May 12, 2010
Leroy Hassell Sr. is stepping down as chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court in January but will remain on the court.
Court spokeswoman Katya Herndon said Hassell made the announcement Tuesday at a judicial conference in conference in Norfolk. Hassell became Virginia's first black chief justice when his fellow justices elected him to the position in 2002. He was re-elected in 2006.
Hassell's second term as chief justice will end Jan. 31, three years before expiration of his term on the court. Herndon said the court likely will choose its next chief justice from among its seven members at its August retreat.