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Three candidates nominated for Fairfax circuit bench

A district court judge and two criminal defense attorneys were chosen Monday night by Fairfax's state senators and delegates to fill the three openings on the Fairfax Circuit Court.

From a field of 13 lawyers, the county's delegation chose Fairfax General District Judge Lorraine Nordlund, 54, and defense lawyers Brett A. Kassabian, 49, and Michael F. Devine, 48.

Their nominations now must be approved by the entire General Assembly, which typically does not object. If confirmed, they would serve eight-year terms, to be approved and reappointed by the legislature at the end of each term.

Nordlund and Kassabian both served as assistant prosecutors under now-retired Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr., and Devine is a former assistant public defender.

Nordlund was an assistant prosecutor for four years in the mid-1980s, entered private practice for 10 years, and then was named to the General District Court in 1996. She lives in Centreville.

Kassabian spent nine years as an assistant county prosecutor, entering private practice in 1994, and he has been the prosecutor in Fairfax City since 1995. In 1998, he also began serving as a substitute judge in both the general district and juvenile and domestic relations courts in Fairfax County. He lives in Oakton.

Devine was a public defender for four years in the early 1990s before entering private practice. In 2006 he was named a substitute judge in the general district and juvenile and domestic relations courts. He lives in the Falls Church area.

The three nominations are slated to replace the retiring judges Michael P. McWeeny, Gaylord L. Finch Jr. and Stanley P. Klein. McWeeny and Finch are stepping down at the end of this month, and Klein is retiring on March 31.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  December 15, 2009; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , From the Courthouse , Tom Jackman , Updates  
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