July 2023

Greeting Courts Journal readers:

The Judicial Council of Georgia will hold a General Session on August 18, 2023, and that meeting will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/judicialcouncilofgeorgia.  In anticipation of that upcoming General Session, the Standing Committees on  Judicial Workload Assessment chaired by Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard, Technology chaired by Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley, Legislation chaired by Presiding Justice Nels S.D. Peterson, and Budget chaired by Justice Charlie Bethel met this month.

Many of the Judicial Council of Georgia’s committees met in July.

We reached out to State Court Judge Vi Bennett to ask about her recent singing gig at Carnegie Hall and she was kind enough to tell us about it and give some pictures. We also received a great article about recent mediation training specifically developed and provided locally to Georgia judges written by Judge Diane Bessen.  We interviewed Judicial Council of Georgia/AOC Research Analyst Alexis Bell, who has an amazing life story already. Staffers for the Supreme Court’s Committee on Justice for Children made a great video about the 2023 Hines Awardees.  We have added Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams to our roster of Meet the Members of the Judicial Council of Georgia webpage.  We also have two more videos added to our 50th Anniversary web series–Justice Nahmias and Justice Fletcher.  Our IT Division has published the July issue of their Court Tech Talk newsletter.

A profile of Judicial Council of Georgia/AOC Research Analyst Alexis Bell.
Judge Fletcher Sams in our “Meet Your Judicial Council Members” series.
Former Chief Justice David Nahmias interviewed for the Judicial Council of Georgia’s 50th Anniversary.
Former Chief Justice Norman Fletcher interviewed for the Judicial of Georgia’s 50th Anniversary.

Congratulations to Judge Jeffrey Watkins who was sworn in to the Court of Appeals of Georgia on July 11th.  We look forward to working with you in your new role.  Congratulations also to Municipal Court Judge Ronald Freeman who was a recipient of the Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service sponsored by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism and Municipal Court Judge Lori Duff who won the State Bar’s Fictional Writing Award.  Thank you to the Council of Juvenile Court Judges  Budget Director, Kirsten Wallace, who accepted a recent appointment to the newest committee of the Council for State Governments–the Staff Alliance for Intergovernmental Leadership (SAIL)–as she will represent the judicial branch of Georgia and thank you to Christine Murdock, Director of the Georgia House Budget Office, for nominating her. A few staffers attended the Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center’s fifth anniversary reception and found Chief Judge Lockette’s remarks inspiring.

Judge Jeffrey Watkins being sworn in to the Georgia Court of Appeals on July 11th.
The Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center held a five year anniversary reception.

The Georgia Child Support Commission will be offering a free advanced training–which is approved for three hours of CLE and will cover topics such as the income deduction order process and how social security affects child support calculations–in person at the State Bar Building in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. To register for that and learn about other child support trainings, please visit the Commission’s website.  We offer condolences to the family of Judge Marvin Arrington Sr. who recently passed away. We leave you with this rough draft of the Declaration of Independence which was posted in multiple places on July 4th

A rough draft to the Declaration of Independence.

Call on us anytime.  Talk to you in August.

Your JC/AOC Courts Journal team:  Michelle BarclayNoelle Lagueux-AlvarezBruce Shaw, and our contractor, John Ramspott