Court of Appeals hold oral arguments in Douglas, large crowd attends
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On Wednesday, February 7, 2023, a panel from the Georgia Court of Appeals traveled to Coffee County for its first off-site oral arguments of the year. Arguments were held at Coffee High School. To prepare for the visit staff from the Court of Appeals and the Coffee County Courthouse toured Coffee High School’s Clayton W. Mathis Performing Arts Center. On Friday, January 27 Chief Judge Dwayne Gillis and his staff attorney Alanna Pierce spoke to students at Coffee High School to answer questions about the upcoming cases and the legal profession.
A reception for the Court of Appeals judges was held at the Douglas Golf and Country Club the night before oral arguments. Matt Hennesy, president of the Douglas Bar Association, helped coordinate the event.
The morning of oral arguments, the judges and attorneys had a lovely breakfast provided by Chick-Fil-A and Holt’s Bakery. George McCranie sponsored the breakfast. Oral arguments were open to the general public and over 200 local students attended. Presiding were Judge Christopher McFadden, Judge Trent Brown, and Judge Todd Markle. Court of Appeals Judge Ben Land attended as a member of the audience.
There were three cases presented at this session of court. The first case was Humble v. Moore. Humble was represented by Kice Stone of Stone Family Law and Charles Adams III of Adams Law Firm. Moore was represented by Carmel Sanders of Sanders Law and Susan Raymond of Hogue & Hogue LLP. The second case was Munro v. Georgia Department of Transportation. The Munros were represented by Darren Penn, John Hadden, James Seifter, and Kevin Ketner of Penn Law. The State was represented by Chris Carr, Loretta Pinkston-Pope, Ronald Boyter Jr., Kristine Hayter, and Ellen Cusimano of the Office of the Attorney General.
The last case was Columbus Georgia Board of Tax Assessors v. Medical Center Hospital Authority. The Board of Tax accessors was represented by Charles Palmer of Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders and Robert Lomax of the Lomax Firm. The Hospital Authority was represented by Andrew Rothschild of Rothschild & Rothschild, Jerry Buchanan of Buchanan Law Firm, and Michael Terry, Robert Ashe III and Matthew Sellers of Bondurant Mixson & Elmore.
After oral arguments the judges allowed a question and answer session for the students. Then, a lunch was hosted for the judges and attorneys at The Flying Cowboy. Don Brooks graciously regaled the group with the history of the WWII Flight training museum during lunch. Afterwards, the group was invited to tour the museum, hangers, and airplanes. The presentation and tour were much appreciated.
The following day all three staff attorneys of the Waycross Judicial Circuit spoke to eleventh and twelfth graders at Citizens Christian Academy about the cases.
The judges of the Superior Court of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, the Douglas Bar Association, and the Waycross Bar Association thank all four Court of Appeals judges for taking the time and effort to hold this session of court. In doing so they provided an excellent opportunity for students, lawyers, and the public to witness the Court at work and affording great transparency into the Court’s function. The judges were overwhelmed with the Coffee High School Performing Arts Center and the accommodations provided by Superintendent Morris Leis, Principal Van Allen, and their staffs.
It was a great honor to allow Douglas to showcase some of the best places and people for the occasion.
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