Barnard F. Jennings

The Honorable Barnard Fulton "Barney" Jennings (August 2, 1925 – September 24, 2016) was Chief Judge of the Fairfax Circuit Court from 1975 to 1987.

A native of Johnson City, Tennessee, Jennings took his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, and his Bachelor of Laws from George Washington University. He began practicing law in Fairfax in 1950.[1] He served as an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney from 1952 to 1955, when he left to enter private practice with the firm of Alexander, Kelly and Jennings.[1][2]

Jennings was appointed as a member of the Fairfax Town Council by Mayor John C. Wood in 1960, replacing Carter H. Hites, and served until 1962.[1][3]

In anticipation of the creation of a fifth seat on the Sixteenth Circuit, the Fairfax Bar Association endorsed Jennings for the bench on March 2, 1964.[1] Jennings was elected to the bench on March 6.[4][5]

In 1973, Jennings was re-elected to another eight year term.[6]Two years later, Judge Jennings became Chief Judge in 1975.[7]

Judge Jennings' courtroom conduct was disliked by some attorneys: so much so that in 1977 a bill was introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates that would have made it easier for lawyers to switch their cases to another judge.[6] Specific complaints leveled against Judge Jennings included accusations that he was rude and did not like women attorneys or litigants, and that he rushed trials.[6]

After 23 years on the bench, Jennings announced his retirement on October 7, 1987, and stepped down on December 31.[7]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Bar Backs Jennings for Judge." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): B2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Mar 03 1964. Web. 29 June 2012.
  2. "Assistant Prosecutor for Fairfax Named." The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959): 26. Aug 02 1955. ProQuest. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
  3. "Fairfax Town Official Resigns." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): 1. Feb 24 1960. ProQuest. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
  4. Chapman, William. "Senate Adds $400,000 to Va. Budget." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): 2. Mar 07 1964. ProQuest. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
  5. Edwards, Paul G. "Va. Bench, Assembly Ties Bared." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): A1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Jan 05 1976. Web. 29 June 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Edwards, Paul G., and Caryle Murphy. "Va. Court Bill Aimed At Fairfax Judge." The Washington Post. WP Company, 03 Feb. 1977. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Davis, Patricia. "Fairfax Chief Judge to Retire from Court that He Streamlined." The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext): b.01. National Newspapers Core. Oct 08 1987. Web. 29 June 2012.
  8. "Fairfax Judicial Center Renamed." The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext): c.04. National Newspapers Core. Feb 13 1988. Web. 29 June 2012.