BLOGS: Western District of Virginia Law Blog

Jason grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, clerked for Judge Samuel G. Wilson in Roanoke, Virginia, and practices law in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Monday, September 30, 2013, 10:24 PM

Magistrate Judge Crigler's Last Day On The Job

As previously noted on this blog, today marks the last day on the job for Magistrate Judge Waugh Crigler.  Charlottesville's Daily Progress published a nice article today about his retirement and the simultaneous retirement of his judicial assistant Judy Pace.  Local attorneys will miss them both very much.  The article also explained that, while Judge Crigler's offices were based in Charlottesville, his (yet to be determined) replacement will be based in Harrisonburg.  This will mark the first time since 1978 that Charlottesville has not had a resident trial level judge.  Fourth Circuit judges do not count as trial judges (except, I guess, for the rare occasion when they act as trial judges, such as election redistricting cases).  Of course, district judges from Roanoke and Lynchburg frequently travel to Charlottesville, and less frequently Harrisonburg.  When I clerked for Judge Wilson in Roanoke, we would often travel to Harrisonburg for hearings and trials.  I particularly remember one interesting criminal case in Harrisonburg that resulted in the acquittal of all defendants.  Whoever the new magistrate judge is, he or she will frequently have to travel to the other divisions.  Such is the nature of  being a trial level judge in the Western District of Virginia.

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Government Shutdown Not To Impact WDVa

Attorneys in the Western District of Virginia received this notice via email today:

Impact of a Government Shut-Down on the District Court: Should Congress fail to enact a continuing resolution by October 1, 2013, the District Court for the Western District of Virginia will manage with its normal business and operations until further notice. All court proceedings will take place as scheduled and the Clerk's Office will be open to file, process and manage cases.
 I'm a member of the bar of several other U.S. District Courts, and some of these other courts have issued similar notices.  How long does a shutdown have to last before the courts shutdown?  Let's hope we don't have to find out.

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Friday, September 6, 2013, 5:28 PM

21 People Apply For Magistrate Judge Position

As noted earlier this week, Magistrate Judge Crigler is going to step down from the bench at the end of this month, and the Western District of Virginia has solicited applications to find a replacement.  Virginia Lawyers Weekly reports that twenty-one attorneys have applied for the job.  A 10-member advisory panel has been appointed and will review the applications in the next 45 to 60 days.  The advisory panel will recommend the five most qualified candidates.  According to Chief Judge Glen Conrad, the district judges will interview those five candidates and select one to serve the eight year term for the federal court.  Other judges will cover Judge Crigler's workload until a new magistrate judge is selected.  Although Judge Crigler's offices were in Charlottesville, the new magistrate judge will be based in Harrisonburg.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 6:24 PM

Magistrate Judge Crigler to Retire September 30

Earlier this year, Magistrate Judge Waugh Crigler announced that he would be retiring at the end of his term in September 2013.  First appointed in 1981, Judge Cigler has served as a magistrate judge for over 30 years and was a mainstay in the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg divisions.  Judge Crigler grew up in Culpeper, graduated from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, and was an attorney in Virginia and Tennessee before becoming magistrate judge.  

According to a press release about his retirement, “some of his most memorable civil cases have involved landfill, water supply and trash disposal disputes in both Charlottesville other communities in the Western District, the anti-trust action between the Daily Progress and the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, and the bitter dispute over customers between the area’s two early cable television providers.”

Judge Cigler announced his retirement in advance in order to allow a replacement to be selected.  Earlier this year, the Western District of Virginia issued a Public Notice of Appointment of a New Magistrate Judge, which sought applications for full-time magistrate judge for the Harrisonburg Division.

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