The Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association will recommend Areshini Pather to fill an upcoming judicial vacancy.
Currently a deputy commonwealth’s attorney for Charlottesville, Pather has been with the office since 2011. Prior to working as a prosecutor, Pather spent six years as a public defender, work she highlighted during a recent forum held by CABA.
Jim Hingeley, president of CABA, announced the local bar association’s decision Friday afternoon, writing that they had to rank Pather as “highly qualified.” The decisions will soon be communicated to the state General Assembly, whose members will select a replacement judge to fill an upcoming vacancy in the 16th Judicial Circuit.
The newly appointed judge has a good chance of sitting in Charlottesville and Fluvanna County where retiring judge Richard E. Moore currently serves. Moore announced recently that he will retire when his eight-year term finishes at the end of November.
“I am very thankful for the support of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association. This means so much to me, and I am honored. I am also grateful to the Judicial Endorsements Committee for its diligent work,” Pather said following the CABA announcement. “I am hopeful that the General Assembly will allow me the opportunity to serve this wonderful community in a new and different capacity.”
Although the General Assembly is in charge of nominating and filling the vacancy, the bar association has historically held public interviews for attorneys interested in becoming judges.
Pather interviewed earlier this month alongside Nina-Alice Antony, senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney for the city, and André Hakes, a criminal defense attorney.
During the interview, Pather shared her experiences growing up as a person of color in South Africa during apartheid, which saw her and her family persecuted by an unjust system. During her 18 years of legal experience, Pather said she has worked on both sides of the aisle and has learned the value of compassion and kindness for both victims and those charged with crimes.
Members of the General Assembly are expected to vote on a new judge by the end of the 2022 session.