Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
The Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the first body of its kind in the nation, was created in 1989 by the Supreme Court of Georgia with the primary charge to enhance professionalism among Georgia’s lawyers. In carrying out its charge, the Commission provides ongoing attention and assistance to the task of assuring that the practice of law remains a high calling, enlisted in the service of the client and the public good.
Law School Orientations on Professionalism 2020
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton Declares A Statewide Judicial Emergency
Effective August 11, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton has EXTENDED FOR A FIFTH TIME a Statewide Judicial Emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts. Read the Fifth Extension Order here.
• You may find a Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts Georgia Court Reopening Guide at the link here.
• The Administrative Office of the Courts is posting reopening procedures for individual courts here.
• The Administrative Office of the Courts also continues to post emergency orders (such as temporary building closures for COVID-19 related cleaning) here.
Effective July 12, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton has EXTENDED FOR A FOURTH TIME a Statewide Judicial Emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts. Read the Fourth Extension Order here.
On June 12, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton EXTENDED FOR A THIRD TIME a Statewide Judicial Emergency effective immediately due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia “and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.” Read the Third Extension Order here.
On May 11, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton EXTENDED FOR A SECOND TIME a Statewide Judicial Emergency effective immediately due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia “and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.” Read the Second Extension Order here.
On April 6, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton EXTENDED a Statewide Judicial Emergency effective immediately due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia “and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.” Read the Extension Order here.
On March 14, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton declared a Statewide Judicial Emergency effective immediately due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout Georgia “and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.” Read the Order here.
Professionalism and the Georgia Court Reopening Guide CLE Webinar
On Friday, August 7, 2020, from 2 pm – 4 pm, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism will hold a FREE webinar via the Zoom.us platform entitled Professionalism and the Georgia Court Reopening Guide.
The Program Chair is Judge Shawn LaGrua, Chair of the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts COVID-19 Task Force. Currently confirmed speakers are:
- Chief Justice Harold D. Melton, Supreme Court of Georgia;
- Judge Shawn LaGrua, Fulton County Superior Court; and
- Dr. Mark A. Swancutt, MD, PhD, DTM&H, Staff Physician, Respiratory Clinic, Fulton County Board of Health.
Additional speakers may be announced. The Commission will apply in Georgia only for 2 hours of CLE credit for the program, including 1 hour of general CLE credit and 1 hour of professionalism CLE credit. Using the Georgia Court Reopening Guide drafted by the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts COVID-19 task force, the CLE will explore professionalism issues as the Georgia Courts slowly reopen and begin to address more non-essential business.
Registration is now closed. You may find the written materials for the Professionalism and Georgia Court Reopening Guide CLE here.
This is a FREE event but pre-registration is required on or before August 4th at 4:00 pm or until the Commission reaches capacity. For more information and to pre-register visit: https://professionalism-and-gacourts-reopening.eventbrite.com.
Criminal Justice, Professionalism, and Coronavirus
On June 11, 2020, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism held an online webinar via the Zoom.us platform to discuss Criminal Justice, Professionalism, and Coronavirus. The Program Co-Chairs were Rebecca Holmes Liles Grist, Solicitor-General, State Court of Bibb County and Claudia S. Saari, Public Defender, DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office.
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
If you want to plan a similar CLE with a local bar association in your jurisdiction, you are welcome to do so and to use the materials here. Please simply let us know and acknowledge the Commission and the Planning Team for their work during your CLE.
Moving Forward with Professionalism In The Midst of A Public Health Emergency CLE Webinar
THANK YOU to each of the Georgia attorneys who attended the online webinar via Zoom.us – Moving Forward with Professionalism In the Midst of A Public Health Emergency. The Commission has posted CLE credits for the attorneys who attended the CLE; therefore, attorneys who attended the CLE should now see the course on their CLE transcript. Please visit www.gabar.org and click on the “Member Login” Button in the top right-hand corner. After you are logged in, look for the Blue “My Account” Box to the left. Click on the first link, “CLE Status.”
The cost of the CLE credits required by the State Bar’s Commission on Continuing Legal Education are NOT included in the registration fee.
Supreme Court of Georgia Enters Order Rescheduling July 2020 Bar Exam
On April 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia entered an Order postponing the July 2020 Georgia bar examination until September 9-10, 2020 and authorizing certain recent law graduates to practice law under the supervision of a licensed Georgia lawyer pending receipt of their bar examination results. To read the Order, click here. For additional information from the Supreme Court’s website, click here.
Lawyers are Encouraged to Mutually Support Each Other During This Time
Please read this important message from the Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Lawyer Assistance Program, Lynn Garson, regarding resources available to lawyers during this time. You may find her message here: https://tinyurl.com/uwbunxw. Remember that one tenant of A Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism says: “To my colleagues in the practice of law, I offer concern for your welfare. I will strive to make our association a professional friendship.” Let’s build or maintain our professional relationships, keeping the CDC’s safety guidelines in mind, during this Judicial Emergency.
SAMHSA has a pamphlet with tips for taking care of your behavioral health during times of social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a web page with many different resources to help individuals support their Emotional Well Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Learn About the REVISED Professionalism CLE Guidelines
The Commission issued REVISED Professionalism CLE Guidelines that took effect on July 1, 2019. For more information about the Professionalism CLE Guidelines, click here.
Read About "The Real Man Behind the Robe"
Commission Member, Maria Mackay, went to Auburn University with Chief Justice Harold Melton. Her wonderful article, The Real Man Behind The Robe, about her long-time friend was featured on the Commission’s Professionalism Page in the October issue of the Georgia Bar Journal. You can find the article on the page here: http://cjcpga.org/georgia-bar-journal-articles/
Resources for Professionalism Programs
The Commission serves as a resource for information and materials regarding professionalism initiatives past and present. The Commission is also available to assist any sponsor, group, or person planning a CLE session on professionalism to tailor their professionalism sessions to the issues relevant to the group to whom the sessions are presented.
For help with planning your professionalism CLE, review the Commission’s CLE Planning Guidelines found here. To see sample professionalism CLE/CJE papers and presentations, visit the link here. If you still have questions, call the Commission at (404) 225-5040. We are happy to assist you and to answer your questions.
Georgia Bar Journal Professionalism Page
View the Commission's Professionalism Page articles here.
View Commission Video List.
CLE Presentations and Papers
View CLE Presentations and Papers.
Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service
The Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service are sponsored by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.
Law School Orientations
You can find the most up-to-date information about the Law School Orientation Professionalism Programs here.
2019 Convocation: Professionalism Then (1988) and Now (2019)
The Commission's state-wide convocations on professionalism give greater impetus and sharper focus to professionalism issues.
Learn more about upcoming CLE/CJE programs that explore the meaning and aspirations of professionalism in contemporary legal practice and reflect upon the fundamental premises of lawyer professionalism.