October 2023

Happy Halloween Eve, Courts Journal Readers:

This time of year, many Georgia court councils hold conferences, including: the Council of State Court Judges, the Council of Magistrate Court Judges, and the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and we love receiving your pictures and helping to share your news.  AOC Director Cynthia Clanton was a speaker at the Council of State Court Judges Conference, and she had a treasure trove of great pictures and history to share upon her return. The Georgia Council of Court Administrators also held a conference recently featuring wonderful presentations from judges and clerks on various topics including the newly-adopted Rules for the Use of Interpreters for Non-English Speaking and Hearing Impaired Persons that will go into effect on January 1, 2024, and we thank GCCA for the well-deserved recognition for our hardworking ARPA Team for their continued service to Georgia’s courts. The Judicial Council/AOC’s Ben Luke accepted that award on behalf of the ARPA Team from GCCA President LaNora Hawkins-Ponzo.   We continued our yearlong 50th anniversary celebration with a Habitat for Humanity service event in Cobb County. Thank you to our 2023 Judicial Fellow, retired Judge Tain Kell, for making this event happen and for recruiting your fellow Cobb County Judges to join us.  It was a day well spent installing insulation and installing siding on two new homes.

JC/AOC’s ARPA Team received recognition from GCCA. Pictured above, Ben Luke accepted the award on their behalf from GCCA President LaNora Hawkins-Ponzo.

We recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 – 10/15) with a collage of our Georgia Judges.  We have added video interviews to our “Meet the Members of the Judicial Council” page–Upson County Probate Court Judge and Council of Probate Court Judges President Danielle McRae and Cobb County Superior Court Vice Chief Judge Ann Harris.  We enjoyed the “Difference Makers” video interview of Justice Carla Wong McMillian and the speech made by Justice Verda Colvin at the GLSP Pro Bono Conference.  The Committee on Justice for Children offered an engaging trial skills training for advocates in Juvenile Court proceedings. Well done Middle Justice Georgia for your well attended 5th Annual A Taste for Justice event and to Chief Judge Murphy and his Cobb County colleagues for your much needed Legal Pop-Up Clinic.  Over 50 court reporters gathered to learn from speakers and seasoned court reporters during our 2023 Learning Essentials About Professionalism (LEAP).  That training is designed to educate court reporters on the rules and regulations of court reporting in Georgia.

Vice Chief Judge Ann B. Harris, Cobb Judicial Circuit, President-Elect of the Council of Superior Court Judges.
Judge Danielle McRae, Probate Court of Upson County, President of the Council Probate Court Judges.
Middle Georgia Justice held its 5th Annual Taste for Justice event.
The Cobb Magistrate Court participated in an impressively collaborative Pop-up Legal Clinic in Mableton.

The Supreme Court of Georgia held oral arguments in Waycross this month.  Be sure to check out the Council of Accountability Court Judges’ October newsletter, which summarizes its very successful September conference and extends a special congratulations to Judge Rhathelia Stroud of the DeKalb County Misdemeanor Mental Health Court who received the 2023 Judge Stephen S. Goss Award. Congratulations also to Judge Maureen Wood who received the Innovative Leadership Award at the Georgia Conference for Children and Families, Supreme Court Clerk and Court Executive Therese “Tee” Barnes who honored by the St. Thomas More Society of Atlanta following the annual Red Mass and Judge Alvin Wong who received not just one, but two awards from the Council of State Court Judges. We enjoyed this podcast interview with Judge Stephen Knights, Jr., and the Good Judge-ment podcast has two October episodes: Ep. 128: Accusations in Traffic Citations and Ep. 129: Let’s Talk RICO with Chris Timmons.  We leave you with a reminder that nominations for the 24th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service close on Nov. 10, 2023, so please consider nominating a deserving lawyer or judge.

Call on us anytime.  Talk to you in November.

Your JC/AOC Courts Journal team:  Michelle BarclayNoelle Lagueux-AlvarezBruce Shaw, and our contractor, John Ramspott