Judge nods exceed expectations

COVINGTON - The Judicial Nominating Commission has received nine nominations for the fifth Superior Court judgeship in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit.

"We've had a bigger response than we anticipated," said Barbara Watson, legal secretary for Judicial Nominating Commission Chairman Michael J. Bowers.

As a result, the deadline to submit nominations has been extended from Thursday to Tuesday.

Those nominated so far are:

· Anthony Carter, public defender for the Alcovy Circuit;

· Lori Brudner Duff, an attorney with Jones and Duff LLC in Loganville;

· Donald W. Osborne, an attorney with Donald W. Osborne PC in Monroe;

· L. Stanford Cox III, an attorney in Monroe;

· Ann Marie Overbeck, with Overbeck and Glass LLC in Social Circle;

· Tricia Braswell Smith with T. Smith Law Group PC in Conyers;

· Robert H. Stansfield, with Greer, Stansfield and Turner LLP in Covington;

· Charles David Strickland, with Alexander, Royston, Hardman, Shinall and Strickland LLP in Covington; and

· William Kendall Wynne Jr., district attorney for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit.

A complete list of nominees will be distributed after the Tuesday deadline. The Judicial Nominating Commission will then send applications to all nominees.

"Not everyone who's nominated will apply," Watson said. "Sometimes, they are nominated without their knowledge - someone knows them and thinks they would be a good judge, but for whatever reason ... they choose not to pursue the judgeship, so they do not apply."

Once applicants have been interviewed, the Judicial Nominating Commission will submit a short list of 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.

The fifth judgeship was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2008, with funding appropriated in 2009.

A total of $236,905 has been 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.

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

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