ATLANTA - Presiding Justice Hugh P. Thompson of Milledgeville, GA has been
unanimously elected as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He
will assume the position Aug. 15, 2013, succeeding Chief Justice Carol W.
The Court has also unanimously elected
Justice P. Harris Hines to become the new Presiding Justice.
The state's Chief Justice presides over
Georgia's judicial branch, just as the governor heads the executive branch of
government, and House and Senate leaders lead the legislative branch. The
Presiding Justice serves in his absence. The Chief Justice is the main
spokesperson for the Court, as well as for the entire judiciary. He presides
over oral arguments and runs the meetings in which the Court makes its
decisions, although he has only one vote as does each of the Justices. The
Chief Justice, who serves one 4-year term, also chairs the Georgia Judicial
Council, which governs all levels of the state's courts.
Presiding Justice Thompson was Chief Judge of
the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit when Gov. Zell Miller appointed him in 1994 to
the Georgia Supreme Court. Prior to that, he served as president of the
statewide Council of Superior Court Judges. Among numerous awards, he has
received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Mercer University Law School
Alumni, the Distinguished Achievement Award from Georgia College and State
University, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Baldwin County Bar
Association, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Milledgeville
Kiwanis Club and the Distinguished Service Award from the Milledgeville
Jaycees. He and his wife, Jane, have two grown sons.
Justice Hines served as Superior Court Judge
of the Cobb Judicial Circuit for more than 12 years before Gov. Miller
appointed him to the state Supreme Court in 1995. He spent the previous eight
years as a state court judge in Cobb County. In 1969, he joined the law firm of
Edwards, Bentley, Awtrey & Parker of Marietta, GA where he became a partner
in 1973. An Atlanta native, Justice Hines graduated from Henry W. Grady High
School, Emory University and Emory University School of Law. For the last 12
years, he has served as Chairman of the Georgia Supreme Court's Committee on
Justice for Children. He and his wife, Helen, have two grown children.
Both justices will be sworn into their new
positions in a ceremony in the state Supreme Court courtroom on Aug. 15.