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Anti-Lawyer Bigotry Rears Its UGLY Head Again in Virginia Politics: Time for the Statewide Lawyer Groups to Condemn it!

Anti-Lawyer bigotry reared its ugly head in the Eddie Whitlock/Schuyler VanValkenburg race in the 72nd district (The Blog has endorsed Whitlock)

Last week, this article ran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Candidate falsely accuses rival of voluntarily representing sex-assault suspect in battle for Henrico House seat

OOPS!  I spoke with Whitlock this morning on this very item.  VanValkenburg sent a press release and posted it on FB (I did not find it on the VanValkenburg FB page so he must have taken it down) describing Whitlock’s representation of a “child rapist” as “voluntary” and that he “lined his pockets” with money from this representation.

What to make of this?  It’s anti-lawyer bigotry at its worst.  I have called it out when both Dems and GOP candidates do it.

Let’s start with – this was an appointed case – in Hanover county at the request of the circuit court judge.  (Whitlock was also appointed to represent the same person in Charles City County, too.)  Lawyers should, if they can, accept such appointments.  And we have the 49th or 50th lowest rate for court-assigned attorneys.

Even if it was retained, every accused criminal suspect is entitled to his or her day in court – a fair trial where the Commonwealth has to proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Maybe Schuyler VanValkenburg doesn’t believe in the Sixth Amendment?

Finally it was false!  I would hope an apology is forthcoming.  But based on the FB post from VanValkenburg’s campaign site of October 19 I doubt it:

Voters have a choice this November 7th – they can choose a public school teacher who will protect public education or a debt collection attorney who will siphon money to private and for-profit schools, forcing taxpayers to fund two public school systems.

Debt collection attorneys serve the community by ensuring that hard earned effort gets paid when someone stiffs a business on a valid bill.  They are also highly regulated by both the state bar and the federal FDCPA (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act).

I think it is time for the statewide bar (attorney) associations to speak out on anti-lawyer bigotry in election campaigns.  It’s way past time.  Where would our nation be without brave lawyers like Thurgood Marshall who fought racial bias and Jim Crow laws?  Where would we be without personal injury/products liability lawyers who ensure negligence is compensated?  How about criminal lawyers like Clarence Darrow or prosecutors who seek justice for crime victims?

Time to apologize publicly, Schuyler VanValkenburg, not just to Eddie Whitlock but to all lawyers.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

4 Responses to “Anti-Lawyer Bigotry Rears Its UGLY Head Again in Virginia Politics: Time for the Statewide Lawyer Groups to Condemn it!”

  1. Fed Up Voter in Henrico County says:

    First The Whitlock test wanted to be a JUDGE so he ran around supporting all the Republican Good Old Boys who could appoint him JUDGE. Didn’t happen – because even corrupt Republicans won’t appoint a Collections Lawyer to the Bench. Had no experience to be a JUDGE.

    Then in 2015 he wanted to be a State Senator and came in Last Place behind the Winner Sioban Stolle Dunnavant ( from VA BEACH), Bill Janis (I and Cantor guy) and Vince Haley ( a newcomer now working for President Trump in the West Wing of the White House) go figure the voters missed that opportunity and got stuck with LGBTQ rights champion Sioban Stolle Dunnavant- HIPPA violater.

    Now The Whitlock Test wants desperately to be our Delegate from Henrico County- what’s up?
    Can’t get no respect being a “Collections Lawyer?”

    Eddie’s gonna be voting for Collections all right- TAX COLLECTIONS – so get ready Henrico County.

    • Henrico Tea Party Gal says:

      This comment made me laugh- a reminder for readers that a former INDEPENDENT candidate for Commonwealths’ Attorney from Henrico County Bill Janis received more votes than Republican candidate Eddie “The Test” Whitlock for the Republican 12th District state senate primary in 2015.

      I love this Blog! The people who comment here are edgy and educated and well informed on the issues. NO one who writes here is For $ale or has sold their soul to the Republican Party. How refreshing.

      Thank God for Tom White and Sandy Sanders! True Patriots!

  2. Sandy Sanders

    I promise not to be too puffed up about the wonderful comment by Henrico Tea Party Gal but it is a bit difficult! I do think she got the best of this exchange. Thanks to Fed Up Voter and Henrico T P Gal for coming by and come back again – especially the Henrico Tea Party Gal!



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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