Awards - April 2018

• The South Georgia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving held its 10th annual recognition banquet Friday, Feb. 23, in Moultrie and presented awards including local judges: Judge Herbert Benson, State Court of Tift County; Judge Richard Kent, State Court of Colquitt County; Judge Chase Daughtrey, Probate Court of Cook County; Judge J.J. McMillan, Chief Magistrate, Colquitt County; and Judge David Herndon, Municipal Court of Moultrie.

• Judge Horace J. Johnson, Superior Court, Alcovy Judicial Circuit, was named Guest of Honor at the Newton Historical Committee on Black Heritage Preservation’s 6th Annual Black History Gala on February 26, 2018.

• The 19th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service were handed out on February 27, 2018.  Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Judge Robert W. Chasteen, Superior Court, Cordele Judicial Circuit, and Ms. Avarita Hanson.  Other recipients included Judge Kathryn M. Schrader, Superior Court, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit; Judge Thomas L. Hodges, Superior Courts, Northern Judicial Circuit; Mr. Patrick T. O’Connor; Mr. Gregory W. Edwards; Mr. Charles Jones; Ms. La’Keitha D. Carlos; Ms. Ann Bishop; Ms. Allegra Lawrence-Hardy; Mr. Robert B. Remar; and Mr. Tommy T. Holland.

The Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service were created by the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Georgia in 1997 to honor lawyers and judges who have made outstanding contributions in the area of community service.  The awards were created with the following objectives:

(1)  To recognize that volunteerism remains strong among Georgia’s lawyers;
(2)  To encourage all lawyers to become involved in serving their communities;
(3)  To improve the quality of life of lawyers through the satisfaction they receive from helping others; and
(4)  To raise the public image of lawyers.

Beginning in 1998, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism has presented the Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service to Georgia judges and lawyers who go beyond their usual legal work or judicial duties to serve their communities.  Judges and lawyers meet the criteria for these awards if they combine a professional career with outstanding service and dedication to their communities through voluntary participation in community organizations, government-sponsored activities, or humanitarian work outside of their professional practice or judicial duties.[1]  Nominations for the 20th anniversary of the awards will open in the fall of 2018.  Please look for nomination information in the Courts Journal and consider nominating one of your colleagues for the award!


On March 21, the Council of Probate Court Judges recognized Judge Rooney Bowen with its Outstanding Probate Judge of the Year Award; Judge Garrison Baker, Probate Court of White County, received the Special Recognition Award for his 35 years of service.  The CPCJ awarded the Administrative Office of the Courts (picture below) and the Institute of Continuing Education “Friend of the Court” Awards.

 Council of Probate Court Judges Awards

Council of Probate Court Judges Awards/AOC


On April 12, the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association recognized Judge Carla Wong McMillian with its Women’s Leadership Award.                

The Council of Magistrate Court Judges held its Spring Recertification Seminar April 23-24 where the following awards were presented:


 Council of Magistrate Court Judges Awards


Workhorse of the Year - Judge Greg Douds, Magistrate Court of Cherokee County

Humanitarian Award - Chief Judge Allen Wigington, Magistrate Court of Pickens County

Lifetime Achievement - Chief Judge Glenda Dowling, Magistrate Court of Pierce County

Magistrate of the Year - Chief Judge Mary Kathryn Moss, Magistrate Court of Chatham County

President's Appreciation - Chief Judge Berryl Anderson, Magistrate Court of DeKalb County; Chief Judge Joyette Holmes, Magistrate Court of Cobb County; Chief Judge Glenda Dowling, and Chief Judge Mary Kathryn Moss.



[1] Thank you to Karlise Y. Grier, Executive Director of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, for providing background material from the 19th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service for this article.


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