Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism

Chief Justice Harold D. Melton
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton

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.

What Judges May Do to Improve The Law and The Legal System: What Lawyers Need to Know About Judicial Professionalism CLE Webinar

On May 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia entered an order allowing Georgia attorneys to take all 2020 CLE Hours online.  Click here to view the order.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

What Judges May Do to Improve The Law and The Legal System: What Lawyers Need to Know About Judicial Professionalism

Date: Friday, October 23, 2020

Time: 9 am – 10:30 am

Speakers

Honorable Michael P. Boggs, Justice, Supreme Court of GeorgiaMr. Charles “Chuck” P. Boring, Director, Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission

Moderator

Ms. Adwoa Ghartey-Tagoe Seymour, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, Cox Enterprises, Inc.

During this current climate, lawyers may wonder what judges are allowed to say and do. The Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct provides guardrails and guidelines for the activities in which judges may engage concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, provided that doing so will not interfere with the performance of their official duties or cast doubt on their capacity to impartially decide any issue. After the CLE, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism hopes that lawyers will have a better understanding of how judges may engage in activities concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice. To review written materials, speaker biographies and more visit http://cjcpga.org/102320-cjcp-cle/.

This is a FREE event but pre-registration is required on or before October 21st at 11:00 pm or until the Commission reaches capacity.  For more information and to pre-register click here.

Chief Justice Harold D. Melton Declares A Statewide Judicial Emergency

Effective October 10, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., Chief Justice Harold D. Melton has EXTENDED FOR A SEVENTH 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 SEVENTH 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.

You may view previous version of the Judicial Emergency Orders on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website at the link here.

Professionalism and the Georgia Court Reopening Guide CLE Webinar

On May 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia entered an order allowing Georgia attorneys to take all 2020 CLE Hours online.  Click here to view the order.

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION

On Friday, August 7, 2020, from 2 pm – 4 pm, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism held a FREE webinar via the Zoom.us platform entitled Professionalism and the Georgia Court Reopening Guide.  The results from some of the polls taken during the CLE are available here.

The Program Chair was Judge Shawn LaGrua, Chair of the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts COVID-19 Task Force.  Some of the confirmed speakers included:

  • 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.

The complete list of participants, the program agenda and the program written materials are available here.  Using the Georgia Court Reopening Guide drafted by the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts COVID-19 task force, the CLE explored professionalism issues as the Georgia Courts slowly reopen and begin to address more non-essential business.

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION

If you want to plan a similar CLE with a section or a  local or voluntary  bar association, 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.  If you would like assistance in planning your professionalism CLE, please contact Karlise Y. Grier at kygrier@cjcpga.org.

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 May 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia entered an order allowing Georgia attorneys to take all 2020 CLE Hours online.  Click here to view the order.

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.

Law School Orientations on Professionalism 2020

Presiding Justice David Nahmias, Supreme Court of Georgia, swears in law students during a 2017 Law School Orientation on Professionalism

To find Student Materials, Group Leader Materials, and Evaluations for the 2020 Law School Orientations on Professionalism, please click here.

To read articles on the Law School Orientations on Professionalism, please click here and here.

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.

 

In a recent survey, Gallup found Americans are reporting that their mental health is suffering more than their physical or financial health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a list of resources that may be helpful to lawyers and their clients during these challenging times.

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.

https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/tips-social-distancing-quarantine-isolation-031620.pdf

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

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/supporting-your-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/

Professionalism Resources for CLE Sponsors

The Commission has resources to help CLE Sponsors plan professionalism programs.  For more information, click here.

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/

CJCP News

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.

Commission Videos

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.

CLE/CJE Programs

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.