Thursday, November 7, 2013

Distinguished Alumni: Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Arrington

Distinguished Alumni of the 
Appalachian School of Law:  
Commonwealth's Attorney 
Gerald Arrington

Gerald D. Arrington serves as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Buchanan County, Virginia. As Commonwealth’s Attorney, he is the county’s top prosecutor and prosecutes its most important and highest profile cases, including murder, robberies, multi-count drug indictments, and crimes against children.

Gerald grew up and lives in the small community of Breaks, Virginia, near The Breaks Interstate Park, about
35 minutes from the law school campus. He lives with his wife and two sons. He graduated from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 2001, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. During his college career, he worked two jobs to help pay for his education and served as a co-captain for the college’s mock trial team.

In 2004, he graduated magna cum laude from the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. The Virginia State Bar admitted him to practice later that year. While at ASL, Gerald received a number of awards including the Book Award for the top grade earned in the Trial Advocacy, Remedies, and Virginia Practice and Procedure courses. Gerald also served as an Editor for the Appalachian Journal of Law.

After graduating from law school, Gerald began working at Hancock and Skinner, P.C. in Lebanon, Virginia, where he handled personal injury and criminal defense cases. In 2005, Gerald began his career in public service when the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Buchanan County hired him. Soon after that, he became an adjunct professor at ASL, where he taught first year students in the courses of Legal Process I & II.

In 2008, Arrington hung his shingle and formed Arrington Law Office PLC. He represented hundreds of clients facing criminal charges throughout the Commonwealth. While in private practice, judges in four different counties appointed him as a special prosecutor to represent the Commonwealth in cases ranging from theft to homicide.

On November 8, 2011, voters elected Gerald as Commonwealth’s Attorney. He resumed his career in public service in the same office in which it began.

Reflecting on his first two years in office, Arrington says that he is most proud of the results that he obtained in the cases of Commonwealth vs. Young and Commonwealth vs. Justus. In the Young case, it took the jury less than 30 minutes to return guilty verdicts and less than 10 minutes to recommend a life sentence for the 2011 murder of a Hurley, Virginia man in what began as a long running legal dispute over property.
In Justus, the jury recommended a sentence of nearly 9 years in prison in the attempted cover up of the murder that Young had committed.

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