A Guide to the Justice Roscoe Stephenson Papers, 1865; 1904-2011 (bulk 1981-2010) Stephenson, Justice Roscoe, papers 00028356

A Guide to the Justice Roscoe Stephenson Papers, 1865; 1904-2011 (bulk 1981-2010)

A Collection in the
Supreme Court of Virginia Archives, Virginia State Law Library
Accession Number 00028356


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© 2012 By The Virginia State Law Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Nicole Kappatos in 2011 and 2012.

Repository
Supreme Court of Virginia Archives, Virginia State Law Library
Accession Number
000028356
Title
Justice Roscoe previous hitStephenson next hit previous hitPapers next hit 1865; 1904-2011 (bulk 1981-2010)
Physical Characteristics
43.2 cu. ft. (96 boxes)
Creator
previous hitStephenson next hit, Roscoe Bolar, 1922-2011
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Access to confidential correspondence and judicial conference notes restricted until June 1, 2031.

Use Restrictions

Because the library is not open to the general public, researchers should contact the library to arrange access to the collection.

Preferred Citation

Justice Roscoe previous hitStephenson next hit previous hitPapers next hit, 1865; 1904-2011 (bulk 1981-2010), Accession #00028356, Supreme Court of Virginia Archives, Virginia State Law Library, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

These previous hitpapers next hit were transferred to the Supreme Court of Virginia Archives from Justice previous hitStephenson's next hit chambers in Covington, Virginia, in April 2011.

Biographical Information

Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, Jr., was appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1981 and reappointed in 1993. He retired in 1997 and served as senior justice until December 2010. previous hitStephenson next hit died on May 30, 2011, in Covington, Virginia.

previous hitStephenson next hit was born in Covington, Va., on February 22, 1922. He was awarded a B.A. degree from Washington and Lee University in 1943 and a J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1947. previous hitStephenson next hit then returned to Covington and practiced law there in partnership with his father, Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, Sr. From 1952 to 1964, he was Commonwealth's Attorney for Alleghany County. He returned to private practice in Covington in 1964 and continued until 1973, when he became circuit court judge for the 25th Judicial Circuit of Virginia, a position he held until he became a justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1981.

As a Supreme Court of Virginia justice, previous hitStephenson next hit wrote decisions upholding the cap on awards on medical malpractice cases and affirming the use of DNA evidence in the case of Timothy W. Spencer in 1989. The Spencer case was the first case in which an individual was sentenced to death based largely on DNA evidence.

Roscoe B. Stehenson, Sr. (1884-1965) was born at Mountain View farm in Bath County (now Highland County). After earning a law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1909, he moved to Covington, in part because he had an uncle, George A. Revercomb, Sr., who had a law practice there, and began practicing law. previous hitStephenson next hit served as mayor of Covington and Alleghany county Commonwealth's Attorney. He was a Deacon and an Elder at First Presbyterian Church (Covington, Va.) He was an active member of the Virginia State Bar Association and his clients included civil and criminal cases.

Oscar Adam previous hitStephenson next hit (1845-1917) was born at Mountain View farm in Bath County (now Highland County). He served in McCausland's Brigade (Brigadier General John McCausland, Jr.) in the Civil War, and was discharged from the Army of the Shenandoah in May 1865.

Scope and Content

The previous hitStephenson next hit previous hitpapers next hit are comprised mostly of Justice previous hitStephenson's next hit case files and opinions, correspondence, and other previous hitpapers next hit documenting his tenure as a justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia, 1981-2010. The previous hitpapers next hit also include correspondence and opinions, 1973-1978, documenting his work as a judge on the 25th judicial circuit in Alleghany County, as well as personal previous hitpapers next hit, 1954-2011, circa. The collection also contains personal and professional previous hitpapers next hit of Justice previous hitStephenson's next hit father, Roscoe previous hitStephenson next hit, Sr., 1904-1929; and the military discharge record of his grandfather, Oscar Adam previous hitStephenson next hit, 1865.

Justice previous hitStephenson's next hit Supreme Court of Virginia case files, 1981-2010, are notes, research, opinions, and drafts of opinions he wrote while serving on the court. These previous hitpapers next hit also contain judicial correspondence, speeches, meeting and program materials, and mementos documenting his service on the court.

Justice previous hitStephenson's next hit personal previous hitpapers next hit, 1954-2011, contain personal correspondence, 1954-2011; letters pertaining to fundraising for Washington and Lee University, and records of his service to the Museum of Frontier American Culture and the John Marshall Foundation. The previous hitpapers next hit also include letters with extended family, letters about personal interests, such as golf and the 50th reunion of the Covington High School class of 1943. The previous hitpapers next hit include a few photographs, including a photograph of Roscoe previous hitStephenson next hit, Sr. speaking at the Catawba Sanatorium in 1917 and photographs of the Covington High School Class of 1943 fiftieth reunion.

The Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, Sr. previous hitpapers next hit, 1904-1929, are comprised mostly of letters documenting his law practice in Covington, Va., much of it involving the collection of debts from local businesses. The previous hitpapers next hit also contain letters pertaining to previous hitStephenson's next hit interest in state politics and his relationships with political figures in Virginia. They include letters to elected officials advocating for candidates, particularly the candidacy of his uncle, George A. Revercomb. A few letters contain comments on political issues, such as a letter to Delegate Hugh High about legislation White proposed to regulate pollution in the James river, 1914. Correspondents include John Garland Pollard, candidate for Attorney General and member of the Virginia Progressive Democratic League, 1913-1914; Delegate John W. previous hitStephenson next hit (Roscoe previous hitStephenson next hit Sr.'s uncle), 1914-1918, 1924; St. George Tucker, Lexington, 1914; Congressman H.D. Flood, 1916; Aubrey E. Strode, 1914; Justice Louis Spencer Epes, 1917-1918; Governor Westmoreland Davis, 1918; Senator W.A. Rinehart, and Abram P. Staples, 1924. Letters also document previous hitStephenson's next hit campaign for Alleghany County Commonwealth's Attorney, 1915 (including annotated Alleghany county voter lists, 1904, circa).

The Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, Sr. previous hitpapers next hit also contain correspondence with previous hitStephenson next hit family members in Bath and Highland counties and West Virginia; letters pertaining to investments in mining and timber operations; letters with Washington and Lee classmates and fraternity brothers; and letters pertaining to the time he spent in Catawba sanatorium in Roanoke County and his efforts to lobby for increased funding for tuberculosis patients. The previous hitpapers next hit also include a few items pertaining to previous hitStephenson's next hit work with the Alleghany County draft board during World War I and requests for pardons for convicted individuals when he was Alleghany County Commonwealth's Attorney.

Separated Material

previous hitPapers next hit documenting Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson Sr.'s work as a deacon and elder at the First Presbyterian Church (Covington, Va.), 1920-1935, circa, were transferred to the First Presbyterian Church in 2011.


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • previous hitStephenson next hit, Oscar Adam, 1845-1917.
  • previous hitStephenson next hit, Roscoe Bolar, 1884-1965.
  • previous hitStephenson next hit, Roscoe Bolar, 1922-2011.
  • Corporate Names:

  • Alleghany County (Va.) Commonwealth's Attorney.
  • Catawba Sanatorium (Roanoke County, Va.)
  • Covington High School Alumni Association (Covington, Va.)
  • Museum of American Frontier Culture Foundation Board of Directors (Staunton, Va.)
  • Virginia 25th Judicial Circuit.
  • Virginia. Supreme Court.
  • Washington and Lee University Alumni Association (Lexington, Va.).
  • Subjects:

  • DNA fingerprinting -- Virginia.
  • Judges -- Virginia.
  • Judicial opinions -- Virginia.
  • Physicians' malpractice insurance -- Virginia -- Cost control.
  • Tuberculosis -- hospitals -- Virginia.
  • Virginia -- politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Geographic subjects:

  • Alleghany County (Va.) -- History -- World War, 1914-1918.
  • Form/Genre:

  • Audiocassettes -- Virginia -- Richmond.
  • Clippings (information artifacts) -- Virginia -- Richmond.
  • Judicial records -- Virginia.
  • Lawyers -- Virginia -- Covington.
  • Legal correspondence -- Virginia.
  • Personal correspondence -- Virginia.
  • Photographs -- Virginia.
  • Souvenirs -- Virginia.
  • Video recordings -- Virginia -- Lexington.
  • Voters' lists -- Virginia -- Alleghany County.

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Bibliography

George A. Revercomb, Jr., "In Memoriam, Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, 1884-1965," Virginia State Bar Association Reports, 1966 (v. LXXVII) (Richmond, Va.: Lewis Printing Company, Printers, 1967),192-193.

Other Finding Aid

A box and folder list is available at the repository.


Other Finding Aid

A box and folder list is available at the repository.


Bibliography

George A. Revercomb, Jr., "In Memoriam, Roscoe B. previous hitStephenson next hit, 1884-1965," Virginia State Bar Association Reports, 1966 (v. LXXVII) (Richmond, Va.: Lewis Printing Company, Printers, 1967),192-193.