Two Commission Judiciary Members Recognized for Induction Into The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Deputy Commissioner Lynne M. Ferris

[Richmond, VA]- On March 5th, 2022, the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission's Deputy Commissioner Lynne M. Ferris (pictured left) and Deputy Commissioner Jimese Pendergraft Sherrill (pictured below) were recognized for their induction as Fellows of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (CWCL).

The induction ceremony was held in New Orleans, LA following the 2022 Workers’ Compensation Annual Induction Dinner during the Mid-Winter Meeting. Deputy Commissioner Ferris was inducted into the 2020 Class of CWCL and Deputy Commissioner Sherrill was inducted into the 2021 Class of CWCL.

Deputy Commissioner Ferris is also a certified mediator and mediator mentor for the Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1988 and a Juris Doctorate from Union University at Albany Law School in 1991. Ms. Ferris has been admitted to the Virginia, New York, and Connecticut Bars. She is a former clerk for the Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in Newport News, Virginia, and was engaged in the private practice of law in Norfolk, Virginia.

Deputy Commissioner Jimese Pendergraft Sherrill

Deputy Commissioner Sherrill is also a certified mediator and mediator mentor for the Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Shippensburg University in 1984 and a Juris Doctorate from the T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, in 1987. She began her career representing claimants, but ultimately specialized in workers’ compensation defense. She also served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, where she handled personal injury, employment and workers’ compensation matters.

Ferris and Sherrill will join the Commission’s previous College inductees Chairman Robert A. Rapaport, Commissioner Wesley G. Marshall, Commissioner R. Ferrell Newman, the late Commissioner Roger L. Williams, Chief Deputy Commissioner James J. Szablewicz and Deputy Commissioners D. Edward Wise, Jr. and Deborah W. Blevins.

The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers honors attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practice in the field of workers' compensation. Members have been nominated for the outstanding traits they have developed in their practice of twenty years or longer, representing plaintiffs, defendants, serving as judges, or acting for the benefit of all in education, overseeing agencies and developing legislation. Ferris and Sherril's induction into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers is an honor for them as members of the workers’ compensation judiciary, and reflects very favorably on the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission.

Individuals inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers have proven to their peers, the bar, bench and public that they possess the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards, character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership. They have a commitment to fostering and furthering the objectives of the College and have shown significant evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing, and/or distinguished published writings on Workers’ Compensation or related fields of law.

All Fellows take the following Oath:
"By accepting your Fellowship in the College you commit yourself to life long dedication to the maintenance of the highest standards of professional conduct, and scholarly pursuits; absolute integrity with clients, opponents, colleagues and the bench; to excellence in the presentation of law and fact designed to produce to the trier of fact and the decider of law the most reasoned of result; and to a demeanor which manifests respect for the legal process and its participants."

About The Commission
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC), established in 1918, is an independent judicial and administrative state agency that oversees the workers’ compensation system for employees, employers, and insurers. VWC interprets and applies the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and resolves claims through hearings and mediation.

The Commission is led by a Senior Leadership team consisting of three Commissioners, an Executive Director and a Chief Deputy Commissioner. Commissioners are selected by the General Assembly and serve six-year terms. Honorable R. Ferrell Newman, Honorable Wesley G. Marshall and Honorable Robert A. Rapaport currently serve as Commissioners. The Commissioners elect a Chairman to serve a three-year term. Commissioner Rapaport currently serves as Chairman. Ms. Evelyn V. McGill is the Commission’s Executive Director and the Honorable James J. Szablewicz is the Commission’s Chief Deputy Commissioner.

Leading the way in electronic data and claims filing systems, in 2021 VWC processed over 34,000 claims and issued over 3,000 judicial opinions. VWC also administers the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, the Uninsured Employer’s Fund, and adjudicates claims under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, VWC operates regional offices in Bristol, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Manassas and Fairfax.


For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please email Charles Steepleton or call 877-664-2566.