Atlanta, GA — On May 6, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Commission on Dispute Resolution (GCDR) welcomed two new appointees: Judge Clarence Cuthpert, Jr., Rockdale County Probate Court and N. Staten Bitting, Jr., Esq., a registered neutral from Richmond County. The GCDR meeting, held by videoconference, was the first virtual swearing-in for GCDR. Justice John J. Ellington asked Judge Cuthpert and Mr. Bitting, to raise their right hand in front of their video camera as he administered the oaths.
In April 2020, the Supreme Court expanded the Commission with the addition of a third trial court judge (non-superior court). Judge Cuthpert, filling this new role, brings a depth of knowledge garnered from his expertise– not only through his judicial experience but also over the course of nearly 25 years as a practicing attorney and 10 years as a registered neutral. He is also the appointed representative of the Probate Courts on the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Access to Justice, to which the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution also maintains representation. Treutlen County Probate Judge and current President of Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia T. J. Hudson, shared praise for the appointment of Judge Cuthpert to GCDR, “He has won the respect of his colleagues across the state of Georgia and has been an asset to our class of court while serving in other roles and he will, no doubt, bring that same level of dedication and diligence to his service on the Commission.”
N. Staten Bitting, Jr., Esq. was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1989 and has been a partner at Fulcher Hagler LLP, based in Augusta, since 1992. Mr. Bitting has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in a number of practice areas, including mediation; he has been a registered neutral in Georgia for over seven years. Along with service as a Special Assistant Attorney General and on several state committees and civic boards, Mr. Bitting is an accomplished author of articles for professional journals and presenter for continuing legal education events. Augusta Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown, Jr. is familiar with Mr. Bitting’s work and applauded his addition to GCDR: “The appointment of Mr. N. Staten Bitting, Jr. to the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution is an excellent decision. He will bring wisdom, experience, and intellect that will enable the Commission to continue the great work that it is doing.”
The Supreme Court established the Commission on Dispute Resolution to administer a statewide comprehensive Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program; oversee the development and ensure the quality of all court programs; develop guidelines and approve court programs; develop criteria for training and qualifications of neutrals; and establish standards of conduct for neutrals. The 20 members of the Commission are comprised of representatives of all appellate and trial courts, representative of the General Assembly and the State Bar of Georgia, approved trainers and registered neutrals, a court ADR program director, and other professionals with an interest in dispute resolution. For more information on the Commission, please click here.