October 2018

Greetings once again from the Courts Journal as we bring you news relevant to the Judicial Council of Georgia. We have heard of no major damage to courthouses as a result of Hurricane Michael. Let us know if that information is incorrect. We have learned that the State of Emergency order was extended 21 days by Governor Deal and that a legislative special session has been called to convene on November 13. We had a few folks ask @GACourts to provide real-time information about courthouse closings when events like this occur.  While we did post every notice we obtained, we are talking about how to improve this sort of notice going forward.  Ideas are welcome.

Charles Jones (“Charlie”) Bethel was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal

Since our last newsletter, we have had a new Court of Appeals Judge Christian Coomer @ChristianCoomer and a new Supreme Court Justice Charles Bethel @CharlieBethel appointed by Governor Deal and we know that there will be another judgeship opening on the Court of Appeals.  Justice Bethel was sworn in on October 2 and Judge Coomer will be sworn in on October 31.

Situated in Georgia’s Coastal Plain, McIntosh County’s Courthouse entrance is surrounded by palm trees.

A number of court councils hosted conferences recently including the Council of Accountability Court judgesthe Magistrate Court Judges; the State Court Judges; the Probate Court Judges; the Juvenile Court Judges; and the Municipal Court Judges.  Michelle Barclay visited State Court Judge Jean Bolin’s court in Darien, Georgia recently to observe the Stop the Cycle program which resulted in pictures and a short interview.

Justice Clarence Thomas celebrates the dedication of the Newton County Judicial Center.

The Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution & the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution celebrated 25 years of providing Georgians with alternatives to traditional litigation. To help mark this milestone, a recent continuing education event was held at UGA’s School of Law.   The Judicial Council Ad Hoc Committee on Criminal Justice Reform continues to meet to work on the implementation of  SB 407 (2018).

A lecture titled Overcoming Volume and Procedural Fairness by Judge Kevin S. Burk, @judgeksb, was hosted by Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk of the Fulton County Magistrate Court and the class archived here.

On October 19, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visited Georgia to celebrate the dedication of the Newton County Judicial Center which was hosted by the Commissioners and Judges of Alcovy Judicial Circuit. 

In international news, judges from the state of Georgia once again hosted visiting judges from the Republic of Georgia and the AOC said goodbye to a visiting fellow from Ethiopia who penned her reflections for us.

Patricia Buonodono (on the right in both photos) is returning to private practice

A new tip came to us from multiple people to listen to the podcast Serial, which is documenting a year in the Cleveland Court System and creating a recent buzz within the Conference of Court Public Information Officers (yes, that is a thing).

Finally, we said goodbye to a member of our newsletter writing team, Patricia Buonodono.  She has returned to private practice with a firm that recruited her. However, she is going to help us out via contract for a while.  We’ll be welcoming a new attorney to our staff, Aimee Maxwell, on November 1, which is good because we need some fresh eyes to read the final draft of the JC/AOC annual report which many of you have been pulled in for review.  

Talk to you in November. 

Your JC/AOC Courts Journal newsletter team:  Michelle Barclay, Patricia Buonodono and Bruce Shaw.