Awards

In May 2019, the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University will celebrate the 22nd year of the Judicial & Legislative Reception. As part of the celebration, Dean Henry N. Butler will be awarding the 2019 Dean’s Medals.

The recipients of the 2019 medals are:

Dean’s Medal for Judicial Excellence


The Honorable Daniel S. Fiore, II
Circuit Court Judge, 17th Judicial Circuit

The Honorable Daniel S. Fiore, II is a judge for the Arlington Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Virginia. He was elected to the court by the Virginia General Assembly in 2012. Prior to his investiture as a judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit, Judge Fiore was a trial attorney for 31 years and the managing partner of a multi-member national litigation law firm. Judge Fiore previously served as President of the Arlington County Bar Association, Chairman of the Arlington County Human Rights Commission, Chairman of the Arlington County Fire Trial Board, Chairman of the Arlington County Bar Foundation, as a commissioner in chancery of 17th Judicial Circuit, and, for more than a decade, as a substitute judge of the Arlington County General District Court. Judge Fiore remains with the Arlington County Bar Foundation as a Board member. Since his election to the bench he has become a member of the Virginia Supreme Court’s Education Committee, VA Supreme Court’s Weighted Caseload Study, and the recently established VA Supreme Court Circuit Court Caseload Reporting Project that aims to develop uniform standards for caseload management throughout the Commonwealth. He has presided over the final round of the annual Jonathan Thacher Moot Court Competition, and collaborated in developing and presiding over the annual Arlington County Bar Foundation’s Professor Michael L. Davis Reality Trial CLE. In keeping with his work on Continuing Legal Education he is an annual panelist for “The Judges Speak: Civil Court Litigation Do’s and Don’ts”. For the past 10 years, Judge Fiore has been a distinguished adjunct professor of law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1981.


Dean’s Medal for Legislative Excellence

Eileen Filler-Corn
The Honorable Eileen Filler-Corn
Virginia House of Delegates

Eileen Filler-Corn has served in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 41st District, since 2010. The 41st District, located in Fairfax County, includes Burke and parts of Fairfax, Fairfax Station and West Springfield.

On January 1, 2019, she became Leader of the House Democratic Caucus. She is the first woman to lead a caucus in the 400 year history of the House of Delegates. Eileen has over two decades of experience in both the public and private sectors, working across party lines to make a difference in the lives of all Virginians.

In the House of Delegates, Eileen is a member of the Rules Committee, Finance Committee and the Commerce & Labor Committee. She currently serves on the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability, Health Insurance Reform Commission, Joint Commission on Technology and Science, Virginia Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation and the Transportation Public-Private Partnership Steering Committee. She also chairs the Advisory Council on Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) & Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). Prior to her election as Leader, she previously served as Vice Chair for Outreach of the House Democratic Caucus and the House Democratic Whip.

Outside of the Virginia General Assembly, she serves as Chair of the Board for Jobs for Virginia Graduates. In addition, she was selected to join the bipartisan Governing Institute’s Women in Government Class of 2017. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the following organizations: American Jewish Committee (AJC), Clean Air Partners, the Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI), the Fairfax County Arts Council and Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH).

Previously, Eileen served in the Administrations of Governor Mark Warner and Governor Tim Kaine, advising on state and federal relations. For over 25 years, Eileen and her husband Bob have lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, along with their children, Jeremy and Alana.


Dean’s Medal for Alumni Excellence in Pro Bono Legal Services

Chidi James
Chidi I. James
Principal, Blankingship & Keith, P.C.

Attorney CHIDI I. JAMES is an AV rated attorney and a partner with the law firm of Blankingship & Keith, P.C. in Fairfax Virginia. His practice consists mostly of serious personal injury cases including wrongful death, products liability, and inadequate security cases. For the year 2013, his practice group had five cases reported in Virginia’s Lawyers’ Weekly annual list of verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million.

Mr. James joined Blankingship & Keith as an associate in 2003, after serving as a Judicial Law Clerk to the judges of the Arlington County Circuit Court and completing the Judge Advocate General School Course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He also currently serves in the armed forces as the Staff Judge Advocate for the District of Columbia Air National Guard’s 113th Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Mr. James holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Texas A&M (1997) in Sociology and a Juris Doctorate from the George Mason University School of Law (2001). As a law student, Mr. James was the founding member of the George Mason University Trial Advocacy Association, where he continued to serve as Trial Team coach for many years.


Dean’s Medal for Judicial Excellence and Teaching


The Honorable Jonathan C. Thacher
Retired Judge, Fairfax Circuit Court, 19th Judicial Circuit

JUDGE JONATHAN C. THACHER is a distinguished adjunct professor of law. He was appointed to the Fairfax Circuit Court in 1998.

Judge Thacher served as a substitute judge in General District Court from 1986 until his election to the General District Court Bench in 1994. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Thacher’s prior careers include a US Army Captain, Special Agent Naval Investigative Service, Minority Counsel to Senator Robert Dole (work pertaining to the Senate Judiciary Sub Committee Investigating Individuals with Interests in Libya), and a partner in the law firm of Thacher, Swiger & Cay in Fairfax.

Judge Thacher received his BA from University of Miami and his JD from Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, with distinction, in 1980.