Greetings Courts Journal Readers:
The Judicial Council of Georgia met for a General Session on August 12th with Chief Justice Michael Boggs chairing an efficient meeting at the Sloppy Floyd Building in Atlanta, which allowed us to get an updated picture of the Judicial Council during a relatively rare, entirely in-person meeting. That meeting was live-streamed and archived, and we encourage you to watch until the end to see Judge Vi Bennett singing Happy Birthday. During that meeting, Judge Bill Hamrick attended as a guest and was congratulated on his recent appointment as the new judge for the State-wide Business Court. The Judicial Council meeting gave us an opportunity to add to our video series called, “Meet the Members of the Judicial Council” and we interviewed Council of Municipal Court Judges President JaDawnya Baker and Council of Magistrate Court Judges President-Elect Brandon Bryson. The meeting also gave us the opportunity to once again show off our Judicial Council Law Day Art Contest winners as we used the students’ artwork to create notecards which we gave to the members of the Judicial Council as a token of appreciation for having voted to select the winners. The Judicial Council’s next two General Sessions are set for December 9, 2022 and February 10, 2023 via Zoom and will be live-streamed on the Judicial Council’s YouTube channel.
Our office has started a new court observation program for employees—called “AOC Academy”—which provides an opportunity for staffers to learn more about the operations of the courts that we serve. We thank Judge J. Wade Padgett for recently hosting. The Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children hosted a successful Court Improvement meeting for multiple Georgia Juvenile Court Judges and their teams on Jekyll Island. The Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Committee kicked off the first class in a virtual series titled “Minding the Justice Gap” and hosted two record restriction clinics in Lowndes and Wilcox Counties. The Judicial COVID-19 Task Force held a meeting on August 24th to discuss its work on revising the Pandemic Bench Book. We enjoyed the post by Piedmont College showing Chief Judge Rickman giving the summer commencement speech. Congratulations to Presiding Judge Christopher McFadden on his election to serve as the Vice-Chair of the ABA Appellate Judges Conference as well as his election to membership in the American Law Institute. We saw great posts from the Gate City Bar Association and Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Annual Judicial Reception which was also co-sponsored by several other voluntary bar associations and held in person after a three year break. During the week of September 12th, to celebrate Constitution Day (September 17th), we are actively planning a Twitter series called “Meaningful Tweets,” a nod to Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets, that we think will appeal to Georgia’s teachers and students alike. Thank you to all the judges who have agreed to make videos for that project!
In a presentation entitled, “Phipps Talks History,” Court of Appeals of Georgia Senior Judge Herbert E. Phipps spoke to interns, court staff, and fellow judges alike about the civil rights movement from his perspective as a young lawyer during that time. Thank you Judges LaTisha Dear Jackson, Gary Jackson, the Georgia appellate courts, and many more for being such gracious hosts and allowing our visiting Mandela Fellow from the Gambia, Judge Fatoumata Binta Jallow, to observe your court proceedings and have conversations with you about the U.S. justice system. The Court of Appeals will host a livestreamed CLE about the murder of Col. Lemuel Penn on September 16th. Speakers for that CLE will include Senior Judge Herbert E. Phipps, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, and family members of Prosecutor Clete Johnson. The State Bar of Georgia Wellness Committee is also sponsoring a CLE on September 16th featuring of panel of Georgia judges who will discuss work/life balance and how they cope with the weight of making difficult decisions. Cobb County Judges hosted six judges from the country of Georgia as part of a program to “promote the transparency and independence of the Georgian judiciary, to assist their judiciary in court and jury trial management, and to strengthen rule of law in the country of Georgia.” We enjoyed seeing the perspective of summer intern, Julia Chen, who created this short video on the work of the Fulton County Magistrate Court. Finally, we leave you with this quote posted by Mercer Law School on Professionalism Day.
Call on us anytime. Talk to you in September.