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Strickland gets nod for court seat

COVINGTON - State Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle, announced Friday his nomination of Municipal Court Judge and attorney C. David Strickland for the fifth Superior Court judgeship in the Alcovy Circuit.

Strickland serves as Municipal Court judge for the cities of Covington and Porterdale. He is also general counsel for the city of Oxford and the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority.

"I have known David since 1996 and found him to be a great leader in our community, a man of impeccable legal credentials, and a rising star in judicial circles," Douglas said in a prepared statement. "I am confident that he will make an outstanding addition to the bench in these two counties."

Strickland is a partner with Alexander, Royston, Hardman, Shinall and Strickland, LLP in Covington and serves as president of the Council of Municipal Court Judges. He is a voting member of the Judicial Council of Georgia and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. In addition, he is the Municipal Court Judge Representative to the Georgia Courts Automation Commission.

"It's always an honor and a pleasure any time a state senator will endorse and recommend you for something," Strickland said.

Strickland said he has enjoyed his time as a Municipal Court judge and has always thought that he would like to be a judge full-time one day.

Strickland began his career with Fulcher, Hagler, Reed, Hanks and Harper in Augusta, working in a general civil practice law firm, including real estate and insurance trial practice. He has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Newton County Department of Family and Children Services, before the Newton County Juvenile Court. Additionally, Strickland taught as an adjunct instructor for Real Estate Paralegal Studies at DeKalb Technical College.

He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in finance from the University of Georgia and earned his juris doctor from UGA's Lumpkin School of Law.

Strickland resides in Covington and has three children - Lucy, Hank and Jill.

The fifth judgeship was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2008 due to the heavy caseload in the Alcovy Circuit, covering Newton and Walton counties. A total of $236,905 was appropriated, which includes the judge's salary and benefits, a secretary's salary and benefits, and setup costs to cover office furniture and equipment.

By law, assistant district attorney and assistant public defender positions must be created for each judgeship as well.

The new judge will work out of both Newton and Walton counties but will be based in Newton.

"In keeping with the traditional rotation used in selecting judges in this circuit, a resident of Newton County should be in line for this seat and I could think of no better person for this position than Newton County native C. David Strickland," Douglas said.

Nominations are being sought by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the judgeship. According to a letter sent to members of the bar by the commission on Aug. 20, the deadline to submit nominations is Thursday. The general public may submit nominations, as well.

Those who are nominated will receive questionnaires they must answer and turn in before Sept. 23. The commission will interview applicants on Oct. 7, 8 and 9.

The commission will then create a short list of up to five candidates and submit those names to Gov. Sonny Perdue, who will make the appointment.

To be considered, candidates must be at least 30 years old, be a resident of the jurisdiction in which they will preside, be a resident of Georgia for at least three years and have practiced law for at least seven years.

A spokesman with the governor's office said there is no established deadline to make the appointment.

The appointee would serve through 2010 and could run for election in November of that year to a four-year term beginning January 2011.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.