Judge Elder grew up on a tobacco farm in rural Southside Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University for his undergraduate education. After finishing his law degree at T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond he began a general law practice. For the next ten years he was a partner in the firm of Vergara, Elder, and Associates. During that time, he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney of Dinwiddie County for three terms and was County Attorney for Dinwiddie. Judge Elder was a member of the boards of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys and the Local Government Attorneys Association.
He served as Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, 11th Judicial District, for more than five years, serving as chief judge for a period of time. He completed more than 22 years of service as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. During his tenure there he authored hundreds of opinions. Judge Elder left the Court of Appeals in September 2013 and served briefly as a consultant in a local Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. He taught as adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and as guest lecturer for various classes.
Judge Elder is married to a retired clinical and school psychologist. He and his wife have three adult children, two of whom are attorneys and one who has worked as an elementary school teacher and physical therapy assistant. They also have one grandson. Judge Elder enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, gardening/landscaping, and skiing. He has been a life long political junkie who enjoys predicting actions and motivations of politicians regardless of philosophy or political party. You will discover that he is very social, friendly, and approachable.