Kinser is quoted in the news release (PDF) announcing the court's decision. "He will lead the judiciary with distinction during the next four years. I look forward to working with him to effect a smooth transition."