Judge Smith Portrait Unveiling

Presiding Judge JD Smith will retire on December 31, 2011, capping his 26 year judicial career.  altIn 1984 Judge Smith defeated an incumbent superior court judge in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit; in 1993 Gov. Zell Miller appointed him to the Court of Appeals of Georgia during which time he became the second longest serving judge for that court.  Judge Smith served as Chief Judge from 2003-2004.
On November 10, 2011, a panel of distinguished speakers joined Chief Judge John J. Ellington, the judges of the Court of Appeals, the justices of the Supreme Court, family, friends, and court staff to honor Judge Smith’s career.  Gov. Nathan Deal, who practiced law in Gainesville at the same time as the judge, recognized his “lifetime of public service” and the “great things” done by Judge Smith while on the bench.

Retired Judge Edward H. Johnson spoke of the friendship the two developed, first while they were superior court judges, then as colleagues on the Court of Appeals.  Judge Johnson noted the example Smith set while on the bench, “He set a high bar for all of us on many levels.  He is a great example for all current and future judges in the manner which he has viewed our profession throughout his career. His work has touched the lives of thousands of people and the great majority of them don’t even know his never and never will.”

Other speakers included Gainesville businessman Abit Massey and Judge Sara L. Doyle.  Presiding Judge Herbert Phipps welcomed the assembled crowd.

Judge Smith’s wife and children unveiled a portrait by Erin Cooper to the full courtroom.  The portrait will be displayed in the Court of Appeals courtroom alongside many of the judges with whom he served.  Judge Smith was also presented with a drawing by Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich by his staff.  The caricature was based on a footnote written by Smith, who earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, in a 2002 ruling noting the term “Georgia Gator” an oxymoron.

Judge Smith holds a JD from the University of Georgia, an LLM in taxation from Emory University, and an LLM from the University of Virginia.



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