Lewis H. Griffith

The Honorable Lewis Hall "Lew" Griffith (d. December 4, 1998) was a judge on the Fairfax Circuit Court from 1979 to 1990 and chief judge from 1987 to 1990.

Early life and education

Griffith was born in Purcellville and grew up in Arlington. He graduated from American University in 1954 and from its law school in 1962.[1]


From 1962 to 1967 Lewis practiced law at the firm of Russell, Hulvey and Griffith, and from 1967 to 1974 at the firm of Griffith, Davis and Chopp.[1] While at the latter firm, Griffith served as a substitute judge on the General District Court, and was elected as a full time judge of that court in July 1974.[1]

In 1979, Judge Griffith took the seat on the Circuit Court made available by the retirement of Judge James Keith.[1]

Griffith was elected chief judge by his colleagues on the bench on November 4, 1987.[2]

During his term as chief judge, Griffith got into a pissing contest with Clerk of the Court Warren E. Barry over who was in charge of the judges' staffs, with Barry threatening to sue both Judge Griffith and Fairfax County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert for usurping his constitutional authority.[3] In response, the county created the Judicial Operations department.[4]

Tired of the bullshit, on May 23, 1990, Griffith announced he would retire effective October 1.[4]


Griffith was thrice married, and had two children by his first marriage and three children by his third.[5] He died of a heart attack at his home in Reston on December 4, 1998.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Selden, Ina Lee. ". . . to Griffith." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 2. Apr 05 1979. ProQuest. Web. 7 Mar. 2016 .
  2. Davis, Patricia. "Lewis Griffith Named Chief Judge of Fairfax Circuit Court." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 5 Nov. 1987. Web. 07 Mar. 2016.
  3. Davis, Patricia, and John Ward Anderson. "In Fairfax, Disorder in the Court; Chief Circuit Judge, Clerk Wage Turf War." The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext): d01. Mar 13 1989. ProQuest. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Brown, DeNeen L. "Fairfax Circuit Court Chief to Step Down."Washington Post. The Washington Post, 24 May 1990. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "LEWIS HALL GRIFFITH, FAIRFAX COUNTY JUDGE, DIES AT 68." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 6 Dec. 1998. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.

External links

Preceded by
Barnard F. Jennings
Chief Judge of the Fairfax County Circuit Court
1987 – 1990
Succeeded by
Richard J. Jamborsky