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3 attorneys make short list for judge

COVINGTON - Three attorneys, two of them Newton County residents, are on the short list of nominees to fill the fifth Alcovy Superior Court judgeship submitted to Gov. Sonny Perdue by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

District Attorney Ken Wynne and attorneys Robert Stansfield and Lori B. Duff have made it to the final round of the process.

The three were culled from a pool of eight applicants following interviews with the commission. They will now be interviewed by Perdue, who will make the appointment.

A spokesman with the governor's office said the interviews have not been scheduled as of yet and there is no deadline for the governor to make his decision.

"It's an honor just to be considered for a nomination and I appreciate those people who submitted my name to the Judicial Nominating Commission," Wynne said.

Wynne was elected District Attorney for the Alcovy Circuit in 2000. Prior to that, he served as chief assistant district attorney from 1990-2000 and as an assistant district attorney from 1988-1990.

He was an associate in the law firm of Harmon, Smith, and Bridges in Atlanta before joining the district attorney's office.

Wynne is a 1987 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. He obtained his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Georgia in 1984.

He is a past president of the District Attorneys' Association of Georgia and is a former president of the Alcovy Bar Association and a past recipient of the State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers' Division Commitment to Justice Award. In 1990 he was named Georgia Child Support Attorney of the Year by the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

He serves as president of the board of directors of A Child's Voice Child Advocacy Center Inc., a non-profit child advocacy center in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit.

Originally from Macon, Wynne and his wife have lived in Newton County since 1989. They have two daughters, Courtney and Kendall.

Robert Stansfield is a partner with Covington law firm Greer, Stansfield and Turner LLP, where he practices business law, representing businesses and individuals in bankruptcy, construction, corporate, customs, environmental, labor law, real estate, probate, estate planning and other matters.

"I'm very pleased and humbled to have been selected by the Judicial Nominating Commission. I'm in the company of some very capable and distinguished lawyers," he said.

Stansfield has practiced law in Covington since 1996 and prior to that practiced in Atlanta and Savannah. He has appeared in cases at the state and federal courts and trial and appellate levels.

He formerly held a customs broker license and advises companies and individuals on compliance with U.S. Customs laws.

He is a 1987 graduate of Emory University School of Law. He and his wife Pat and their 16-year-old daughter live in Covington.

Walton County resident Lori B. Duff is a managing partner of Jones and Duff LLC in Loganville.

"I am both humbled and honored to be on the short list of nominees. It was an impressive list of nominees, and I am excited to be chosen. I hope to do justice to the decision of the Judicial Nominating Commission," Duff said.

Duff graduated from Duke University and then attended Emory Law School, where she graduated in 1994. Duff began her legal career in the Juvenile Division of the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office. She left DeKalb County in 2005 to begin her private practice career.

She is regularly appointed by the local Superior, Juvenile, and Probate courts as a guardian representing minors in the legal system for domestic relations and other civil matters.

She has also been a Judge Pro Tempore in the DeKalb County Juvenile Court.

In addition to juvenile and domestic relations matters, Duff is interested in probate litigation and related issues. Duff is married to a retired DeKalb County police officer and has two young children.

The fifth judgeship was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2008, with funding appropriated this year.

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

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