Mikell Sworn-in as Chief Judge

Judge Charles B. Mikell wasn’t slated to become Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia for years.   Next in line to be Chief was Presiding Judge Herbert E. Phipps who, as the most senior judge not to have served as Chief Judge already, would have succeed Chief Judge Ellington to the position in due course.

However, the judges of the Court of Appeals voted on October 19, 2011, for Chief Judge John J. Ellington to step aside to allow Judge Mikell, who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2005, to serve as Chief Judge for a two-month period. 

 altOn November 14, Judge Ellington handed over his copy of If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss and the enormous gavel passed (pictured above) from Chief Judge to Chief Judge before administering the oath of office to Chief Judge Mikell in the Court of Appeals courtroom. The small group in attendance — judges, family, friends, and staff — witnessed Mikell being sworn-in twice. Judge Ellington noted that there being no formal oath of office for the Chief Judge, Judge Mikell had written his own:

I, (state your name), do solemnly swear that I will fulfill my duties as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia to the best of my ability and I will work to help each judge and each employee of the Court of Appeals to help them fulfill their duty to the people of Georgia.  So Help Me God

The new oath of office was approved by the Judges of the Courts of Appeals at the November 30, 2011 Banc meeting.

Chief Judge Mikell, a Savannah native, was elevated to the Court of Appeals bench in 2001 by Gov. Roy Barnes. Prior to his appointment, Judge Mikell served on the superior and state courts in Chatham County.


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