Archived Story

Sandwich appointed new judge

Published 10:13pm Thursday, July 18, 2013

A phone call on Thursday ended a four-month wait for Suffolk Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert H. Sandwich Jr.

He got the news he will be the new judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court, which includes Suffolk, Isle of Wight and Southampton.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Robert H. Sandwich Jr. stands in front of the Mills E. Godwin Courthouse on Thursday, shortly after getting the news he has been named the new judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert H. Sandwich Jr. stands in front of the Mills E. Godwin Courthouse on Thursday, shortly after getting the news he has been named the new judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

When he takes the bench sometime in the next 30 days, it will fill a vacancy that has existed since Judge William R. Savage III’s age-related mandatory retirement in January.

“I just feel very blessed and very fortunate,” the 50-year-old said Thursday. “I think it’s a great honor that the governor and Delegate (Chris) Jones saw enough in me to put me in that position.”

Jones (R-76) put Sandwich’s name forward for the position.

“In my opinion, he will do a very good job,” Jones said Thursday. “He has the temperament and experience to serve the citizens of the Fifth Circuit well.”

Sandwich and two others were interviewed in early April, but the General Assembly failed to come to an agreement. That meant the governor was obligated to make the appointment.

“I’m looking forward to serving the people in Suffolk and Isle of Wight and Southampton County,” said Sandwich, who added he appreciated the support of the Suffolk Bar Association.

Sandwich graduated from the University of Georgia in December 1993 with his Bachelor of Arts degree. He completed law school at the University of Georgia in 1997.

He served approximately two years each in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s offices of Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach before landing in the Suffolk office in August 2007. He has been there since, except for a brief stint in a private law firm that does criminal defense.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to work,” he said. “It’s one of those lifelong goals, when you become a lawyer. You’re always looking to rise to the top of your profession.”

Sandwich is also a U.S. Navy veteran, having served more than eight years after enlisting.

Sandwich will serve until 30 days after the commencement of the next General Assembly session, which starts in January. Continued service will require election by the General Assembly.

He is married to Minna Sandwich, who works in the Suffolk city attorney’s office. They live in Suffolk.

Gov. Bob McDonnell also announced two other Circuit Court appointments at the same time — Stephen Sincavage for the 20th Judicial Circuit (part of Northern Virginia) and Charles L. Ricketts III for the 25th Judicial Circuit (in the mountains).

“I am pleased to appoint these highly qualified individuals to the Circuit Court,” McDonnell said in a press release. “Judge Ricketts has served with distinction on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for the last eight years, and both Sandwich and Sincavage have served their communities with distinction as prosecutors for many years.

“All three are talented lawyers who will continue to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth well in these new roles. They were selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates, whom I thank for an interest in serving the Commonwealth. I am confident that all three of them will perform commendably in this new role, and it is with great pleasure that I appoint them to the Circuit Court.”

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