December 2018

Seasons Greetings from the Courts Journal! Since our last issue, a Judicial Council Meeting was chaired on December 7 by Chief Justice Melton, and opened by Kevin Wilson, staff attorney at the Georgia Supreme Court, singing a rendition of “Georgia on My Mind.” The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts'  Annual Report for FY 2018 was completed and published. Numerous tributes have been made honoring the career of retiring Justice Carol W. Hunstein. The Ad Hoc Committee on Criminal Justice Reform will sunset this month after receiving final approval from the Supreme Court of Georgia for its misdemeanor citation form. A Parental Accountability Court opened in Brunswick

The Georgia Court of Appeals welcomed Judge Trent Brown III to the bench. His alma mater, Mercer Law School, did a profile. Judge David Brown was sworn in to Henry County State Court by Justice Michael Boggs. We spent some time speaking to Municipal Judge Lori Duff about her multifaceted career off the bench, which includes time as an attorney, a writer, and a stand-up comedian.  We also spoke to Judge T.J. Hudson about his path to the bench in Treutlen County.  The Commission on Interpreters met in late November to review the final draft of a guide designed to standardize the use of interpreters in Georgia's Courts.

Justices of the Supreme Court of Georgia & Judges of the Court of Appeals joined construction workers for a “Topping Out Ceremony” where the final beam was placed at the top of the new state judicial building.

The 2018 Child Welfare Conference was hosted in Atlanta, and Jerry Bruce was the opening speaker and Presiding Justice Nahmias spoke about the importance of child welfare work while closing out the conference. Additionally, we learned the inspirational story of Chattooga County DFCS Supervisor Heather Abee.

The Athens Access to Justice Initiative celebrated the one year anniversary of its program, as well as receiving the William B. Spann Award from the State Bar of Georgia, which is given to exceptional organizations in Georgia that provide services to underserved segments of the population.  The Middle Georgia Access to Justice Council published its first online newsletter, with a message from their president, Bill Adams. Chief Judge Juliette Scales was the welcoming host of the Fulton County Juvenile Court Adoption Day celebration  @J4C_law staff attended "Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families" Civic Dialogue Panel Discussion.

December 15th was this year’s Bill of Rights Day. Please let us know if you hosted any events to commemorate this civic holiday. Also, nominations for attorneys and case managers are now open for the 2019 Chief Justice Hines awards. Finally, Marietta will rename a bridge in honor of the late Chief Justice Hines.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Talk to you next year.

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

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