Recovered from COVID-19, Judge Melanie Bell’s Message Resonates with Cautious Hope

by Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez Judge Melanie Bell has recovered from COVID-19 and has a message of hope and vigilance for everyone.  Judge Bell was elected to office in 2016 and took the bench as Newton County’s Probate Court Judge and Chief Magistrate Court Judge in January 2017.   Never did she imagine that a pandemic would affect … Continue reading Recovered from COVID-19, Judge Melanie Bell’s Message Resonates with Cautious Hope

Chief and Presiding Justice Host Three Virtual Town Halls for Judges, Clerks

by Cheryl Karounos During the April 24 teleconference meeting of the Judicial Council, Chief Justice Melton made an offer to hold a virtual town hall meeting with any of the member councils that would be interested. Three councils took him up on that offer. On May 5, Chief Justice Melton and Presiding Justice Nahmias held … Continue reading Chief and Presiding Justice Host Three Virtual Town Halls for Judges, Clerks

Interview with Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk and Director of Administration and Court Support Services Timothy Ezell for Fulton’s Magistrate Court.

Judge Cassandra KirkTimothy Ezell Edited and condensed for clarity. Michelle Barclay:  Your court has created a text notification system for civil cases.  Judge Kirk, please tell us a little bit about how that got started.  Judge Kirk:  We have been looking at doing something like this for 2 years in our small claims court. Our … Continue reading Interview with Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk and Director of Administration and Court Support Services Timothy Ezell for Fulton’s Magistrate Court.

Interview with Judge Ryan Hope, Athens Clarke County Municipal Court Judge.

Judge Ryan Hope, Athens Clarke County Municipal Court Judge Edited and condensed for clarity. Michelle Barclay:  Judge Hope, tell us a little bit about your text notification program.  Is that the right title? Judge Hope:  That title is close enough, we also call it a court reminder system or automated court reminders.  At some point, … Continue reading Interview with Judge Ryan Hope, Athens Clarke County Municipal Court Judge.

Thoughts on Social Media for Judges

by Keia Evans  I have been working at the AOC for a few months now as their part-time "reporter on the ground" which has allowed me to see so many of you holding events of all sorts in service to your community. I have attended events such as Fulton County’s Adoption Day in November 2019; traveled to Thomson Elementary School to cover the … Continue reading Thoughts on Social Media for Judges

Meet Christopher Hansard, Director of JC/AOC’s Judicial Services Division

by Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez We’ve been lucky to have Christopher Hansard here at the AOC for 9.5 years.  Christopher began his AOC career as a Research & Statistical Analyst.  From there, he was promoted to Research Manager and further promoted to his current role as Division Director for Judicial Services.  In his current role, Christopher oversees … Continue reading Meet Christopher Hansard, Director of JC/AOC’s Judicial Services Division

Meet JDEX Program Manager Kristy King

Just shy of two years ago, Kristy King, a self-described “non-IT person” accepted the position of JDEX Program Manager in the AOC’s IT Division. She says it’s the best leap of faith she’s ever taken. Kristy notes that she’s grown and pushed herself professionally Happy to be here. Has grown and pushed her self more in the last two years than ever before, and even more than she had anticipated. Simply stated, she’s thrilled to be here.

But I am Not Soft!

Not that you asked out loud but, yes, you can be trauma responsive and still do your job, no matter what your job might be. In early 2019, I wrote an article for Georgia’s Courts Journal entitled, Is Doing Justice Really Enough, wherein I confessed that, after thirty years on the bench, I had come to understand and accept that my charge as a judge is not just to do justice, but to do justice and promote healing; healing among those we serve, among those who serve with us, and within ourselves. Recently, I witnessed a powerful demonstration of the fulfillment of that charge from what some might believe to be an unlikely source.

The Good-Judgement Podcast

On Friday, December 13, 2019 Superior Court Judges Wade Padgett, Augusta Judicial Circuit, and Tain Kell, Cobb Judicial Circuit, were kind enough to let us sit in on a recording session of “The Good Judge-ment Podcast” in Athens, Georgia.   Judge Tain Kell (left) and Judge Wade Padgett recording an episode of "the Good Judge-ment" This particular day was … Continue reading The Good-Judgement Podcast