November 2019

Dear Georgia Courts Journal Readers:

A big thanks goes out to all the judges who are also veterans who answered our questions and sent us pictures.  We profiled a number of you on social media, and reposted the Council of Probate Court Judges profiles.  We have a summary of our posts here.   The JC/AOC is now preparing for a Judicial Council Meeting on December 6 and we’d love to work with you to sponsor some local Bill of Rights Day (December 15) events.   Please write to if you are interested in reading a book to kindergarteners, holding court in an 8th grade class, giving a talk in a high school, or any idea that you have.  We can work to set it up with you as we have partnered this year with Georgia’s Department of Education, and we have funds budgeted to support events.

The move to the new judicial building is on everyone’s mind as we approach the last days in the “old” judicial building for the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.  The Chief Justice gave a reflective interview to WABE recently about the history of the building and its people as the historic move day is near.  The Supreme Court held a ceremony for the last day of oral arguments in the current building and the Court of Appeals recently posted a picture of their last Banc meeting in their soon-to-be former offices.

Ga. Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton Reflects On Final Session In Current Building with WABE
The almost ready Nathan Deal Judicial Center

Chief Justice Melton spoke in Rome, GA at a HUD-sponsored EnVision Center opening.  Justice Boggs presented a “Commitment to Justice” award to former Governor Nathan Deal.  Presiding Justice Nahmias gave opening remarks at the 3rd annual Child Welfare Summit which @J4C_law co-sponsors along with the Office of the Child Advocate and the Division of Family and Children Services.  Over 650 registrants were in attendance and multiple Juvenile Court Judges presented.  Judge Michael Key wrote an article about “Family Time” with a specific story about children in foster care with incarcerated parents, including pictures of the new visitation room created by the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.  A ceremony celebrating National Adoption Day took place at the Fulton County Juvenile Court on November 23 and we captured the uplifting remarks by Judge Morris who told her own personal story of fostering a child to adoption.

Sheriff Woodruff, Judge Key and staff having a small ceremony to open the new room that allows children to have family time with their parent/s.

November 23 Adoption Day photos from Fulton County Juvenile Court courtesy of Judge Cassandra Kirk

Justice Charlie Bethel recently had an important message about ethics for students of Dalton State College. The Business Court has 8 new commissioners to help create the procedural rules for the newly-created court.  Cherokee County Probate Court Judge Keith Wood recently joined Judges Padgett and Kell for three episodes of their Good Judge-ment podcast.  Dekalb County recently held a People’s Law School graduation.  Athens held a Pop Up Legal Clinic with Judge McMillian as a visitor.  Judge Reese shared advice during the mass swearing-in at GSU, “Reach back, encourage, help someone, give them an opportunity, give them a chance.”

New Commissioners for Georgia’s Business Court

Chief Judge Penny Haas Freesemann gave an interview to the Daily Report.  The Judicial Council’s Judicial Workload Assessment, Strategic Plan, Sexual Harassment Prevention, Technology and Legislative Committees met this month.  Christopher Hansard and Tracy BeMent taught an Institute for Court Management (ICM) class.  Court of Appeals Judge Christian Coomer visited with us at our monthly staff meeting and Judge McCord dropped by to give Cynthia Clanton a well-deserved service award.  We have an addition, Juvenile Court Judge Lisa Jones, to our “Meet the Members of the Judicial Council” video series.  Finally, don’t forget to nominate a judge or a lawyer for the Community Service Awards.

Judge Christian Coomer speaking at the JC/AOC staff mtg.

Tracy J. BeMent and Christopher Hansard teaching an ICM class.

May you all have a peaceful Thanksgiving break and talk to you in December.

Your JC/AOC Courts Journal newsletter team:  Michelle Barclay, Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez, Bruce Shaw and our occasional editor, Patricia Buonodono.


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