Jessica Greenstein


Loudoun Judge Removed from Bench

          In 1995, Loudoun County General District Court Judge Allen Walker was scheduled for reappointment by the General Assembly of Virginia.  A confidential judicial evaluation conducted by the Loudoun Bar Association was completed by roughly 35 local attorneys.  All but a handful opposed his reappointment based primarily on his temperament and disposition on the bench.  Simply put, he was insulting, demeaning, and plain rude to many citizens who appeared in his courtroom..
          Gregory Harris contacted many local attorneys seeking others to join him before the committee in Richmond but, after several days of phone calls, no other attorney could appear before the committee.  The day before the hearing, one other attorney agreed to travel with Mr. Harris to testify before the committee in the presence of the Judge and his supporters. After that hearing, it became pu
        When the evaluations were reviewed by the committees of the General Assembly, a special hearing was scheduled in the Senate Judiciary committee to hear witnesses for or against the Judge.  Loudoun's Senator Charles Waddell was quoted in the local paper to the effect that he gave little weight to the bar association's confidential evaluations and stated that the local attorneys were just not used to a strong Judge and that if any of Loudoun's attorneys really opposed the Judge, they should come to Richmond and testify in front of the committee.
         No doubt, Senator Waddell figured no attorney would publicly oppose a sitting Judge before whom the attorney regularly appeared.  Indeed, in the history of Virginia no Judge had ever been denied reappointment by the legislatureblic that there were not enough votes in the committee for his reappointment to be brought to the floor of the Senate. When it was clear that the Judge was doomed, many attorneys who were not able to previously speak out publicly now came out against the Judge.
          A copy of Mr. Harris' testimony before the committee and some of the press coverage is set out.





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