Teresa M. Chafin, formerly a judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals, formally joined the Virginia Supreme Court Friday in a special session of the court in Abingdon.

Chafin, a native of Lebanon, Va., took the oath of office earlier this week and her formal investiture ceremony was held Friday at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, said a spokeswoman for the court.

Chafin is a graduate of Emory and Henry College and the University of Richmond School of Law. She served as a juvenile and domestic relations court judge from 2002 to 2005 when she became a circuit court judge. In 2012 Chafin was elected a judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals.

The General Assembly elected her to the Virginia Supreme Court in February. Though the votes were unanimous in both houses, Chafin’s election included some controversy because her brother and former law partner, state Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Russell, lobbied on her behalf. Sen. Chafin did not vote when the Senate voted 36-0 to elect her. The House vote was 97-0.

Chafin, who will serve a 12-year term, fills an opening created by the retirement of Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan.

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