November 2022

Greetings Courts Journal readers:

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month, and we took the opportunity to celebrate all of Georgia’s Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC), especially the four judicial circuits that have been named Georgia’s Model Veterans Treatment Courts for 2022-2025: Appalachian, Atlantic, Cobb, and Coweta.  We also asked a number of judges and VTC coordinators to tell us their best stories which we posted on the Judicial Council’s social media. We thank the staff of the CACJ for their help with those posts.  Executive Director Taylor Jones of CACJ also shared this amazing video from their recent conference with testimonials from Accountability Court participants and many of our judges and justices. See Part 1 and Part 2.

The JC/AOC has staffed many meetings this month in preparation for our upcoming Judicial Council meeting on December 9th. Those meetings included the Judicial Council Joint Subcommittee on Automated Data Collection; the Georgia Child Support Commission; Strategic Planning; Technology; Access to Justice Committee; Standing Committee on Court Interpreters, Legislation, Judicial Salaries, and the Workload Assessment Committee.  The Judicial Council Ad Hoc Committee on ARPA Funding has been especially busy this month and prepared a press release announcing the award grants to judicial circuits that applied for CY2023 funds. We interviewed the JC/AOC’s new CFO, Peterson David, and we are lucky he applied.  The JC/AOC’s Court Observation Program, that we’ve nicknamed AOC Academy, continues with Cassaundra Niblack, a JC/AOC accounting manager, and Afzal Masood, a JC/AOC IT support specialist, visiting Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Rob Leonard in early November.  Also, our new JC/AOC research analyst, Andres Bosque, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the DeKalb County Accountability Courts’ new offices as well as a recent Hall County Drug Court graduation, getting pictures and “being touched by the wonderful testimonials” from judges and graduates.  The Ratley Conference Room at the JC/AOC office in Atlanta is newly outfitted to hold hybrid meetings and is available to anyone in the judiciary who wants to host. Thank you, Judge Hamrick–new Judge of the Georgia State-wide Business Court–for being our guest speaker at our most recent all-staff meeting.  We look forward to supporting you in any way we can.

An interview with JC/AOC’s new CFO Peterson M. David.
New Georgia State-Wide Business Court Judge Bill Hamrick spoke at the JC/AOC all-staff meeting.

Congratulations to Chief Justice Boggs for receiving Leadership Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Award and thank you for all that you do on and off the bench, including giving the keynote address at the Georgia Legal Services Program Pro Bono/Access to Justice Conference. Thank you as well to Justice Colvin and Judge Shawn Rhodes for joining us via Zoom at that conference.  We enjoyed Presiding Justice Peterson’s livestreamed speech for Kennesaw State University’s Ethics Awareness Event and the livestream of Jean Ruskell receiving an Amicus Curiae award for her years of service as the Reporter of Decisions for Georgia’s appellate courts. Congratulations to Judge Charles E. Auslander III, who recently received the 2022 Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award given by the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution (GCDR) and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia. We loved Judge Fluker’s posts from Gwinnett County’s inaugural celebration of National Adoption DayJustice Bethel and retired Justice Melton spoke about leadership at the Youth Assembly event hosted by the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement which later featured a moot court tournament at the NDJC.  Chief Judge McBride continues his civics outreach; this month for third graders at Saint Anne’s School in his circuit.

Chief Justice Boggs received the J.W. Fanning Award.
Justice Bethel and former Chief Justice Melton participated in an event hosted by the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement.
Presiding Justice Peterson delivered the keynote address at KSU’s Ethics Awareness Week event.
Judge Charles Auslander received the 9th Chief Justice Harold D. Clarke Award.
Chief Judge Gil McBride spoke to students at Saint Anne’s Elementary School about Georgia’s court system.

The Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Committee will host its third “Mind the Justice Gap” webinar class on December 12th at noon.  We thank Chief State Court Judge McClelland for hosting students from Forsyth Central High School’s Workplace Spanish Program. The students observed interpreters in action and heard from various professionals about the importance of qualified interpreters.  We were inspired by Judge Dillard’s wellness journey.  Finally, we leave you with thoughts on gratitude from Judicial Council member Chief Judge Matthew McCord and JC/AOC Director Cynthia Clanton that we posted just before Thanksgiving.

Call on us anytime.  Talk to you in December.

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

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