Judgeship Is A 'Public Service'

Published 5:29 pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

FARMVILLE – A standing room-only crowd filled the Prince Edward County Circuit Courtroom Wednesday afternoon to witness Kimberley Slayton White take the oath of office as the 10th Judicial Circuit's newest judge.

White, former Halifax County Commonwealth's Attorney, was appointed by Governor McDonnell to fill the vacancy created by Judge Richard Blanton's retirement. Blanton announced his retirement plans in 2010, retiring last year.

Surrounded by family, friends, judges, and elected and appointed officials from the area, White said she approaches her judicial responsibilities as a “public service.”

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Speaking after taking the oath to those sitting and standing in the courtroom, White highlighted her family's belief in public service, citing her mother's delivering food for Meals On Wheels on Christmas, and throughout the year, and her uncle, Judge Frank Slayton, who served for years in the Virginia General Assembly.

She said her uncle's shoes would be the most difficult to fill.

Fellow Circuit Court Judges Leslie M. Osborn, of Lunenburg, and Joel C. Cunningham, of Halifax, presided over the investiture.

The appointment of White was announced in August by Governor McDonnell, who released a statement then saying, “Kim has honorably served the people of Halifax County as their Commonwealth's Attorney for the last eight years.”

The Governor, whose Chief of Staff was among the gubernatorial office attendees on Wednesday, described White as “respected in the legal field” and a “highly qualified” individual.

A colleague praised her Wednesday as a prosecutor who sought justice rather than simply racking up victories.

The 10th Judicial Circuit includes the counties of Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Prince Edward.

Virginia Court of Appeals Judge William G. Petty administered the oath.

White had also previously served as an assistant and deputy Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Lynchburg and was a special assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

Prior to being elected Commonwealth's Attorney in Halifax, White was a partner with the law firm of Woods Rogers in Danville.

The 10th Judicial Circuit's newest judge is a graduate of Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. She is a frequent instructor on trial practice and is a past chair of the Virginia State Bar Committee on Lawyer Discipline.

White resides in South Boston with her husband, David, and their two children.