Atlanta – Chief Judge T. Russell McClelland of the State Court of Forsyth County received the prestigious Ogden Doremus – Kent Lawrence Award from the Council of State Court Judges.
The award is the Council’s top honor and represents the highest level of respect from his peers.
“I think we are a much stronger Council because of his leadership, not only because of the time devoted to us but also because of the goodwill he has earned for us from other members of the Judiciary,” said Judge Gregory Fowler during the awards presentation on October 14.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge McClelland served as the Council’s president, participating in weekly emergency sessions of the Judicial Council of Georgia. He continues to serve as vice-chair of the Judicial Council’s COVID-19 Task Force and the chairperson for the its Subcommittee on Civil Matters.
In addition to his full-time duties as a chief judge, Judge McClelland also presides over the Forsyth County DUI Accountability Court, contributes to numerous Continuing Legal Education programs, and participated in a virtual internship program for law students whose summer law firm positions were affected by the pandemic.
The award is named after two judges who demonstrated high standards of judicial ethics and professionalism, and community involvement. Judge Ogden Doremus was revered as an engaged environmentalist who created organizations to save the estuaries of coastal Georgia. Judge Kent Lawrence is revered as the “Father of DUI Accountability Courts” in Georgia.