Wednesday, October 04, 2023

On the retirement of Judge Humphreys

I saw in Virginia Lawyers Weekly that the Virginia State Bar is being asked to assess candidates for the vacancy on the Court of Appeals of Virginia that is being created by the retirement of Judge Robert Humphreys.

Years ago, I got to meet Judge Humphreys at the Appalachian School of Law when there was some moot court event and I was a last minute substitute for someone else on the panel of moot court judges. Judge Humphreys is delightful. He made me believe that he loved his job on the court of appeals. In more recent years, I appeared before panels that included him a couple of times and have listened to his voice on the audio recordings of many arguments. I hope the legislature picks someone just like him, if that's possible.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

On the passing of Judge Crigler

 I see here that former Magistrate Judge Waugh Crigler has passed away.

Judge Crigler was a ball of fire as a teacher, a mediator, and a judge, and it was a great pleasure to have heard him speak and gotten to known him even a little bit. And, he was a Tennessee Vol.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

On the passing of Howard McElroy

In January, my good friend Howard McElroy passed away.

On Facebook, I wrote this:

Howard McElroy was like a profane guardian angel who watched over my career and the rest of my life for over 30 years. I felt his support all that time even though I was way down on the long list of people for whom he did the same thing.
Howard decided from day one that I was a bit of a social misfit and that he would help me. He knew, as our mutual friend John Epps once told him, that "Steve Minor is an acquired taste," and so he ran interference, making connections and introductions. Among other things he was the only person outside of family who was well-liked by both my first wife and my second wife, because he made it his business to get to know them and be kind to them and make them laugh. When Jill would come home and say she had seen Howard at the library that day, it was like a bell ringing in "It's a Wonderful Life." His co-conspirator in this and all things was Heidi.
Howard always greeted me as "Steven!" whether it was in person or more often on the telephone, and usually it was me calling him for help. He was supremely organized and had his collected research in drawers that were close by. When I was describing to him some legal issue I would hear the handles on those drawers rattle when he was putting his hands on the answer to my question before I even finished asking it.
When Howard was retiring, he asked if I would take over a couple of his files. I was thrilled that he trusted me to do this. It felt great. When I started babbling about what to do in the cases, he laughed and said "that's why I want to retire, so I don't have to worry about [those details]," or words to that effect. Of course, he had those cases already won, the other side just didn't know it yet.
Howard - gentleman, storyteller, bon vivant, legal scholar, teacher, role model, and friend - thanks so much, for everything.

When does a finger and thumb gun count as a firearm during a robbery

Today in Com. v. Barney, the majority of the Supreme Court of Virginia upheld the conviction of the defendant for use of a firearm in a bank robbery, when the Commonwealth's evidence showed only that she threatened to kill the bank teller and kept her hand in her pocket. Justice Mann, joined by the Chief Justice and Senior Justice Mims, concluded that the evidence was not enough.