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Savage to fill bench vacancy

Local attorney W. Richard Savage II has been tapped to fill the judgeship vacancy created by the August 2005 death of the late General District Court Judge Blair Harry.

Savage, 62, will be sworn in by Suffolk Circuit Court Judge Westbrook Parker next week.

That interim appointment will be formalized by state lawmakers, said said Sen. Fred Quayle, R-Suffolk. He and Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, selected Savage from a pool of recommended candidates.

Legislators will have 30 days after the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 11 to confirm Savage’s appointment to the bench, Quayle said. He added that he isn’t expecting any opposition to the appointment.

&uot;Richard has lot of experience in all areas of the law,&uot; said Quayle. &uot;He has lived in Suffolk all his life and his demeanor is exactly the type we are looking for to serve in that position.

&uot;He is coming to us with high recommendations from the local bar and members of the community who know Richard. I’ve known him all my life and I’m confident he is going to do an outstanding job.&uot;

The Suffolk Bar Association endorsed Savage for the judgeship several months ago.

A partner in the downtown law firm of Glasscock, Gardy & Savage, Savage has spent most of his career in his hometown. He joined the firm in 1970, after earning his law degree at The College of William and Mary and working in Richmond for two years.

&uot;I’m looking forward to the new challenges,&uot; said Savage, who learned of his pending appointment two days before Christmas. &uot;It’s a different way of serving the public.&uot;

But the appointment is somewhat bittersweet for Savage, a lifelong friend of his late predecessor.

&uot;We became friends in kindergarten,&uot; said Savage. &uot;Blair Harry was a fine lawyer … who was always highly regarded in the profession.

&uot;Even as a youngster, he was always a happy blend of humor and great wisdom. I will aspire to that (on the bench) but I don’t think I will ever equal it.&uot;

His colleagues, however, believe differently.

&uot;Richard is intelligent and hardworking,&uot; said J. Samuel Glasscock, who has worked with Savage for nearly four decades. &uot;I think he will do an excellent job as a district court judge.&uot;

Local attorney Hubert H. Young III agreed.

&uot;The legal community is extremely pleased. Richard is highly respected … and proud that a good friend of Judge Harry was chosen.&uot;