October 2019

Dear Georgia Courts Journal Readers:

For our November issue, we are collecting stories about judges who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces to feature in November for Veterans Day, as well as good stories from Veterans Courts.  Please help us by sending a brief description of your military service or your Veterans Court story to Noelle.Lagueux-Alvarez@georgiacourts.gov

In the meantime, your October issue is here and we open with a day in the life of Judge Bobby Harrison Smith.  The JC/AOC research team has a message about this year’s caseload reporting efforts and a new bench card. We also have been listening to The Good Judge-ment Podcast and the episode with Judge Sizemore is a keeper–three things he tells new judges (1) always remember that you were once a lawyer and what it was like to earn a living practicing law (2) when in doubt, choose mercy and (3) just rule!   We have a short interview with attorney April Ross, the new Georgia Commission on Family Violence Executive Director, who is inspiring.   We also made some videos of the Henry County Specialty Court Symposium which was also pretty inspiring.

April Ross (second from the left) at the GCFV Annual Conference.

Chief Justice Melton giving the keynote speech at the Henry County Symposium on Specialty Courts.

We have learned that with these links to Twitter posts you often have to refresh the page to see the posts, so try that if at first you do not succeed.  We learned that Chief Judge McFadden has given a number of talks this month and Judge Thompson hosted a Little Red Riding Hood trial in an elementary school Judge Leonard shared some insights from a book about President John Adams.  A panel from the Georgia Court of Appeals hit the road again.  Judge Doyle will be honored by Girl Talk Inc and Vice Chief Judge McMillian was the keynote speaker at the International Day of the Girl Celebration.  Justice Boggs has given a few talks about criminal justice reform.  We saw a judicial swearing-in ceremony in South Fulton with Justice Benham presiding (also one of the honorees in the Red Mass Ceremony).  The late Chief Justice Hines was honored by the First Amendment Foundation and one of the attendees posted video of the ceremony. The CACJ posted some pictures from their recent conference of the 2020 to 2023 Model Drug Court teams.

Chief Judge Christopher McFadden teaching a class on appellate practice.

Fulton County Community Court judicial swearing -in ceremony

For #MentalHealthAwareness week this month, we promoted testimony by Judge Walker in front of the Georgia House Study Committee on Social Emotional Health of Infants and Toddlers and the full videos of the Judicial Work at the Interface of the Mental Health and Criminal Justice System training program from May 2019.   Judge Sumner attended the Early Childhood Mini-Summit in Douglas County.  We were reminded of this great article about the inner workings of the Court of AppealsJudge Lisa Lott gave an interview about being a Superior Court Judge in the Western Circuit and the Athens-Clarke Teen Court was profiled. The CMuniCJ has a new FB and Twitter account.

The Judicial Work at the Interface of the Mental Health and Criminal Justice System Seminar.

Judge John Sumner at the Early Childhood Mini-Summit in Douglas County.

JC/AOC staffers participated in a Pro Bono and Court Help Conference at the invitation of the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Legal Services Program.  JC/AOC staffer, Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez, spent a day with teachers attending the Georgia Council of Social Studies Conference to discuss further engaging the judicial branch in civics education at the local level. The Child Support Commission got a new member and that Commission’s staff recently taught a class in Savannah.  A2J staff spoke about that Committee’s work at the Tifton Bar Association.  We made some new Georgia Court System posters and brochures to give to teachers.  Let us know if you want some. Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson visited the AOC and imparted her wisdom.

Georgia’s Court System Posters

Basic Rules of Court Conduct Brochure

JC/AOC Asst. Div. Dir. Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez met the Bill from School House Rock

Finally, many of the state’s Court Councils had conferences this month, including State (where Judge Fowler received an award), JuvenileProbateMagistrate and Municipal Court Judges.  We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Judge Brinson

Talk to you in November.

October Articles of Interest

Henry County Specialty Court Symposium

New Director to Lead State Commission on Family Violence

Caseload Reporting


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