Judicial Council Meets at State Bar of Georgia

By Ashley G. Stollar, Communcations and Outreach Specialist

The Judicial Council, chaired by Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson, met at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia today from 10:00 a.m. to noon to discuss a variety of action items and reports.

New members, including Administrative District Judges, newly elected presidents-elect of the trial court councils, and Mr. Patrick T. O’Connor, President of the State Bar of Georgia, were sworn in to the Judicial Council.



Judicial Council of Georgia


New Members:


The Judicial Council welcomed 13 new members:


Judge Tilman Self III (Superior Court, Macon Judicial Circuit and President-Elect, Council of Superior Court Judges)


Judge H. Gregory Fowler (State Court of Chatham County and President-Elect, Council of State Court Judges)


Judge James R. Whitfield (Juvenile Court, Cobb Judicial Circuit and President-Elect, Council of Juvenile Court Judges)


Judge James M. Griner (Chief Magistrate, Screven County and First Vice President, Council of Magistrate Court Judges)


Judge John A. Roberts (Municipal Court of Lithonia and President-Elect, Council of Municipal Court Judges)


Judge Stephen G. Scarlett (Superior Court, Brunswick Judicial Circuit and First District Administrative Judge)


Judge Stephen Goss (Superior Court, Dougherty Judicial Circuit and Second District Administrative Judge)


Judge Arthur L. Smith III (Superior Court, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit and Third District Administrative Judge)


Judge Brian Amero (Superior Court, Flint Judicial Circuit and Sixth District Administrative Judge)


Judge Jack Partain (Superior Court, Conasauga Judicial Circuit and Seventh District Administrative Judge)


Judge Donald W. Gillis (Superior Court, Dublin Judicial Circuit and Eighth District Administrative Judge)


Judge Carl C. Brown (Superior Court, Augusta Judicial Circuit and Tenth District Administrative Judge)


Mr. Patrick O’Connor (President, State Bar of Georgia)




Special Reports


Mr. Stan Gatewood, State Chief Information Security Officer, Georgia Technology Authority, spoke to the Council on cybersecurity. Mr. Randy Dennis, Division Director, JC/AOC Financial Administration, reported on the success of the Tax Refund Intercept Program Pilot and expressed appreciation to Commissioner Lynne Riley, Georgia Department of Revenue, for her agency’s partnership in this program.




Superior Court Judgeship Recommendation


The Judicial Council approved the request for an additional judgeship in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Governor and the General Assembly to be considered for legislative action in the 2017 session.




Board of Court Reporting Appointments


The Judicial Council approved the nominations by the Court Reporting Matters Committee to the Board of Court Reporting: Ms. Julie Brackett (re-appointment), Mr. John Bell Manly (appointment), and Judge Brenda Trammell (appointment).




Other Committee Reports


Presiding Justice Harris Hines reported on the Policy and Legislative Committee. Judge Michael Boggs spoke to the Council regarding a bench card created to provide judges with guidance on misdemeanor probation.  Justice Harold Melton reported on behalf of the Budget Committee.




JC/AOC Report


Ms. Cynthia Clanton, JC/AOC Director, reported on the work of the JC/AOC:


• As a work product of the Judicial Council’s Strategic Planning Implementation Committee, an “explainer video” was produced to educate new judges and others about the Judicial Council. See: https://vimeo.com/179183886;


• JC/AOC staff assisted Judge Michael Boggs in the production of the Misdemeanor Probation bench card;


• The JC/AOC is now producing laminated licenses for court interpreters serving the courts;


• A new on-line child support calculator was launched last month;


• E-Filing support services have been expanded to DeKalb and Rockdale counties, increasing the number of courts assisted to 132;


• Communications staff is working with the Court of Appeals to host a Twitter Town Hall on September 15 in celebration of Constitution Day with Judge Stephen Dillard and Judge Carla McMillian;


• Judge Jim Bodiford has been enlisted to serve as the first ever Judicial Council Senior Fellow to mentor the Communications Department;


• In staffing news, Tyler Mashburn has joined the office as Legislative Liaison and Kevin Holder has joined the Council of Probate Court Judges as its Executive Director.






Council Reports


Representatives from the appellate courts, trial court councils, Council of Accountability Court Judges, Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, and Georgia Council of Court Administrators provided reports.




Upcoming Meeting


The Judicial Council will next meet on Friday, October 28, 2016, at the Macon Marriott in Macon, GA.





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

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