Georgia Reflections on Ferguson - the Role of the Courts Summit

Georgia Reflections on Ferguson - the Role of the Courts Summit


You are invited to attend the Georgia Reflections on Ferguson – The Role of the Courts Summit on December 15, 2016 (Bill of Rights Day) at Mercer University, followed by a reception at the Tubman Museum. The targeted audience is attorneys and judges of Georgia but registration is open to anyone. The cost to attend this summit is $25 to help defray meal expenses. Applications for CLE (including one ethics and one professionalism hour) and CJE credit are pending. The registration fee does not include the cost of CLE credits. Updates will be provided on the website below.

The Summit will focus on the role of the courts in addressing the justice issues raised in the Department of Justice Report from Ferguson, Missouri. You can see the full Department of Justice Report at the link here:

This summit is a sponsored partnership of the Judicial Council of Georgia's Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence Committee staffed by the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Council of Municipal Court Judges, and the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education.


Registration 9:00 am to 10:00 am

10:00 AM WELCOME --Chief Justice Hugh Thompson, introduced by K. David Cooke, Jr., District Attorney, Macon-Bibb County

CMCJ President Remarks -Judge Gary Jackson, Atlanta Municipal Court

PANEL: Video in Courts/Open Courtrooms --Jane Hansen – Supreme Court Public Information Officer • Moderator --Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.), Partner, Smith Gambrell & Russell, LLP--Hon. Verda Colvin, Judge, Macon Circuit Superior Court --Hon. Ashley Wright, District Attorney, Richmond County--Cynthia Counts, Partner, Duane Morris, LLP, Board Member of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation--Hon. Jerry Baxter, Judge, Fulton County Superior Court

PRESENTATION: Presentation on Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council --Judge Michael Boggs, Georgia Court of Appeals


PRESENTATION: Presentation on Department of Justice Ferguson Report and Court Reform --Judge Leslie Spornberger Jones, Municipal Court of Athens-Clarke County

PANEL: The Process is the Punishment – The Ethics Argument for having a different process in lower level courts– Judge Leslie Spornberger Jones • Moderator --Rusi Patel, Assistant General Counsels, Georgia Municipal Association--Hon. Rebecca Grist – Solicitor General, Macon-Bibb County and Immediate Past President, Georgia Association of Solicitor General’s-- Troy P. Hendrick, Esq. --Judge Harold McLendon of Dublin --Attorney and Minister Francys Johnson, President Georgia NAACP --Sarah Geraghty, Managing Attorney, Impact Litigation--Southern Center for Human Rights

PANEL: The role of the legislative branch, the executive branch (i.e. DOJ), the role of the community, and the role of judges in creating change –James Rodatus, AOC Staff • Moderator--Senator John Flanders Kennedy, Jr. (invited)--Judge Meng Lim, Tallapoosa Circuit, Seventh Judicial District --Marissa McCall Dodson, Public Policy Director, Southern Center for Human Rights--Hon. J. Robert Faulkner, Judge, Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court

NEXT STEPS DISCUSSION: What will each group do and how do I fit in? --Judge Latisha Dear Jackson, Municipal Court of Stone Mountain

CLOSING REMARKS: Access, Fairness Public Trust and Confidence Committee Co-Chairs --Justice Robert Benham--Justice Carol W. Hunstein

The audience will adjourn to a reception at Tubman Museum, 310 Cherry St, Macon, GA 31201. Co-Chairs, Host Committee – • Ira Foster, Managing Attorney, Georgia Legal Services Program and Past President, Macon Bar Association • Rebecca Grist, Solicitor General, Bibb County and Immediate Past President, Georgia Association of Solicitor Generals