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Abstract

With the convening of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly, members of the Senate and House received the anticipated 2013 Judicial Workload Assessment Report-a weighted case load study produced by the National Center for State Courts and commissioned by the legislature during its 2012 session. The purpose of the study was to help guide both the future selection of judges and the allocation of the political boundaries to be served by those judges. The results of the weighted caseload study as contained in the 2013 Report would validate many of those concerns expressed earlier by the 2011 Judicial Boundary Realignment Committee appointed by the Supreme Court. In addition, the 2013 Report would include a myriad of comments and concerns voiced by legislators, lawyers, judges, court personnel, law enforcement, and the general public concerning judicial need in the Commonwealth. This article will seek to describe the results of the 2013 Virginia Judicial Workload Assessment Report within the context of an evolving dialogue in the Virginia General Assembly concerning judicial resources. It is a dialogue that has taken place since the beginning of the Commonwealth and became a focal point during the General Assembly's 2014 session. This dialogue intensified when House Bill 1990 and Senate Bill 1240 were introduced during the General Assembly's 2011 session.