Women's History Month 2017

Each March, the achievements of women are highlighted during Women's History Month.  The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts looks to highlight influential Women Judges in Georgia during this month.

Last year's Women's History Month profiles can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1T5XYf0.

 

Judge Lois Richards

Judge Lois RichardsJudge Lois Richards was born in McDuffie County and moved to Crawfordville at a young age where she became very active in local politics. Judge Richards served as the Taliaferro County Tax Commissioner for 24 years, served as the Taliaferro County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for 4 years, served as the Taliaferro County Probate Judge for 8 years, and retired as the Mayor of Crawfordville.

 

 

 

March 1 - Justice Leah Ward Sears

Justice Leah Ward Sears

Justice Leah Ward SearsWhen Former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears was appointed to the Supreme Court bench in 1992, she became the first woman and youngest individual ever on the state’s highest court. To retain her seat, she faced the voters of Georgia that same year defeating her opponent in a state-wide election. In winning election to the full six-year term, she became the first woman to prevail in a Georgia election contest for state office.

In 2005 she succeeded Norman Fletcher as Chief Justice to become the first African-American woman to attain such a post in any of the fifty states.

Sears, a Savannah native, was appointed to the City of Atlanta Traffic Court in 1982. In 1988, she was elected to the Superior Court of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, becoming the first African American woman on that court.

During her final State of the Judiciary address in 2009, Chief Justice Sears said, “I have had the privilege of working with exceptional people who have dedicated years of hard – and at times heart-breaking – work to make Georgia’s judicial system the very best in the nation.

 

March 2 - Judge Elizabeth L. Branch

Judge Elizabeth L. Branch

Judge Elizabeth BranchJudge Elizabeth L. Branch (Lisa) was appointed as the 77th judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal, taking office on September 4, 2012.

Prior to her joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Branch was a partner in the commercial litigation department at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP in Atlanta.

Judge Branch was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1968 and was raised in Fulton County. She attended and graduated from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Davidson College in North Carolina (B.A., cum laude, 1990), and Emory University School of Law (J.D., with distinction,1994).

After graduating from law school, Judge Branch served as a federal law clerk to The Honorable J. Owen Forrester of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia from 1994 to 1996. Following her clerkship, Judge Branch joined Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

From 2004-2008, Judge Branch was a senior official in the Administration of President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. She served first as the Associate General Counsel for Rules and Legislation at the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and then as the Counselor to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the U. S. Office of Management and Budget.

March 3 - Judge Linda Cowen

Judge Linda Cowen

Judge Linda CowenJudge Linda Cowen was the first female judge in the State Court of Clayton County, where she has presided since her appointment in December 1995. She was the President of the Council of State Court Judges in 2013-2014, and received the Ogden Doremus/Kent Lawrence Award of Excellence from the Council in 2014. Judge Cowen is the Chair of the Mandatory Continuing Education Committee for the Council of State Court Judges, has served for many years as a member and educator for the New Judge Mentoring Committee, and is on other Council committees.

Judge Cowen is the creator of, and presiding judge, of the Clayton County State Court DUI/Drug Court, and accountability court for multiple DUI offenders. She is a member of the Council of Accountability Court Judges, and is on the CACJ Training Committee. Judge Cowen has served on the Board of Court Reporting, and is a member of the Court Reporting Matters Committee of the Judicial Council. She is also on the CACJ representative on the Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence Committee of the Judicial Council.

She has been a long-time volunteer at the local, state and national levels for the National High School Mock Trial Competition, serving as an attorney coach, regional coordinator, presiding judge, and Law Academy teacher over the years. Judge Cowen has been married for 34 years to Martin Cowen, a retired attorney and former Associate Clayton County Probate Judge, and has two sons, Lindsey, 19, and Alexander, 15.

March 4 - Judge Romae T. Powell

Judge Romae T. Powell

Judge Romae T. WardJudge Romae T. Powell, an Atlanta, GA, native grew up in the segregated South. Born in 1926, few African Americans were lawyers and fewer still were African American women lawyers.  She attended Spelman College, graduating in 1947 after which she earned her law degree from Howard University.

From 1950 until 1968, Judge Powell practiced law serving African Americans.  In 1968, she was appointed as a referee for the Fulton County Juvenile Court by Judge John S. Langford.  In 1973, Judge Powell was appointed as the full time Juvenile Court Judge, the first African American female judge in the state of Georgia. She served until her death in 1990 at the age of 63.

 

During her time on the bench, Judge Powell was elected as the President of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges in 1978.

 In 2003, the Fulton County Juvenile Court dedicated its new facility to her memory: the Judge Romae T. Powell Juvenile Justice Center. 

Adapted from Unsung Foot Soldiers: The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies at the University of Georgia.
http://www.footsoldier.uga.edu/foot_soldiers/powell.html

March 5 - Judge Phyllis Kravitch

Judge Phyllis Kravtich

Judge Phyllis KravitchJudge Phyllis Kravitch followed her father into the practice of law. Graduating second in her class from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1943, Kravitch began her legal career working with her father in Savannah. She was unable to find other employment because of her gender and sometimes because she was Jewish.

In 1976, Judge Kravitch broke the gender barrier on the superior court bench in Georgia becoming the first woman elected superior court judge in the state. Just three years later, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the federal bench on the 5th Circuit (now 11th Circuit) US Court of Appeals, the first woman appointed in the South East and only the third woman to a US Circuit judgeship.  Judge Kravtich took senior status in 1996.

March 6 - Judge Courtney L. Johnson

Judge Courtney L. Johnson

Judge Courtney JohnsonJudge Courtney L. Johnson is a life-long resident of DeKalb County who received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree from Emory University.

Judge Johnson began her legal career in the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s office as a domestic violence advocate, and thereafter became an Assistant Solicitor prosecuting misdemeanor offenses. Prior to running for office, Judge Johnson served as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County prosecuting serious felony offenses.

Judge Johnson was elected to the DeKalb County Superior Court on November 30, 2010 and was sworn in and assumed her duties on January 1, 2011.  In addition to presiding over civil and criminal cases, Judge Johnson also regularly hears cases assigned to the DeKalb County Drug Court Program. Judge Johnson previously served as Presiding Judge over the DeKalb County Accountability Court Program which includes the Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Court. On January 1, 2017, Judge Johnson assumed the role of Chief and Administrative Judge of the DeKalb County Superior Court and is responsible for overseeing the daily effective and efficient administration of the court.

March 7 - Judge Janis Gordon

Judge Janis Gordon

Judge Janis GordonJudge Gordon graduated from Emory University in 1975, and received an M.A. degree in political science from the University of Chicago in 1976. In 1979, she graduated from Duke University School of Law, where she served on the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal. She spent the next twenty-plus years prosecuting complex multi-defendant criminal cases in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta. During that time period, she was sent to both Bosnia and Estonia, to help train prosecutors and judges. Towards the end of her prosecutorial career, she became the first prosecutor to use the RICO laws to prosecute cases involving the human trafficking of children, and traveled to Washington, D.C., to brief President George W. Bush on this strategy.

In December 2002, Governor Roy Barnes appointed Judge Gordon to the DeKalb County State Court bench, to which she has been repeatedly re-elected without opposition. While on the bench, Judge Gordon has run the domestic violence accountability program, as well as a rehabilitative program for young women offenders. She served on the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism and currently serves on the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants. Judge Gordon previously chaired the State Court Judges Education Committee and currently chairs the New Judges Orientation Committee. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership DeKalb and has been a volunteer judge at local and regional high school mock trial competitions.

In 2002, Judge Gordon received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Attorney General of the United States. She has received numerous other awards, including the Child Advocate Award from a Committee of the State Bar; the Legacy Award from A Future, Not A Past; the St. Thomas More Award for commitment to justice and humanity in difficult circumstances; and an Honorarium from the Johns Hopkins University Protection Project.

On a lighter note,  Judge Gordon writes and performs parodies with a small group of State Court judges known as  "Robe Rage."

March 8 - Judge Sheryl B. Jolly

Judge Sheryl B. Jolly

Judge Sheryl B. JollyJudge Sheryl B. Jolly became the first female elected Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit in 2004.  She is now serving her Fourth term of judicial office.  Judge Jolly graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 1983.  Judge Jolly is active in many community organizations including Leadership Augusta, the Greater Augusta Arts Council, and the Augusta Partnership for Children. 

Prior to her election to the bench, Judge Jolly served two terms as the first female elected Solicitor General for Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia.  Before holding elected office, she focused her practice in public service by representing her community as an Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant Solicitor and as Chief Assistant Solicitor.

Judge Jolly is married to Edward B. Turner, a local businessperson and philanthropist for community organizations that serve abused children and shelter animals. She is the proud mom of three beautiful adult children.  Her daughter, Grace, is currently a second year law student at her mom’s alma mater. 

March 9 - Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes

Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes

Judge Anne Elizabeth BarnesPresiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes won election in 1998 to the Georgia Court of Appeals in a three-way race without a runoff, and took office January 1, 1999. She was the first woman to be elected in a state-wide judicial race without having been first appointed to the bench. Judge Barnes served as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 2007-2008.

A native Georgian, Judge Barnes grew up in Chamblee and attended DeKalb County public schools. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University in 1979. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia in 1983 and her Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia in 2004.

Presiding Judge Barnes has served on the Judicial Council of Georgia's Standing Committee on Policy and its Budget Committee, the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, and the Domestic Violence Committee of the Judicial Council of Georgia, and has been a member of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal. She also chaired the Judicial Section of the Atlanta Bar Association and served on the Supreme Court's Commission on Interpreters.

Active in the legal community, Presiding Judge Barnes has been recognized for her service by the DeKalb Bar Association, the Women in the Profession Committee of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, and Justice Served. In 2012 she received the Romae Turner Powell Judicial Service Award. Judge Barnes actively encourages women to run for office.

March 10 - Judge Jeannette Little

Judge Jeannette Little

 Judge Jeanette LittleJudge Jeannette Lewis Little is a lifelong resident of Troup County, Georgia.  Judge Little attended Furman University in 1972, and then graduated with a B.A. in English from LaGrange College in 1976.  She received her J.D. from Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University in 1979, graduating Magna Cum Laude.

     Judge Little was elected Judge of the Small Claims Court in 1979, which was later changed to Chief Magistrate of Troup County.  She held that position until 1986 when Governor Joe Frank Harris appointed her State Court Judge of Troup County. 

      Judge Little is a past president of the Council of State Court Judges and was a member of the Judicial Council from 1995 - 1997.  She currently serves on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.   She is also active in the Council of State Court Judges, currently serving as chairperson of the Nominating Committee and serving on the Educational Programs Committee, DUI/Drug Court Committee, and New Judges Mentoring Committee.

March 11 - Judge Rufe McCombs

Judge Rufe McCombs

 Judge Rufe McCombsJudge Rufe McCombs was Georgia’s first elected female judge without prior appointment. In 1975, Judge McCombs campaigned against three men and was elected to the Municipal Court of Columbus, the first elected female official in Muscogee County.

 A graduate of University of Georgia's Lumpkin Law School, McComb was the only female graduate in her class of 16 in 1942.  She was elected to the state court in 1978 and elected to the superior court bench in 1982. Judge McCombs retired in 1993 and was the author of “Benched: The Memoirs of Judge Rufe McCombs."

Judge McCombs passed away in 2012 at the age of 94.

March 12 - Judge Martha Glaze

Judge Martha Glaze

Judge Martha GlazeJudge Martha Glaze was Clayton County’s first full-time juvenile court judge. For over two decades – from 1977 to 1999 – Judge Glaze earned a reputation as a dedicated advocate for children in Georgia and throughout the US.

Judge Glaze, a graduate of John Marshall Law School, served as president of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and was appointed to many Advisory Boards and Councils. She worked with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to develop the Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence.

At the time of her retirement in 1999, the Georgia Senate lauded her for her work with a resolution and she was recognized in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Mac Collins for her leadership.  In 2005, the Georgia General Assembly (HR 48) renamed the Clayton County Regional Youth Detention Center in her honor.

March 13 - Judge Melodie Snell Conner

Judge Melodie Snell Conner

Judge Melodie Snell ConnerWhen Judge Melodie Snell Conner, a Snellville, GA native, was appointed to the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court in 1993, she became the county’s first full time female judge.  Later that same year, she was elevated to the State Court of Gwinnett County becoming that court’s first female judge. In 1998, Judge Conner became the first female Superior Court Judge in the Gwinnett Circuit. In 2013, she became Chief Judge of the Gwinnett Circuit.

Prior to her judicial career, Judge Conner practiced law in Lawrenceville, GA.

Judge Conner, a UGA School of Law graduate, currently serves on the Judicial Council of Georgia as the 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge. She is active in the State Bar of Georgia and the Council of Superior Court Judges as well as many local community activities.

March 14 - Judge Deitra Burney-Butler

Judge Deitra Burney-Butler

Judge Deitra Burney-ButlerPrior to being appointed to the Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Judge Deitra Burney-Butler practiced law for several years in private practice where she specialized in criminal defense, family, and juvenile law. Judge Burney-Butler also served as both an assistant district attorney with the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office and an assistant solicitor with the Clayton County Solicitor General’s Office.

Judge Burney-Butler is the lead judge for the Clayton County Juvenile Court Dependency Practices and Innovations and has been instrumental updating the Dependency County Practice Guide to include automating many of the systems. She is also the lead judge for the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges Dependency Court Improvement Initiative for the Clayton County Region. Judge Burney-Butler completed the Advanced Child Abuse and Neglect Institute as part of its inaugural class. In addition, she attended the Complex Trauma Summit and the National Child Welfare and Family Law Summit.

Judge Burney-Butler is a 1994 graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and is a member of both the Georgia and Colorado Bar Associations. She is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, where she serves on the Diversion Committee, and the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, where she serves on the Delinquency Improvement Initiative and Permanency Planning committees.  

From https://www.zerotothree.org/our-team/deitra-burney-butler

March 15 - Judge Amanda H. Mercier

Judge Amanda H. Mercier

Judge Amanda H. MercierJudge Amanda H. Mercier was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal in 2016. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Mercier was appointed to the Superior Court in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit on July 15, 2010.

Judge Mercier, a Blue Ridge, GA native, spent her youth on her family's farm, Mercier Orchards, where she worked summers and after school until she graduated from college. She graduated from the University of Georgia and Syracuse University College of Law in New York.

Judge Mercier returned to her hometown of Blue Ridge, where she began her career in private practice. Judge Mercier practiced both criminal and civil litigation from 2001 until her appointment as a Superior Court Judge in 2010. During that time, she was actively involved as a defense attorney in the first accountability court in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.

Upon being sworn in as a Superior Court Judge, Judge Mercier became actively involved in the many accountability courts in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, and was the presiding judge of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit Mental Health Court. As a member of the Council of Superior Court Judges, she served on the Legislation Committee, Accountability Courts Committee, Pattern Jury Committee, and Uniform Rules Committee. Judge Mercier was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.

March 16 - Judge Grace Garland

Judge Grace Garland

Judge Grace Garland was Thomas County’s first Chief Magistrate. Judge Garland, served on a state panel that created Magistrate Court in the early 1980s. Her court was recognized statewide as a model. When the magistrate system was created, Judge Garland became its President-Elect and served on the Judicial Council from 1983-1984.

Judge Garland was Thomas County's first chief magistrate, a position she held for more than 20 years. Prior to being chief magistrate, Garland was justice of the peace. Prior to that position, she clerked for many years for a former justice of the peace. Also Thomasville Municipal Court judge for a number of years, Garland retired from the judiciary Jan. 1, 2005.

March 17 - Judge Lisa C. Rambo

Judge Lisa C. Rambo

Judge Lisa C. RamboLisa Coogle Rambo is the Juvenile Court Judge for the Southwestern Judicial Circuit (which includes Lee, Macon, Schley, Stewart, Sumter and Webster Counties).  She has recently begun her fifth term, having taken office on March 1, 2001.

Judge Rambo currently serves as Treasurer for the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia and serves on the Georgia Commission on Child Support and Advisory Board for the Office of Child Advocate.  She has previously served on the Committee on Justice for Children and been named Honorary Community Member by Sowega CASA.

Judge Rambo is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Florida Bar.  She received her Juris Doctorate from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law in 1993 and graduated cum laude from Florida State University in 1990 with a B.S. in Communications and minor in Criminology.  She was a 1987 honor graduate of Southland Academy in Americus, Georgia.

She lives in Americus with her husband, William W. Rambo, a local attorney and State Court Judge. She has two daughters, Morgan (age 17) and Madeline (age 14), and attends St. John’s Anglican Church.

March 18 - Justice Carol W. Hunstein

Justice Carol W. Hunstein

 Justice Carol HunsteinJustice Carol W. Hunstein was elected to the Superior Court of DeKalb County (Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit) in 1984, a position she held for eight years. As a superior court judge, Justice Hunstein chaired the Georgia Commission on Gender Bias in the Judicial System and was the first woman to serve as President of the Council of Superior Court Judges.

In 1992, Gov. Zell Miller appointed the Stetson University College of Law graduate to the Supreme Court of Georgia, the second woman in history to serve as a permanent member of the Court. From 2009 to 2013, Justice Hunstein served as Chief Justice.  During her tenure on the Supreme Court, she has served as chair of the State Commission on Child Support, the Georgia Commission on Access and Fairness, the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice Reform, and the Georgia Commission on Interpreters.

March 19 - Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley

Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley

Judge Dorothy BeasleyJudge Dorothy Toth Beasley has made her mark on Georgia’s Judiciary since 1977. For 13 years, the American University Washington College of Law graduate, served on the State Court of Fulton County. Judge Beasley became the first woman to serve on the Court of Appeals upon her appointment in 1984.  In 1992, she lobbied for the court’s motto, which is etched in granite above the bench, be revised to include women. The motto now reads: "Upon the integrity, wisdom and independence of the judiciary depend the sacred rights of free men and women." She was elected by her peers to a two-year term as Chief Judge from 1995-1996.

Judge Beasley retired from the Court of Appeals in 1999. Since then she has worked for the National Center for State Courts’ International Programs Division and currently serves as a mediator and arbitrator with Henning Mediation and Arbitration Service, Inc. Judge Beasley volunteers as an intake interviewer for the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. 

An interest in international work instilled in her as an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University, Judge Beasley has travelled the world both during her judicial career and after to work with governments and training judges.

March 20 - Judge Denise Marshall

Judge Denise Marshall

Judge Denise MarshallA native of Albany, GA, Judge Denise Marshall was elected in November 2008 as Superior Court Judge in Dougherty County in an open-seat election. She was re-elected in 2012.

Prior to serving on the Superior Court bench, Judge Marshall served by appointment as Associate State Court Judge and Dougherty County Magistrate from 1998-2008.

She began her judicial career in January 1994 when she appointed Chief Judge of the Municipal Court for the City of Albany.

March 21 - Judge Susan Tate

Judge Susan Tate

Judge Susan TateJudge Susan Tate, is a native of Monroe, GA. Upon earning B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Georgia in Athens, Judge Tate began her legal career as a staff attorney for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the Southeast Region. Promoted to deputy regional counsel in 1980, she managed an office of attorneys under the direction of the Regional Counsel, providing legal support for 150 DOE personnel.

In 1982, Judge Tate moved opened a law practice in Athens which focused on family law, business law, criminal law, personal injury, guardianship, mental health, and probate. Elected Probate Judge of Athens-Clarke County in 1996, Judge Tate took office in January of 1997.

In her judicial capacity Judge Tate is a Past President of the Council of Probate Court Judges' and serves on the Council's Legislative, Internal Affairs, and Executive Committees, the Pro Se Litigation Committee of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project's Access to Justice Committee as well as its Flexible Income Trust Committee. She is a member of the Western Circuit Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Judges, and the National College of Probate Judges. 

March 22 - Judge Jaslovelin "Jessy" Lall

Judge Jaslovelin "Jessy" Lall

Judge Jaslovelin LallJudge Jaslovelin ‘Jessy’ Lall serves as a full time Magistrate Judge in Fulton County, Georgia since May 2015. Prior to that, Jessy maintained a solo general practice while also serving as a part time judge in the same county. As a judge, Jessy presides over various types of civil and criminal cases including felony preliminary matters, child support, civil bench trials, landlord-tenant disputes, garnishments as well as presiding over jury trials by special designation for the State Court of Fulton. She was previously an Administrative Law Judge for the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings adjudicating cases dealing with licensing and regulatory matters.

Prior to her judicial career, she worked as a Senior Staff Attorney for both the Superior and State Courts of Fulton County, and later as a civil ligator at Schulten, Ward and Turner, LLP.   Jessy had also maintained her solo practice for 8 years prior to her current position. Jessy Lall is currently an Executive member of the Georgia Council of Magistrate Judges, co-representing District 5.

Judge  Lall was born in Amritsar, India but raised and educated in Singapore. She came to the USA in 1984 where she eventually graduated summa cum laude and cum laude respectively with a BS and MBA from Wright State University, and obtained her JD from the College of Law at Georgia State University. She is married to Sanjay Lall and has two children, Rohan and Bianca.

March 23 - Judge Helen Robison

Judge Helen Robison

Judge Helen RobisonJudge Helen Robison’s first career was as in the education while her husband, Julius Gideon (Gid) Robison, served as Probate Judge for Carroll County. Born in the community of New, Georgia, Judge Robison worked for 17 years the Carrollton City School System at Maple Street School and later as head dietician at Carrollton High School.

After her husband died, Judge Robison became Probate Judge where she served for 20 years.  Judge Robison died in 2012.

March 24 - Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson

Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson

Judge LaTisha Dear JacksonJudge LaTisha Dear Jackson made history in 2008 by becoming both the first female and youngest judge to ever serve as a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Stone Mountain, Georgia. In 2012, she again made history by becoming the first female Municipal Court Judge in the City of Lithonia, Georgia. Judge Jackson also sits as a judge in the City of East Point and previously served as a judge in the DeKalb County Recorders Court.

Judge Jackson, a native of Los Angeles, California, earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the prestigious Spelman College.

In 2014, Judge Jackson was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Fairness, Access and Public Trust and Public Confidence Committee. Presently, she is the vice-president for the Georgia Council of Municipal Court Judges.

March 25 - Judge Faye S. Martin

Judge Faye S. Martin

Judge Faye MartinLike many women of her day, Judge Faye S. Martin began her career in education. After attending Georgia Southern Teachers College for two years, Judge Martin took a step not many did during the 1950s.  She attended Woodrow Wilson College of Law. After passing the Georgia Bar Examination, one of 83 in 1956 to pass the test (out of 361 test takers), Martin became the first female attorney in her native Bulloch County. From 1957 to 1968, Judge Martin served as Judge Pro-Tem of the Justice of the Peace.

In 1978, Gov. George Busbee appointed Judge Martin to the superior court bench in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, a new position created by the Georgia General Assembly.  For 22 years, she served that court becoming the longest serving judge of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit since its creation in 1796.  She served as Chief Judge for the Ogeechee Circuit from 1984 until her retirement in 2000.

A biography of her life was published in 2004, Judge Faye Sanders Martin, Head Full of Sense, Heart Full of Gold.

March 26 - Judge Dorothy Robinson

Judge Dorothy Robinson

Judge Dorothy RobinsonJudge Dorothy Robinson became the first woman appointed to a court of record in 1972 when she was appointed to the State Court of Cobb County by Gov. Jimmy Carter. In 1974, Judge Robinson was elected to retain her seat.  Six years later, the St. Louis University School of Law graduate was elected to the Superior Court of Cobb County, the first woman to sit on that court, a position she held until her retirement in 2012.

In 1980, Judge Robinson became the first woman member of the Judicial Council of Georgia. The Supreme Court of Georgia invited Judge Robinson to sit Pro Hac Vice in 1985, the first woman in its history to sit on the court for an absent Justice.

March 27 - Judge Annie Doris Holder

Judge Annie Doris Holder

Judge Annie Doris HolderJudge Annie Doris Holder, a Calhoun County native, received her primary education from the Calhoun County school system.  She has an Associate Degree from Darton College, a Bachelor's Degree from Albany State University, and a Master's Degree from LaGrange College. 

Currently, she is the Probate Judge and Chief Magistrate of Calhoun County and the Municipal Court Judge of Arlington, Georgia. She is the President of the Missionary Department of SWGA Missionary Baptist Association and the District Worthy Matron of Cuthbert District # 13 Order of the Eastern Star.  In her capacity as judge, she handles traffic, elections, vital records, small claims, garnishments, FIFA's etc.  She serves on the Training Council and Executive Board of the Probate Judges.

March 28 - Judge Julie Carnes

Judge Julie Carnes

 

Judge Julie CarnesJudge Julie Carnes didn’t have any plans to become a lawyer. She went to the University of Georgia with the intention of being and English teacher. A spur of the moment decision to take the LSAT change the trajectory of her career.  After graduating from UGA School of Law, Judge Carnes clerked for Hon. Lewis R. Morgan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit then served as Assistant United States Attorney for the US District Court in the Northern District.

 

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed Judge Carnes, daughter of the late Judge Charles Carnes, to the US District Court in the Northern District of Georgia, where she served as Chief Judge from 2009 until 2014. She was appointed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals by President Barack Obama in 2014.

March 29 - Judge Rizza O'Connor

Judge Rizza O'Connor

Judge Rizza O'ConnorJudge Rizza O'Connor is the Chief Magistrate Judge of Toombs County and the first Filipino-American judge in Georgia. Prior to her appointment as magistrate in November of 2013, she worked as an assistant district attorney in the Middle Judicial Circuit and in the Eastern Judicial Circuit.  

O'Connor, a Savannah native, graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 2010 where she served as the Student Bar Association President. She graduated cum laude from Mercer University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management.

Judge O'Connor currently serves as the Secretary of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar of Georgia. She also serves the Bar as a member of the Client Security Fund Board of Trustees and is an At-Large Trustee for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Judge O'Connor has been a speaker for continuing legal education for magistrate judges and is a contributor to the updated Georgia Magistrate Courts Benchbook.

March 30 - Judge Stephanie B. Manis

Judge Stephanie B. Manis

Judge Stephanie ManisJudge Stephanie B. Manis was born in Denver, Colorado.  Judge Manis graduated from the University of Georgia and Emory Law School. Out of law school, she clerked for Justice Harold N. Hill, Jr., Supreme Court of Georgia.  Prior to her appointment as superior court judge in 1995, Judge Manis served in the Georgia Attorney General Office for sixteen years.

As a superior court judge, Stephanie Manis handled major criminal felony cases, civil litigation, and family/domestic relation cases. Judge Manis served as Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia State Bar Journal from 1993-1995. She also served as an instructor at Emory Law School, with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Judge Manis served as a senior judge until her death in December 2016.

March 31 - Judge Lois Richards

Judge Lois Richards

Judge Lois RichardsJudge Lois Richards was born in McDuffie County and moved to Crawfordville at a young age where she became very active in local politics. Judge Richards served as the Taliaferro County Tax Commissioner for 24 years, served as the Taliaferro County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for 4 years, served as the Taliaferro County Probate Judge for 8 years, and retired as the Mayor of Crawfordville.