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Culpeper Bar Association endorses Durrer

The Culpeper Bar Association has endorsed Culpeper County assistant commonwealth attorney Dale Durrer to fill a General District Court position left empty by the retirement of Judge Roger Morton. However, the funding of that position is uncertain at this time as Governor McDonnell's proposed budget does not fund a replacement for Judge Morton
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Durrer and David Barredo, both from Culpeper, were seeking that nomination.

Over 25 attorneys attended Tuesday night's meeting where members discussed judicial vacancies in the 16th Circuit, made endorsements and discussed legislative priorities for this year's session.

Chris Martin, an attorney with Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, plc, is the current president. He was elected in October replacing assistant commonwealth's attorney in Orange County, Clarissa Berry.

According to Martin, the Bar is optimistic and plans to advocate strongly for funding.

A position in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations court is funded in the Governor's current budget. Four candidates appeared at the meeting seeking the Bar Association's nomination. They included: Christian Brashear (Culpeper), David Franzen (Charlottesville), Helen Phillips (Bristol), and Deborah Tinsley (Louisa). The Bar endorsed Deborah Tinsley for this position.

Martin remains optimistic that both of these positions will be filled by the State Assembly.

“Efficient courts are essential to the administration of justice, and our General District and Juvenile & Domestic Courts are already overtaxed as it is,” said Martin adding, “because of the funding concerns, we are more focused on the General District Court position. If the State Assembly fails to fund Judge Morton’s position, we will have at least one fewer court day in Culpeper each week. On the days we do have court, we will likely see a revolving door of substitute judges coming in from Charlottesville and Northern Virginia.”

Martin registered the sentiment of the Culpeper Bar Association that unintended consequences for not filling Judge Morton's position would be extended delays in civil cases, and the potential for guilty criminals to receive very favorable dispositions or even dismissals because of speedy trial concerns.









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