September 2019

Dear Courts Journal reader,

Constitution Day was Sept 17th and we celebrated with a Twitter Town Hall with over 12 Georgia judges participating, including:

@CharlieBethel; @JudgeCarla @JudgeDillard@jasonbthompson @bmrickman; @JudgeLeonard; @JudgeKimChilds; @scteskelaw; @AllenWigington; @gvsapp; @LoriBDuff and @chase_daughtrey.

A lot of questions were asked and answered in one hour which you can read for yourself in this summary.  We were even trending for a minute.

JC/AOC staffer Robert Aycock once again spent some time with a Magistrate Court Judge to create a pictorial essay showing a Day in the Life of a Magistrate Court Judge, this time featuring Judge Smith of Long County. Judge Kirk hosted a mental health court graduation on 9/20/2019. Justice Boggs, Judge Amero and Judge Harris were sworn into the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission.  Judge Amero hosted a Henry County Symposium on Specialty Courts.  The JC/AOC and the Supreme Court of Georgia hosted a visiting delegation of judges and staff from the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam.  One panel from the Court of Appeals took their work on the road to Mercer this month, and another panel visited Toombs County.   We also learned about Judge Markle’s GA Appleseed appointment and his Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inn of Court keynote.

Superior Court Judges Wade Padgett and Tain Kell have started hosting a podcast titled The Good Judge-ment.  Retiring Judge Boyd participated in a different podcast to talk about his 46 year career of employment by the Fulton Juvenile Court. The 4th District Municipal Court Judges met to learn about the Bindover Process from Judge Bills and the CMCJ held a leadership meeting. The 1st District Probate Court Judges met recently to hear from Speaker Ralston and earlier in the month the CPCJ gave Legislative Recognition Awards to Judge Mike Greene, Senator Blake Tillery and Representative Chuck Efstration.

A Parental Accountability Court graduation was held by Cobb County Superior Court showing this explanatory video and featured Governor Kemp as their keynote speaker.  New members were sworn into the Board of Court Reporting this month and a Learning Essentials About Professionalism (LEAP) class had a full house. Judge Walker testified to the Georgia House Study Committee on Social Emotional Health of Infants and Toddlers about infant brain development.  The Justice for Children Committee had a meeting recently and hosted a Child Welfare Law Specialist seminar.  Members of the J4C team also attended a national Judicial Summit on child welfare. Justice Benham closed the Access to Justice meeting with a poem and Judge Morris stopped by the JC/AOC to inspire us to seek work/life balance.  We learned about the State Bar’s Wellness Program which has been generously extended to all staff of the Judicial Branch of Georgia, including non-lawyers.

Judge Gobeil spoke to Savannah lawyers about civility and Judge Hutchinson interviewed with the Fulton Daily Report.  The First Amendment Foundation announced that they will be honoring Justice Harris Hines on October 10th. The Commission on Family Violence, the Council of Accountability Court Judges and the Georgia Council of Court Administrators all held conferences in September, with the JC/AOC’s Kriste Pope receiving an award and Stephanie Hines sworn in as GCCA’s new President.  We are restoring our “Meet the Members of the Judicial Council” webpage, and kicking off with a new video of Judge LaGrua to close out this newsletter.

September Articles of Interest

A Day in the Life of a Magistrate Court Judge: Judge Bobby Smith
Meet the 2019 Judicial Council Members


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The Georgia Courts Journal is a publication of the Judicial Council of Georgia/Administrative Office of the Courts.