26th Welcomes Newest Judge

Albertson Fills Vacancy Left By Retiring Lane

Posted: June 29, 2013

Bruce Albertson (right) takes the oath from Judge T.J. Wilson to become the newest member of the 26th Judicial Circuit bench in Rockingham County Circuit Court as his son, Owen, 7, holds the Bible and wife, Laura, watches on Friday afternoon. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Bruce Albertson’s sons, Brian, 14, (left) and Kyle, 11, and Owen, 7, (not pictured) help him don his judge’s robe Friday following his swearing-in as a new member of the 26th Judicial Circuit at the Rockingham County Courthouse on Friday.
HARRISONBURG — Bruce Albertson entered a packed Rockingham County Circuit courtroom Friday afternoon as an attorney and left as the Shenandoah Valley’s newest judge.
Albertson, 43, said he’s humbled by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Bar Association’s endorsement and the opportunity to serve as the newest judge for the 26th Judicial Circuit.
“I never felt so touched or honored in my life,” said Albertson, who attended his investiture ceremony with his wife, Laura.
Albertson has been a criminal defense attorney in Harrisonburg since 2002. Before that, he served eight years as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Rockingham County.
He replaces retiring Judge James Lane, who was chosen in 2001 to replace the late Judge Porter Graves on the 26th Circuit bench, which includes circuit courts in Clarke, Frederick, Warren and Shenandoah counties and the city of Winchester. Alberston will hear cases mostly from Page and Rockingham counties.
Friday’s ceremony attracted roughly 200 people, including his family, friends, fellow attorneys, judges and elected officials.
“It’s a special moment,” said Grant Penrod, the bar association’s president.
Albertson’s friend and fellow attorney, Aaron Cook, told those in attendance that Albertson always looked out for those he represented. Whether they were court-appointed or a paying client, Cook said, Albertson always treated them the same.
“He treated them as human beings ought to be treated,” Cook said.
Judge T.J. Wilson, who has heard many cases over the last few years in which Albertson has been involved, said the General Assembly made a great pick when it decided who would succeed Lane.
“He is clearly a skilled attorney,” Wilson said. “He’s always prepared. I know he will be diligent.”
After Albertson was sworn in, his three sons, Bryan, 14, Kyle, 11, and Owen, 7, helped him put on his judge’s robe for the first time.
Albertson said he’s grateful for the opportunity.
“I promise you I’m going to earn this every day,” he told the attorneys.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com

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