Articles Posted in Independent Judiciary

On February 4, 2009 Justice Leah Sears, the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, gave her last State of the Judiciary address to the Georgia General Assembly. It is her last such address because she has announced she will be retiring from the bench in June of this year. Georgia lawyers will miss her, because of her absolute committment to a strong, independent Judiciary and to the Rule of Law. She is a true role model for all Georgians, especially young women like my daughter, Alex, who is now 11 years old, and who are looking for the way to make their mark on Georgia and future generations. Below I have reprinted Justice Sears’ entire State of the Judiciary Address.

Lieutenant Governor Cagle, Speaker Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Burkhalter, President Pro Tem Williams and other members of the General Assembly. Ladies and Gentlemen. I am overwhelmed by your warm welcome.

Today I stand before this distinguished body for the last time as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. I am both honored and humbled. I have so many of you to thank for your years of support and encouragement. And I am forever indebted to my colleagues on the Supreme Court—my friends—Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein, former Chief Justice Robert Benham, and Justices George Carley, Hugh Thompson, Harris Hines and Harold Melton. I am also grateful to my friends on the Georgia Court of Appeals, now being ably led by Chief Judge Yvette Miller, as well as all of my other colleagues in the judicial branch.


Below is an article that appears in today’s Fulton County Daily Report about last week’s Height of Excellence Gala, sponsored by Georgia Trial Lawyers Association in honor of Judge Anthony Alaimo. Judge Alaimo is an incredible American citizen and an amazing citizen of Georgia. We are lucky to have him on our Federal Bench and are lucky simply to have him with us here in Georgia. I hope you’ll get as much pleasure out this reading his speech as I did last week enjoying it in person.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The ‘pinnacle’ of a full career


As a plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyer who is genuinely concerned about maintaining the independence of the judiciary, I am proud to report the Supreme Court of Georgia is the most productive high court in the country, according to a recent study by The University of Chicago Law School. Among the 50 states’ highest courts, the Georgia Supreme Court issues 58 opinions per justice a year – more than any other state. The median is 23 opinions per judge in Kansas, and the low is 12 written opinions per judge in Oregon.

Other studies have sought to rank the nation’s high courts. But this one, entitled, “Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts?” measured three areas of quality – productivity, influence and independence.

The study’s authors concluded that while no state is a clear winner in all categories, California probably has the “best high court.” But Georgia is ranked among the top five.

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