August 2019

Dear Georgia Courts Journal Readers:

We are grieving the death of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Goss.  Official statements from the Supreme Court and  Court of Appeals were posted as well as memorial service information

We have worked this month to get back online with a new but similar-looking platform.  We plan to replace our many Georgia judges’ stories over the next few months and get those stories back into the Google search engines, but for today we’ll just cover the stories for August.

Picture from the August 23rd Judicial Council meeting.

On August 23rd a Judicial Council meeting took place in Macon.  The meeting was live streamed and archived on our YouTube channel.  AOC Director, Cynthia Clanton, provided an oral status report with details about the AOC’s ransomware attack to the Judicial Council.  We also have a new ad hoc Judicial Council Committee to consider cybersecurity insurance going forward. A successful Legal Expungement clinic was held in Valdosta, sponsored by the Access to Justice (A2J) Committee, in partnership with local and State Bar associations, the Georgia Justice Project, the judges of the Southern Judicial Circuit and our host, the Park Ave Methodist Church.  We captured many impactful stories through interviews and posted one publicly.

AOC staffer, Robert Aycock, spent some time with Magistrate Court Judges this summer to create pictorial essays to show a Day in the Life of a Magistrate Court Judge.  This is our third “Day in the Life” story, with another to come.  We conducted an interview with new Business Court Judge Walter Davis. Congrats to Dr. Will Simmons, 6th Judicial Administrative District Court Administrator, as he was elected as President of the National Association for Court Management.  Acworth Municipal Court Chief Judge Philip Taylor has earned his doctorate degree in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada, and wrote a technical assistance publication;  Animal Cruelty Issues: What Juvenile and Family Court Judges Need to KnowCherokee County Veterans Treatment Court held its first graduation ceremony recently, and the 7th District Municipal Court Judges met in Dalton, GA to hear a DUI Case Update.

Evans County Probate Judge Darin McCoy’s court was profiled as a beacon of transparency and the Probate Court Judges of District 2 had a summer meeting to learn from the Constitutional Officers Association of GeorgiaJudge Berryl Anderson held a People’s Law School for Dekalb County. Gwinnett Juvenile Court Judge Tadia Whitner was profiled by the AJC.  Fulton Superior Court Judge Paige Reese Whitaker took questions from the Fulton Daily Report, and we learned that DeKalb State Court Judge Alvin T. Wong will be awarded a 2019 WWAAC (Who’s Who in Asian American Communities) National Spotlight Award on August 29th.

Judge Emory Palmer chaired a Low Income Deviation Study Committee meeting for the Georgia Commission on Child Support, and AOC Child Support team participated in a Parental Accountability Court kick-off with Judge Bo Adams.  The Supreme Court’s Committee on Justice for Children (J4C) team sponsored a Court Improvement Initiative (made up of 17 Juvenile Court Judges) who reviewed the new Multi-Disciplinary Child Abuse and Neglect Institute with the Chair, Judge Brad Boyd, giving a moving goodbye as this was his last meeting before retirement.  J4C staff and juvenile court judges also participated in the GA CASA conferencePaulding County Juvenile Court held a successful SafeCare mini-summit with Judge Peggy Walker as lead faculty.  The Supreme Court of Georgia welcomed visiting Mandela Washington Fellows and one Mandela Fellow from the Republic of the Congo, Magistrate Court Judge Geoffrey M’Boungou, is visiting the JC/AOC for the month of August.  Thank you to all the Georgia judges who have hosted him for a day.

JC/AOC Staffers Tracy Mason and Stephanie Hines recently graduated from the Carl Vinson Institute State Financial Management Program’s Budget and Financial Management Certification Program. We were so sad to say goodbye to Aimee Maxwell, who left us for a newly created position, but we are happy to announce that we hired attorney Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez as the Assistant Director to the JC/AOC’s Communications, Children, Families and the Courts Division.  We welcomed Noelle into our office last week.  Finally, we are holding a Twitter Town Hall to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17 from 1p to 2p with Justice BethelJudge DillardJudge DoyleJudge McMillianJudge RickmanJudge WigingtonJudge Thompson, and Judge Teske confirmed to date.  We’d love to have more judges join us in person (with lunch) or virtually, so if you use Twitter and are interested, write us!

Talk to you in September.