Press Release Date
[Richmond, VA]- On March 3, 2018, Commissioner Robert A. Rapaport and Deputy Commissioner Deborah Wood Blevins will be inducted as Fellows of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (CWCL). The induction will take place at the Westin Nashville Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee following the 2018 Workers’ Compensation Midwinter Meeting and CWCL Symposium. Rapaport and Blevins will join the Commission’s previous College inductees Chairman Wesley G. Marshall, Commissioner R. Ferrell Newman, the late Commissioner Roger L. Williams, Chief Deputy Commissioner James J. Szablewicz and Deputy Commissioner D. Edward Wise, Jr.
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. Rapaport and Blevins’ 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.
Commissioner Rapaport is a 1976 graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1979 from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Rapaport was in private practice for 35 years with a heavy concentration in workers’ compensation. He was appointed to the Commission in February 2017, by the Virginia General Assembly.
Deputy Commissioner Blevins is a 1980 graduate from Swarthmore College and earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1983 from the University Of Virginia School Of Law. Prior to joining the Commission, Blevins was a partner in Gilmer, Sadler, Ingram, Sutherland, & Hutton, LLP in Pulaski, Virginia. Blevins is the Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department and was hired by the Commission in 2004.
Individuals inducted in to 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."