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Hon. Robert Payne '63, '67L and W&L Law Dean Named Leaders in the Law

The Hon. Robert E Payne ’63, ’67L, Senior Judge from the Eastern District of Virginia, and Washington and Lee School of Law Dean Nora Demleitner were honored as “Leaders in the Law” on Oct. 23 by Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Now in its ninth year, the VLW awards program recognizes lawyers across the commonwealth who are setting the standard for other lawyers in Virginia. “Leaders” are recognized for changing the law, serving the community, changing practice or improving Virginia’s justice system, among other accomplishments.

The honorees were celebrated during a reception at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. During the ceremony, it was announced that Judge Payne received the special honor of “Leader of the Year,” which is voted on by the honorees themselves.

Judge Payne was a litigator at McGuireWoods for many years becoming a judge in 1992. He took senior status in 2007 but continues to hear cases in the Eastern District. During his career, Judge Payne has heard many significant cases, and his decisions often set the parameters of criminal litigation in the district. For example, one of his decisions is cited in the discovery order used in every single case heard in the Eastern District.

Dean Nora Demleitner is a scholar of criminal, comparative and immigration law. She is the editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter and frequently lectures on sentencing and collateral sentencing issues. She is the first woman to serve as dean at W&L in the school’s history.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly is the commonwealth’s top source of legal information for practicing attorneys, providing a traditional weekly newspaper as well as online news. The newspaper reports all decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. News coverage highlights developments in case law, changes to court rules, verdict and settlement reports, bar-discipline notices and all other news vital to Virginia lawyers.