McLean resident John M. Tran, a former federal and Alexandria city prosecutor, was elected early Thursday to the Fairfax County Circuit Court by the Virginia General Assembly. Tran, remarkably, will become the first Asian-American ever to serve as a judge in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Tran, 53, was born in Vietnam and immigrated to this area with his family in 1970. It is believed that he is the first Vietnamese-American judge in the Washington area.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee tried cases against Tran in private practice in Alexandria, then supervised his cases as a judge. “It’s a great day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Lee, who was a Fairfax circuit judge for six years before immigrating to the fed bench in 1998. “John’s an excellent lawyer who’s given much of his time to our community, in the bar association and in pro bono work. Today is a huge step forward for our judiciary and for fairness.”
Tran, the son of a South Vietnamese diplomat, had spent time between the United States and South Vietnam in the early 1970s, and was stranded here when Saigon fell in 1975. He lived in Arlington and graduated from Yorktown High School in 1977. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University.