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Chief Justice to Receive 2019 American Inns of Court Honor

Thursday, September 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
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VBA member Donald W. Lemons, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, will receive the 2019 Lewis F. Powell Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics from the American Inns of Court.

In 2018, The Virginia Bar Association awarded Lemons with its highest honor, the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award.

"Even as he has risen to lead the oldest supreme court in the United States, he has retained the values of a country lawyer," said Kannon K. Shanmugam, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton  & Garrison LLP in Washington, D.C., who was among those nominating Lemons. "He is a role model in how a judge should conduct himself from the bench. He treats everyone he encounters with respect."

Lemons, who became chief justice in 2015, not only presides over the court but serves as the chief administrative officer managing Virginia's judicial system. He was appointed to the court in 2000.

He teaches a course on appellate advocacy at Washington and Lee University School of Law and served on the board of directors of the Conference of Chief Justices.

He also served two terms as president of the American Inns of Court, with headquarters in Alexandria, from 2010 to 2014. Before that he was president of the John Marshall Inn and a Master of the Bench there and at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Inn, both in Richmond.

The American Inns of Court award will be presented Oct. 26 during the Inns' annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States. The organization has more than 31,000 members nationwide in nearly 380 chapters.

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