April 2019

Happy Spring Courts Journal reader. Our top story is the Judicial Council meeting which was held in Columbus Georgia on April 26 where a new bench card created by the Judicial Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Criminal Justice Reform was distributed.  Pics and video from that meeting are here.  We have also created a new section of our Courts Journal website titled: A Judge’s Voice  (on the right side) which will contain clips, full speeches or talks made by Georgia judges around the state.  This month, we are featuring the slides from a recent Susette M. Talarico Lecture hosted by the Criminal Justice Studies Program @UGASchoolofLaw delivered by Judge Goss (interviewed afterward for a profile).  The new section also includes audio clips from Judge Dillard and Judge Bodiford who participated in recent podcasts receiving much interest.  Judge Dillard also got a shout out from ‘across the pond’.

Law Day is May 1 and Mercer Law School kicked off their celebrations early on April 12 by hosting the Supreme Court of Georgia’s oral arguments and portrait unveiling of Judge Louis Sands and Judge Yvette Miller.  The Glynn County Court and Bar Association hosted a Law Day event on April 18 where high school students from Glynn Academy, Brunswick High School and Frederica Academy participated in an art contest and listened to the Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Wood and Glynn County Superior Court Judge Guy talk about this year’s ABA theme of Free Press, Free Speech and Free Society.  We are collecting pictures and stories from other events which will occur in May for our next issue.  Let us know if a Law Day event is occurring in your county. 

The 2019 Legislative Session ended on April 2 but not before Justice Boggs spoke to high school government and politics class on April 1.  Aimee Maxwell wrote a profile of Justice Bethel.   We created a summary of all our women’s history month posts of judges.  Judge Herbert Phipps spoke recently to the Lawyers Club of Atlanta introduced by Justice John Ellington. Judge Holmes and Judge Amero visited the AOC staff meetings with inspirational messages.  We have a profile of JC/AOC staffer Callie Weir and Bruce Shaw documented a day in the life of a Magistrate Court Judge with a pictorial essay.  JC/AOC’s LaShawn Murphy and Matthew Bishop visited Hiram Municipal Court Judge Chad Plumley this past month and the Council of Municipal Court Judges in District One met in Garden City for training.

A new award was created to honor Judge Clyde Reese.  Judge Trent Brown and Justice Warren were profiled by the Daily Report.  Judge Bills and Judge Smith joined our “Meet the Members of the Judicial Council of Georgia” video series.  Justice Benham, attorney Tabitha Ponder, other AOC staffers, GJP, and volunteer lawyers partnered with Judge Lockette, the Dougherty County law library, Mt. Zion Church and more to host an expungement clinic.  The Dougherty County library was also mentioned positively in a Harvard Law Review article written by a GSU law professor whose law students spent their “alternative spring break” in Albany.   Cobb County held a Mental Health Court graduation and Judge Johnson held a Parental Accountability Court graduation.   A group of Georgia judges secured a grant for mental health training which is happening on May 3rd and Judge Key’s work with his community to ‘handle with care’ children who have experienced trauma was profiled by the local news.  Judge Teske presented last week at the Carter Center on School-Justice Partnerships.  

Finally, the Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were recently “on the road” visiting Macon and Adel, respectively.   A local news story reports that Chief Judge Durham and Judge Wetherington are drawing up plans to establish a family court devoted to cases ranging from domestic violence to child custody battles.  The Jonesboro High School Mock Trial team coached by Judge Carbo and Judge Powers won again and Judge Harris was honored as Probate Court Judge of the year.  

As always, please check out our Courts Journal section: In Memoriam; Transitions; Appointments; and Awards on the right side of the web page. Also, check out the Accountability Courts newsletter if you did not know about it already.

Talk to you in May


Your JC/AOC Courts Journal Newsletter team:  Michelle Barclay, Patricia Buonodono, Aimee Maxwell and Bruce Shaw


Contact AOC

Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

Pop Quiz

In 2002, Judge Ben Studdard competed on Jeopardy! Can you answer the Final Jeopardy question he couldn't?

Category: U.S. Stamps.

Clue: In late October, 2001, Tony Curtis and Lance Burton unveiled the new stamp honoring this person.

Find the answer on our Facebook and Twitter accounts: @GACourts!


Let us know what you think about the Georgia Courts Journal. Send your feedback, corrections, suggestions, and submissions to Information@georgiacourts.gov

Social Media

Follow the AOC on Facebook! Like us at www.facebook.com/GACourts today.

Receive Tweets from the AOC! Follow us at twitter.com/GACourts.