Judge quits: Berry goes to Allen & Allen

The chief judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit of Virginia, which includes Albemarle and Charlottesville, has been hired as managing partner for the Charlottesville office of Virginia's largest personal injury firm.

John G. "Jack" Berry, presiding judge for Culpeper and Fluvanna circuit courts, goes to work February 1 for Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, whose Charlottesville office has been without a managing partner since Matt Murray resigned in July under a cloud of misconduct allegations and sanctions in the Lester v. Allied Concrete wrongful death lawsuit.

Berry was born in Charlottesville and raised in Madison County. He's been a 16th Circuit Court judge since 2008, and chief judge since 2010. The district also includes Goochland, Louisa, Orange, Greene, and Madison counties. His father, David Berry, was an Albemarle Circuit Court judge.

Jack Berry graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Lee in 1976, where he was a star quarterback and Phi Beta Kappa member, and he received his law degree from UVA in 1979.

It was at law school that Berry met Coleman Allen, the man who would recruit him from the bench more than 30 years later. "It was a difficult decision for him because he enjoyed what he did in the court," says Allen.

"Jack Berry is an outstanding trial lawyer who's respected statewide," says Allen, who's overjoyed that Allen & Allen was able to "hire a trial lawyer with an outstanding reputation for integrity and character as well as legal ability."

Hook legal expert David Heilberg also has known Berry since both were recent law school grads. "Jack's had a great reputation," says Heilberg.

Judgeships are rare enough, so why would Berry leave a position he's only held for four years?

"I would think that's a job you can make more at than as a judge," offers Heilberg. But there are other reasons, too, he points out.

"There's a history of good judges leaving the bench," says Heilberg. "It's not an easy job. It wears them out."

And he wonders, "Who's going to judge my February 6 case?"

Heilberg describes Berry as "the same way people described Matt Murray– well-liked, capable, professional." And he adds, "I'm sorry to lose a good judge like that."


Father was a judge. Can you say nepotism.

I have not heard Berry news this big since Ken Berry left Mayberry to star in "Mayberry R.F.D."
What an understatement by Heilburg: He might make more at Allen than as a judge." C'mon, and Jesus had some minor scratches and bumps.
On the flip side, if Berry does have a good rep for integrity (which for lawyers, is like saying Jeffrey Dahmer showed some restraint...the bar is a tad low), Allen, Allen et. al. could use that after the lawsuit trial resulting from the Rt. 53 traffic death.
On a more practical note, does anyone know a shortcut function key where I can type all the "Allens" and not have to type the same thing four times? Or can I use the "nth power" exponential superscript to communicate the 4 Allens?
R.I.P.: Don Sanderson

let the replacement games begin.

Since Judge Berry's appointment to the bench in 2008 was not made by his father, the late Hon. David F. Berry, nepotism is a skanky allegation. Both Berrys enjoy their stellar reputations because each has been beyond reproach.

If he is beyond reproach, then why would he go work for Allen and Allen? If he was a young guy, I would say money, but to go work for slime like personal injury lawyers at his age makes me question anyones character. Personal injury lawyers, pedophiles, drug dealers, pimps, and police informants all possess the same moral fiber.

I thought sitting judges weren't allowed to go back into private practice and appear in Court!! Isn't that considered a conflict of interest??

Why do I see Liberalace yet think Liberace?

Deleted by moderator.

**moderator, please delete my previous post. wrong judge berry.

(sarcasm) Judges never fall asleep in court. (sarcasm)

yeah they can. judge tweel resigned his judgeship in protest of invading iraq and went back into private practice ten years ago

he needed more "practice"- get it?

Just argued a case in front of Judge Berry a couple days ago. I have always found him to be a fair and intelligent judge.

Ice Dogg, me too!

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