Occupation: Judicial Officer appointed to sit by designation as a Superior Court Judge in the Fulton County Superior Court’s Family Division, presiding over domestic relations and Protective Order cases. I am also a solo practitioner litigating and mediating cases involving family law, personal injury, Social Security and VA disability benefit appeals, as well as sports and entertainment contract review and negotiation.
Previous elected offices held: None
Other community service experience: I am a volunteer with HandsOn Atlanta and the City of South Fulton, packing and distributing groceries. I also volunteer my time to The Enchanted Closet and MedShare, and I have acted as a coach and a judge for Mock Trial competitions. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., where I participate in community service projects we sponsor including, but not limited to, drives to collect toys, bookbags, school supplies, gift cards, food, clothing, eyeglasses, etc.. I am also now a provisional member of the Junior League of Atlanta.
What is motivating you to run for this office?
Growing up, I witnessed injustice and mistreatment of suffering people and that motivated me to become an attorney because I wanted to be in a position to help people facing those issues. Those same experiences motivated me to become a judge and to run for this seat. Fulton County deserves neutral, knowledgeable and respectful judges. I am fully aware that parties appearing before me may be at low points in their lives and that the decisions I make have far-reaching consequences. In court, I give people an opportunity to be heard, my undivided attention and I treat them with respect.
What is the biggest issue facing the court system and how will you address it?
Efficiency. Increased efficiency requires upgrades to existing technology. There will be a continuing need for reliable devices for work away from the courthouse. I also advocate for upgrading, or finding an alternative to, the current case management system. I have been conducting hearings via video conference and found them to be efficient, so the use of this type of technology will definitely continue. Further, when litigants know what the court expects from them and what they can expect from the court through informative Case Management Orders that also provide available legal resources, efficiency in resolving cases is maximized.
What strengths and weaknesses have the coronavirus pandemic crisis revealed in the court system?
A weakness revealed during this crisis is the need for definitive disaster planning for alternate operating procedures in the event the courthouse is unavailable to staff and the public. A strength rising from this crisis has been the adaptability of courthouse staff as they have quickly risen to the challenge of creating processes to get back to the business of serving the public. In a short window of time, Fulton County has gotten back to the business of handling cases using video and phone conferences, e-filing, etc., and YouTube is being utilized to provide public access by livestreaming some proceedings.