Donald W. Lemons
Donald W. Lemons is a Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia
Supreme Court of Virginia
The Supreme Court of Virginia is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It primarily hears appeals from the trial-level city and county Circuit Courts, as well as the criminal law, family law and administrative law cases that go through the Court of Appeals of Virginia. It is one of...

 currently completing his first 12-year term. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...


Lemons was Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Law of the University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
The University of Virginia School of Law was founded in Charlottesville in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as one of the original subjects taught at his "academical village," the University of Virginia. The law school maintains an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students in its initial degree program...

 from 1976 to 1978. He then entered the private practice. Lemons first served as a judge of the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, having been appointed to that position by Gov. George Felix Allen in 1995 while the legislature was out of session. He was subsequently confirmed for a full term by the General Assembly. In 1998, Lemons was elected by the General Assembly to an eight-year term on the Court of Appeals of Virginia
Court of Appeals of Virginia
The Court of Appeals of Virginia, established January 1, 1985, is an eleven-judge body that hears appeals from decisions of Virginia's circuit courts and the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. The Court sits in panels of at least three judges, and sometimes hears cases en banc...

. Lemons succeeded Judge Joseph E. Baker, one of the original members of the Court of Appeals.

Upon the retirement of Justice A. Christian Compton
Christian Compton
Asbury Christian Compton was an American attorney and judge who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia from 1974 until 2000, and as a Senior justice until his death....

 in 2000, Lemons was elected by the General Assembly to fill the vacancy on the high court. Robert J. Humphreys was elected to fill the vacancy on the Court of Appeals created by Lemons' elevation to the Supreme Court.

From 1998 to 2000, Justice Lemons was the A.L. Philpott Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Richmond
University of Richmond
The University of Richmond is a selective, private, nonsectarian, liberal arts university located on the border of the city of Richmond and Henrico County, Virginia. The University of Richmond is a primarily undergraduate, residential university with approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate...

's law school. From 2000 to 2008, he was John Marshall Professor of Judicial Studies at the law school. Since 2008, he has been the Distinguished Professor of Judicial Studies at the Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Va.

Justice Lemons authored the Court's opinion affirming the convictions and death sentence of John Allen Muhammad
John Allen Muhammad
John Allen Muhammad was a spree killer from the United States. He, along with his younger partner, Lee Boyd Malvo, carried out the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks, killing at least 10 people. Muhammad and Malvo were arrested in connection with the attacks on October 24, 2002, following tips from alert...


Justice Lemons is the father of model and actress Amy Lemons.

Justice Lemons is frequently mentioned as a likely candidate for appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a federal court located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:*District of Maryland*Eastern District of North Carolina...

. On June 13, 2007, Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

Jim Webb
James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 and Warner
John Warner
John William Warner, KBE is an American Republican politician who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974 and as a five-term United States Senator from Virginia from January 2, 1979, to January 3, 2009...

 announced that they had recommended Justice Lemons, along with four other candidates, to President Bush for nomination to the Court. The nomination, however, was given to Lemons' colleague, then Justice G. Steven Agee
G. Steven Agee
George Steven Agee is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.- Background :...

, who was ultimately confirmed by the senate. Lemons did not actively seek a nomination for another vacancy on the Fourth Circuit that is to be filled by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, although his colleague Justice Barbara M. Keenan has done so.

External links

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