Interview with State Bar of Georgia President Elizabeth Fite

Condensed and edited for clarity Michelle Barclay: First, congratulations on being sworn in as the 59th President of the State Bar of Georgia on June 12, 2021 at the first hybrid State Bar Annual Meeting in the Bar’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  See the swearing-in ceremony here: State Bar of Georgia 2021 Annual … Continue reading Interview with State Bar of Georgia President Elizabeth Fite

Cobb County’s Second Chance Desk

by Alice Culpepper Georgia Justice Project, one of the Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Committee’s partners in our Virtual Record Restriction Clinics, has helped establish a “Second Chance Desk” in the Cobb County Circuit Defender's Office. This desk provides a permanent, daily service to those seeking criminal record restriction and sealing for certain offenses. On … Continue reading Cobb County’s Second Chance Desk

Meet Drew Townsend, Chief Financial Officer for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts

Noting Georgia’s fiscal new year that begins each year on July 1st, JC/AOC staffer, Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez, recently spoke with her colleague, Drew Townsend, who serves as the Director of the Financial Administration Division and Chief Financial Officer for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts.   Drew Townsend, CFO for the Judicial Council of Georgia/Administrative Office of The Courts Interview condensed and edited for clarity.  Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez:  Happy Fiscal New Year to … Continue reading Meet Drew Townsend, Chief Financial Officer for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts

Forsyth County’s DUI Court Celebrates 15 Years

by Alice Culpepper On June 2nd, 2021, the Forsyth County DUI Court held a graduation ceremony consisting of seven graduates from the program and an important visit from Chief Justice Harold Melton who has been an avid supporter of the accountability court program in Georgia. This ceremony marks an important milestone for the Forsyth County … Continue reading Forsyth County’s DUI Court Celebrates 15 Years

Insights on the New Georgia Uniform Mediation Act from Tracy B. Johnson, Executive Director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution

JC/AOC staffer, Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez, recently discussed the newly-enacted Georgia Uniform Mediation Act with Tracy B. Johnson, Executive Director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.  Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez:  In your own words, what is the Georgia Uniform Mediation Act?   Tracy B. Johnson: Georgia is a national leader in the dispute resolution field for court-ordered cases. Since 1993, the Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Rules … Continue reading Insights on the New Georgia Uniform Mediation Act from Tracy B. Johnson, Executive Director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution

Cobb County Mental Health Court Graduation

By Alice Rebecca Culpepper Cobb County Mental Health Court recognized three graduates on April 29th, 2021. Instead of incarceration, these men went through an intensive rehabilitation course to focus on taking accountability for their actions while receiving treatment to handle substance abuse and mental health issues. The three graduates spoke about how their experience in … Continue reading Cobb County Mental Health Court Graduation

Interview with Senior Judge Kenneth Followill: An Original Judicial Council of Georgia Member

We caught up with 85-year-old Senior Judge Kenneth Followill, who we learned served as the first secretary of the then newly-created Judicial Council in 1973. He received the Amicus Curiae Award from Justice Leah Sears while she was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.  Senior Judge Followill was also the guitarist in a … Continue reading Interview with Senior Judge Kenneth Followill: An Original Judicial Council of Georgia Member

Successful Legislative Session for Judicial Council

A monitor outside the Senate Chamber at the Capitol showing initial passage of SB 163 by the Georgia Senate. by Cheryl Karounos - Governmental Affairs Liaison  The pandemic and resulting Statewide Judicial Emergency Order changed a lot of plans in the last year and the Judicial Council’s legislative priorities were no exception.  The initiatives that … Continue reading Successful Legislative Session for Judicial Council