Former Virginia Chief Justice Leroy Hassell Dies

February 9, 2011

Virginia Supreme Court Justice Leroy Hassell passed away early this morning at the age of 55. Justice Hassell began his legal career as a Summer Associate here at McGuireWoods in 1979. He joined the firm the following year after graduating from Harvard Law School and became a partner in 1987. Two years later Governor Gerald Baliles appointed him to the Supreme Court of Virginia, making him one of the youngest ever to serve on the court. He became Virginia’s first African-American Chief Justice in August of 2002 and served two terms before relinquishing the gavel to Justice Cynthia Kinser last month. “Along with all Virginians we mourn the loss of the former Chief Justice of Virginia,” said Richard Cullen. “But before he was Chief Justice, before he was a Justice, Leroy Hassell was our partner, and he always remained our dear friend. In the next few days we will be announcing a special firm tribute to Leroy but for now I know you join with me in extending our deepest sympathy to Leroy’s family and to the host of friends he leaves behind.”