Circuit judge appointed to Va. High Court

John O'Brien Oct. 10, 2007, 4:00pm

Kaine, left, and Goodwyn

RICHMOND - Having found itself without its longest serving member, the Virginia Supreme Court can now welcome its newest.

Gov. Timothy Kaine appointed former circuit court judge S. Bernard Goodwyn to become the newest justice, replacing the retired Elizabeth Lacy -- formerly the Court's senior member.

"He approaches the law with an appropriate balance of intellectual insight and an understanding of its real world impact on our citizens," said Kaine, a Democrat making his first appointment to the Court since his term began almost two years ago.

A full 12-year term for Goodwyn, 46, must be approved by both houses of the state's Legislature. Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell hopes it happens.

"Judge Goodwyn is eminently qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice," McDonnell said. "He is a Virginia success story. His rulings are shaped by his intellectual achievements, and his respect for the rule of law.

"Judge Goodwyn understands the Commonwealth and its legal system, and he is well suited to rule on the most important legal issues that face Virginia.

Goodwyn has been a trial judge in the First Judicial Circuit Court in Chesapeake since 1997. Before that, he served on the First General District Court for two years.

As an attorney, he practiced at Willcox & Savage for eight years, becoming a partner with the firm. He received a degree in economics from Harvard and his law degree from the University of Virginia's School of Law.

At Virginia, he worked as a Research Associate Professor of Law from 1994-95.

Lacy had served on the Court since 1988. She was the first female justice in the Court's history.

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