Dominique Callins, a family law attorney based in Leesburg, has been elected by the General Assembly to the Virginia Court of Appeals.
The appointment comes as the assembly is expanding the court from 11 to 17 judges starting next year as part of an effort to increase the court’s role to become the intermediate appellate court for all criminal and civil cases.
According to an announcement by her law firm, Simms Showers, she is expected to fill the seat of Judge William G. Petty, who is retiring after two eight-year terms.
“Dominique is the leader of the Family Law Section at Simms Showers and is uniquely qualified to sit on the Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes review of Circuit Court decisions in domestic relation matters,” stated Caleb Kershner, partner at Simms Showers and the Catoctin District representative on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors. “Her solution-oriented advocacy on behalf of our clients will serve her and the commonwealth well during her tenure. She has been a valuable, smart and dynamic attorney during her tenure with our firm and we wish her continued success in this incredibly important new possession.”
Callins earned her law degree from the College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law. She began her legal career as a judicial law clerk for the Henrico County Circuit Court and later to Appeals Court Judge James W.Benton.For the past 14 years, she was worked in family law in Northern Virginia., the past five years in Loudoun County.
“I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to bring my years of expertise to the Virginia Court of Appeals,” Callins stated.“Serving on the Court of Appeals with the expanded jurisdiction to hear appeals of right in every civil case is a welcome change and I look forward to serving the Commonwealth of Virginia in this capacity.”
Other judges elected to eight-year terms were:Doris Henderson Causey of Richmond, Junius Fulton of Norfolk, Vernida Chaney of Fairfax, Lisa Lorish of Charlottesville, Frank Friedman of Roanoke, Daniel E. Ortiz, of Fairfax, and Stuart Raphael of Arlington.
Jean Harrison Clements, who served as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge and Circuit Court judge in Loudoun County before being elected to the Court of Appeals in 2000, serves as a one of four senior judges on the court.