September 2023

Happy Fall, Courts Journal Readers:

We hope all of you are enjoying the cooler temperatures, at least in the mornings. We open this edition with news from the Supreme Court of Georgia, which recently approved comprehensive revisions to its rules that will go into effect on January 1, 2024. For a summary of major changes, to learn more about the updates, and to access a copy of the new rules, please see:  Thank you very much Judge Jolly of the Columbia Judicial Circuit for speaking at our All Staff Meeting on September 21st. Congratulations to Judge Amanda Heath and to Judge Wenona Belton who were recently elected to their second terms as board members of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Judge Heath will also be serving as treasurer for that organization.

Judge Sheryl Jolly speaking at the September JC/AOC All Staff Meeting.
Judge Amanda Heath (left) and Judge Wenona Belton are both serving as board members of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges for a second term.

Thank you to all of our Georgia justices and judges who participated in our five-part, animated series of video shorts called, “Your Constitution in Action.” We appreciated your support of that  civics education initiative in honor of Constitution Day 2023. In further celebration of Constitution Day, Justice Colvin read books to students at Woodland Elementary School in Fulton County. Division 2 of the Court of Appeals–Presiding Judge M. Yvette Miller, Chief Judge Amanda H. Mercier, and Judge Ken Hodges–went on the road mid-month to Emory Law School for offsite oral arguments and Judge Rickman was featured in the Daily Report. We appreciate State Bar President and former DeKalb County State Court Judge J. Antonio “Tony” DelCampo making time for an interview with us as he will serve as a member ex officio of the Judicial Council this year. Thank you also to Carole Collier, a staff attorney in the Judicial Council/AOC’s Legal Division, who paid tribute to and provided some lovely photos of former Chief Superior Judge of the Conasauga Circuit Judge William T. Boyett who was recently honored for his long service as Chair of the Judicial Council’s Grants Committee.

Thank you to the judges who participated in our 2023 Constitution Day video series Your Constitution in Action.
We interviewed Judicial Council member and State Bar President Tony DelCampo.
The Court of Appeals of Georgia held oral arguments at Emory University School of Law in September.
JC/AOC Director Cynthia Clanton and the JC/AOC Grants team honoring Judge Boyett (with his two daughters, middle picture, left) for his many years of service to the Committee on Grants.

We enjoyed hearing about the Judicial Wellness Panel featuring Judge Shondeana Morris, Chief Judge Kelli Wolk, Chief Judge Wes Tailor, and Judge Eric Richardson at the State Bar’s Wellness and Practical Skills Seminar. We also remind you about the “Out of the Darkness Walk” supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, please consider walking with a team sponsored by the State Bar’s Suicide Awareness & Prevention Committee and the Attorney Wellness Committee on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. You may register to walk here.  Thanks as well to Juvenile Court Judges Amanda Trimble, Thomas Parker, and Maureen Wood who presented on Family Treatment Courts at the Council of Accountability Court Judges Annual Training Conference last week. The Judicial Council/AOC’s Research Department and Child Support Team are pleased to share their recently published report evaluating Parental Accountability Court Programs. The Georgia Conference of Court Administrators held its Fall Conference, with JC/AOC’s Ben Luke and Kristy King making a presentation.  We enjoyed listening to Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, Judge Charles Auslander, and Taylor Jones on the Justice Speaks Podcast.

Left to Right: CACJ General Counsel Alison Lerner, Judges Amanda Trimble, Thomas Parmer, and Maureen Wood at CACJ Training Conference.
Episode 54 of the Justice Speaks Podcast featuring Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, Judge Charles Auslander and CACJ Executive Director Taylor Jones.
Judge Shondeana Morris, Chief Judge Kelli Wolk, Chief Judge Wes Tailor, and Judge Eric Richardson at the State Bar’s Wellness and Practical Skills Seminar.
JC/AOC’s Ben Luke and Kristy King at the GCCA Fall Conference.

Chief Justice Boggs received the National Alliance on Mental Illness Georgia Mental Health Champion Award which is very well deserved. Former Justice Nahmias received the Anti-Defamation League Southeast’s Lifetime Achievement Award this month. The Chief Justice’s Commission On Professionalism is now accepting nominations for the 24th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service until Nov. 10, 2023. For more information on the nomination eligibility criteria or to nominate a deserving lawyer or judge, please visit:  Don’t miss the Good Judge-ment podcast which has three new episodes this month: Multi-Defendant Criminal Cases Part I and II and Superior and State Court Appellate Practice Act. For Veterans Day, we would love to salute our Georgia judges who have served in the military. To participate, please email Bruce Shaw either a current picture of yourself or one taken during your military service and please note the branch of the military in which you served.

Call on us anytime.  Talk to you in October.

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