More than 50 members of the Loudoun Bar Association and the community gathered in courtroom 2C yesterday evening to mark the unveiling of the portrait of recently retired Circuit Court Judge James H. Chamblin.
The photograph, done by Leesburg’s Bachrach Photography, will hang in the courtroom in recognition of the judge who gave more than 25 years to Loudoun’s bench.
Speaking before the assembled group, Chamblin opined that the photograph was not solely for those currently walking the halls of Loudoun’s courthouse.
“It is for the people in the future who might want to know what an old judge looked like,” he said with a smile, adding people might want to put a face with a name on old court cases, opinions and orders.
Not one to draw attention to his own work, Chamblin admitted he approached the idea of having an official photograph done with “trepidation,” but said Bachrach made it “painless.” He said they did excellent work and he was pleased with the result. “I liked it and I chose it,” he said simply.
Reading from a resolution, Loudoun Bar Association president Cheryl Graham spoke of many of the comments made by Loudoun attorneys about Chamblin.
“You have set a very high bar for the attorneys practicing before you,” she said, noting attorneys had to be sure they knew case law and facts fully before saying “If it pleases the court” while in Chamblin’s courtroom. She described Chamblin as “scary smart” when it comes to the law and that it was “not uncommon” for attorneys to “be a bit nervous to appear before you.”
“This bar has been very spoiled and most of us know it,” Graham said. “Thank you for making us better lawyers…you are a constant reminder to us to stay on our toes and do our best.”
A native of Loudoun County, Chamblin was appointed to his first eight-year term in 1987. Prior to being a judge, Chamblin practiced law for about 17 years.
He graduated from Loudoun County High School in 1964 and seven years later he earned his law degree from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. He received the Charles T. Norman Medal for being the best graduate of the class of 1971.