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Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore to retire

Virginia 16th District Court Judge Richard E. Moore, who often presides over the Charlottesville Circuit Court, will retire at the end of his 2022 term.

The announcement was confirmed Wednesday by Llezelle Dugger, the Charlottesville Clerk of Court and president of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association. Moore’s eight-year term will end on Nov. 30, 2022 and his replacement is expected to be selected by the General Assembly this session.

Moore served as a deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Charlottesville and Albemarle County and as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Orange County before becoming a juvenile and domestic court judge in 2012.

He assumed his circuit court position in 2014 following the vacancy left by Edward Hogshire, who retired after 16 years on the bench, due to reaching the legislatively-mandated age of retirement at 73.

“Judge Moore has many exceptional qualities, but his judicial demeanor is unparalleled,” said Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania. “Whether people agree or disagree with his decisions, everyone leaves his courtroom knowing that they have been heard and treated with respect and dignity. He will be sorely missed.”

According to Dugger, the bar association’s judicial endorsement committee has already started receiving applications from lawyers interested in filling the vacancy and expects to host an interview panel.

Dugger said she and Jim Hingeley, president-elect of the local bar and Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, are currently working to put together an endorsement committee that features a diverse group of legal professionals.

“The big question at the moment is who’s going to be on the committee because there’s got to be a cross section of different attorneys and their practices across our bar,” she said. “We don’t want all prosecutors, we don’t want all defense attorneys, we don’t want all civil attorneys. There’s got to be a cross section of community attorneys that will sit on this committee.”

Candidates for the judicial position typically interview during a public panel and a ranked as highly recommended, recommended or not recommended.

Although the local bar’s recommendations do carry weight, Dugger said where the new judge will sit is decided by the 16th District’s judges, which include Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison and Orange.

“Our committee and our association have been known to have more than one person come out as highly qualified and Judges David Franzén, Andrew Sneathern and Matt Quatrara all came out as highly qualified,” she said. “But no, there’s no guarantee that just because our bar has rated someone as highly qualified, that they’re going to be the appointed judge for the 16th judicial circuit.”

Moore’s eight-year term has been a tumultuous time for the Charlottesville Circuit Court. Moore oversaw many of the criminal cases spinning out of the Unite the Right rally as well as the legal attempts to prevent the removal of Charlottesville’s Confederate statues.

The decision on judicial appointments is made by a majority vote of both the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. The two bodies remain divided in terms of party majority, with the House of Delegates having 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats and the Senate having 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans.


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