City of Monroe Municipal Judge Pro Tempore Lori Duff elected president of GCMCJ
Savannah, GA – The Council of Municipal Court Judges Annual Summer Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony was held June 24, 2021, after a year hiatus due to the pandemic. Honorable Carol W. Hunstein, Supreme Court of Georgia (1992-2018), attended the business meeting as the Council’s guest speaker and administered the oath of office to the newly elected officers, which marks the first time two women are at the helm of its leadership.
Monroe Municipal Court Judge Pro Tempore Lorid B. Duff was elected president of the Council and Monroe Municipal Court Judge Dale “Bubba” Samuels was elected co-district representative for District Ten. Samuels was president of the Council in 2019 and Duff was vice president at that time. In addition this year, Duff was awarded the Council’s President’s Award, on behalf of Chief Judge Willie Weaver, Sr. for “her unwavering leadership and support through unprecedented times.”
Up until recently, Duff also was the Municipal Court Judge for the City of Loganville, but they voted not to re-appoint her at the end of her last term, instead appointing attorney Douglas T. Kidd.
The Council elected officers and District Representatives for 2021-2022 are:
President Judge Lori B. Duff, Municipal Court of Monroe
President-Elect Judge JaDawnya Baker, Municipal Court of Atlanta
Vice President Chief Matthew McCord, Municipal Court of Stockbridge
Secretary Judge Nathan Wade, Municipal Court of Marietta
Treasurer Judge David Will, Municipal Court of Clarkston
Immediate Past President Chief Judge Willie C. Weaver Sr., Municipal Court of Albany.
District Two: Chief Judge Willie C. Weaver Sr. and Judge Gregory T. Williams
District Four Judge Michael B. Nation and Judge Jennifer Mann
District Five Judge Roberta Cooper;
District Six Judge James J. Dalton II and Judge Wanda Dallas
District Eight Judge Joseph Sumner and Judge Dexter Wimbish;
District Ten Judge Ryan Hope and Judge Dale “Bubba” Samuels (Monroe Municipal Court)
Chief Judge Rashida Oliver and Judge Rick Ryczek were elected to the Municipal Court Judges Training Council.
The Council recognized several municipal court judges with accolades for various achievements. Judge Claude D. Mason, Municipal Court of Duluth, received the Frost Ward Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a municipal court judge who has made significant contributions to the Council of Municipal Court Judges over a long period of time.
Judge G. Hammond Law III, Gainesville Municipal Court, was awarded the Special Recognition Award for effective leadership and innovation during these unprecedented times; his court staff nominated him for this honor. Chief Judge Norman H. Cuadra, Municipal Court of Suwannee, and Judge Parag Shah, Municipal Court of Atlanta were recognized with the Glen Ashman Education Achievement Award, which honors judges that exemplify judicial education through extensive time and efforts towards educating municipal court judges and clerks.
The Council’s President’s Award, on behalf of Chief Judge Willie Weaver, Sr., was awarded to Judge Lori B. Duff, Municipal Court of Monroe; for her unwavering leadership and support through unprecedented times; Chief Judge Norman H. Cuadra, Municipal Court of Suwannee, for his for steadfast leadership and tirelessly serving the Council through unprecedented times and LaShawn Murphy, Trial Court Liaison, Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts for her outstanding service and selfless dedication to the Council.
The Council also recognized Representative Chuck Efstration, 104th, for perseverance and continuing support of the Council In the legislature and Representative Bert Reeves, 34th, for perseverance in the General Assembly in the passage of HB 479.
In addition to the business meeting and awards ceremony, the Council provided its annual summer Law and Practice Update where judges received training on many topics: Judicial Health and Wellness; Updates on DUI Law & Legislation; Implicit Bias; Professionalism for Judges; Traffic Case Procedure and Administration and Mental Illness &and How It Presents on Your Court.
Editor’s Note: Duff is a contributor to Your Local News with a twice a month “Legalese” column giving easy-to-understand explanations of Georgia Law. She previously received an award for these contributions by the Georgia Council of Municipal Judges. She also is a published author and has a blog on Your Local News.