Judges Coleman and Horan Invested to PWC General District Court

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Provided by Prince William County Bar Association

The Prince William County Bar Association recently sponsored the investitures of the Honorable Robert P. Coleman and the Honorable Angela Lemmon Horan to the General District Court for the Thirty-First Judicial District.

The Honorable Robert P. Coleman and the Honorable Angela Lemmon Horan

The Honorable Robert P. Coleman and the Honorable Angela Lemmon Horan

Judge Coleman was introduced by Bill Stephens who spoke of his passion in all endeavors. Stephens said that, “Bob’s passion for the legal profession is second only to his faith and family”, and added, “Then there’s cycling.” It is well known that Bob Coleman lives and breathes the sport. He has attended the Tour de France, riding ahead of the tour, and loves vacationing in the Colorado Rockies, where he bikes for relaxation. Coleman’s “hard work ethic and attention to detail” are evident in every aspect of his life and will serve him well as a General District Court Judge.

Coleman graduated from the University Of Dayton School Of Law in 1995, where he served on Law Review and met his wife, Joan. He worked for Ryland & Merchak initially and joined Stephens Boatwright in 1998, becoming a partner in 2004. Through his career, he received numerous awards from the PWC Bar Association in recognition of his legal advocacy skills. He was appointed as a substitute judge in 2013, and was appointed to the PWC GDC Bench on July 1, 2015 for a term of six years. The Honorable Rossie D. Alston, Jr. of the Court of Appeals of Virginia administered his oath of office.

In his opening remarks, Judge Coleman thanked Bill Stephens for his “friendship, mentorship and fatherly guidance all these years.” He also noted that Bill taught him and “is living proof that a healthy body produces a healthy mind.” Coleman commented that during his 19 years in practice, he had the “distinct pleasure and good fortune to attend almost a dozen investitures” adding that he “never imagined that one day, he would join his esteemed colleagues.” He thanked the Delegates of the General Assembly for their “trust and for the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia”, promising to be “accountable to his colleagues, to the community and to the rule of law.” In closing, Judge Coleman quoted Albert Einstein, “In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large or small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.”

Judge Horan was introduced by The Honorable Scott Bailey, who was a classmate of hers at the College Of William and Mary and later, the Marshall Wythe School of Law. He commented on their collaboration in college via a play she wrote in which he acted, indicating that “from that point on Angela and I became friends and colleagues.” Judge Bailey recounted their early years in practice when they would gather after work with others to share daily anecdotes, and credited those impromptu meetings with helping to nurture the collegiality our Bar enjoys today. He also noted that she has earned the admiration of every agency she represented while at the County Attorney’s Office because of her “dedicated attention to detail.”

Judge Horan’s first job after law school was as the one and only clerk to the Circuit Court Judges in PWC: Judges Percy Thornton, Frank Hoss, Herman Whisenant and Selwyn Smith. She joined the County Attorney’s office in 1986 and worked through the ranks, serving as Deputy County Attorney for four years before becoming the County Attorney in 2009. Judge Bailey noted that “during that time she gained the respect of those in this bar, this courthouse, and the federal system across the state; she’s been recognized by the Local Government Attorney Association, by the Influential Women of the Year; she’s done it all. And throughout that, she has remained unfailingly our friend and our colleague.” Judge Horan was appointed to the PWC GDC Bench on July 1, 2015 for a term of six years. The Honorable Mary Grace O’Brien of the Court of Appeals of Virginia administered her oath of office.

In her opening remarks, Judge Horan thanked everyone for giving up a “Friday in the summer” to celebrate with her and Judge Coleman. She thanked the Prince William Delegation to the General Assembly for their confidence in her and added that “Senator Colgan is perhaps the best public servant I’ve ever seen.

This community is going to feel the benefit of his work for many years to come and I hope that both he and his example will be remembered long after that.” She also thanked Delegate Miller, noting that his “active support and encouragement are the reason I am putting on the robe today, and I’m very grateful.”

Judge Horan grew up just two blocks away from the PWC Judicial Center with five brothers and sisters and credits her parents with teaching them “to work hard, to be fair and considerate to other people, but to always do [their]own thinking.” Her entire career has been in the employ of the county government.

Today, she was generous with praise for the excellent examples set by the judges she clerked for; the intellect, integrity and personal accountability modeled by the county attorneys who mentored her; and the professionalism that extends across county government, noting “that this community is served well”. Judge Horan concluded her remarks by thanking the Bar Association for their support, promising to work “very hard to do a good job.”


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