Walter S. Felton, Jr., September 1, 2002-December 31, 2014 (Chief Judge, 2006-2014) (Senior Judge, 2015-2016)

Judge Walter S. Felton, Jr.
Photographic portrait, 2002

Born July 28, 1944 in Suffolk, Virginia.
Died April 29, 2022.

First elected by the General Assembly on February 28, 2002 to an eight-year term beginning September 1, 2002, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Jere M.H. Willis, Jr. Service terminated by retirement.

First elected chief judge on March 30, 2006 to a term beginning April 1, 2006, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Johanna L. Fitzpatrick. Service terminated by retirement.

University of Richmond, B.A., 1966
University of Richmond, J.D., 1969

Other judicial service:
Captain, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 1969-1973.

Professional career:
Private practice of law in Suffolk, Virginia, 1973-1982.
Professor of law, College of William and Mary, 1982-1994, 2002.
Deputy attorney general, Commonwealth of Virginia, 1994-1995.
Senior counsel to the attorney general, 1995-1998.
Counselor to Governor James S. Gilmore, III and director of policy, 1998-2002.
Legislative counsel, College of William and Mary, 2002.

Military service:
Vietnam War (U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps)

Oral history

Elected, Journal of the House of Delegates, 2002 Regular Session, 1389; elected chief judge, Court of Appeals Order Book, March 30, 2006; biography, Oral History Interview, November 7, 2014, in Richmond, Supreme Court of Virginia Archives, Virginia State Law Library; education and military service, The American Bench: Judges of the Nation, (Forster-Long, Inc., 2002-2003), 2521; professional career, The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Former Gilmore Aide Elected to Appeals Court,” February 28, 2002, retrieved from on December 17, 2014; see also, “Felton to Head Court of Appeals,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly, April 3, 2006, retrieved from on December 2, 2014; began service as a senior judge, 65 Va.App., iii. In 2014, the Judicial Council of Virginia named Chief Judge Felton as the recipient of the Harry L. Carrico Outstanding Career Service Award (Judicial Council of Virginia Report, 2014).