from Leah and Mark at the Indie Craft Experience. Thanks, y’all!
More from David:
The seven candidates for the open seat on the Court of Appeals participated in a debate on Monday organized by the Atlanta Press Club, which Daily Report wrote about. The whole article is worth reading, but one of the topics the candidates disagreed on was the importance of the poll of Georgia lawyers conducted by the State Bar of Georgia.
In the poll, members of the Georgia bar were asked to rate each of the candidates on the scale “Well Qualified”, “Qualified”, “Not Qualified” and “Lack of Sufficient Knowledge to Express Opinion”.
The highest rated candidate was Bruce Edenfield, who got the most “Well Qualified” and “Qualified” votes, and the fewest “Not Qualified” votes.
The lowest-rated candidates were Perry McGuire and Tamela Adkins. McGuire was deemed “Not Qualified” by 446 lawyers, and Daily Report reported that McGuire “said he didn’t even know 400 lawyers in the state, and they didn’t know him.” Adkins dismissed the poll as a “popularity contest” and pointed out that “only about 10 percent of the state’s lawyers responded to the poll.” (The response rate was about 11.5%, but she might have a point.)
And David (http://viparyaya.wordpress.com) chimes in on the election here in Georgia:
We’re electing 3 judges to the Court of Appeals of Georgia on November 4, 2008. 2 of the judges are incumbents running unopposed. However, Judge John H. Ruffin is retiring at the end of his current term, and there are seven candidates running for his seat on the Court of Appeals. None of the seven are household names (at least not in this household), and I don’t like going into the voting booth completely uninformed, so I spent some time this week trying to find out something about each of them.
Here’s a summary of what I found, together with links to the sources of the information:
The candidates are (in the order they’re listed on the sample ballot):
Tamela L Adkins: A divorce lawyer in Lawrenceville. She advertised $499 uncontested divorces on billboards. According to Daily Report Online she had some financial problems a few years ago (the owner of the billboards sued her law firm in 2005, claiming it was owed $16,000), and is not listed in Westlaw as counsel on any appellate decisions. She is also one of 3 candidates who refused to sign a pledge that they wouldn’t announce their positions on matters that might come before the court. Here’s a picture of Adkins’ billboard in Gwinnett County.
Sara Doyle: Partner at Holland & Knight in Atlanta. Works in civil litigation and education law in Atlanta. Daily Report says she is connected to the Republican establishment in Georgia. She has worked on 16 appeals court cases.
Bruce M. Edenfield: Trial lawyer from Dahlonega. Daily Report says he was listed as counsel on 62 appellate decisions, which is the second most of any of the candidates. He says he is backed by both former Governor Roy Barnes (D) and former Attorney General Michael Bowers (R), and hasn’t been affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican party. He claimed to have collected the most campaign contributions of any of the candidates.
Christopher J McFadden: Appeals lawyer from Decatur. Has the most appeals court experience of any of the candidates: 78 cases. Wrote the book “Georgia Appellate Practice,” and is considered an expert on the appeals process.
Perry J. McGuire: Republican nominee for State Attorney General in 2006. Former State Senator for Douglas county and former corporate lawyer for Chick-fil-A. Relatively little litigation experience and no appeals court experience, so he touts his “business sense”. Advertised his support for the old state flag when he ran for State Senate in 1993, but now says he’s glad the flag has been changed. Endorsed by Georgia Right to Life, he’s one of 3 candidates who refused to sign a pledge that they wouldn’t announce their positions on matters that might come before the court.
Michael S. Meyer von Bremen: Democratic state senator from Albany — chair of Senate Special Judiciary Committee and former Senate minority leader. Introduced an indigent defense bill in 2003 that became law, and opposed 2005 legislation designed to make it harder for plaintiffs to win tort suits. Has a large and varied amount of litigation experience, and 12 appeals cases to his name.
Mike Sheffield: Criminal defense attorney in Lawrenceville. Ran for the Court of Appeals in 2004, but lost to Debra Bernes. Estimates he’s appealed about 60 cases to the Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court. One of 3 candidates who refused to sign a pledge that they wouldn’t announce their positions on matters that might come before the court.
There are interviews with 6 of the candidates on the website for the legal affairs radio show What is Goin’ On?. (Perry McGuire apparently wouldn’t return the host’s phone calls. But that’s okay, because I know all I need to about him…)
Unfortunately, there’s no telling how voters will select between these candidates, given the low profile of this race and the limited information available. Jim Wooten pointed out that 4 of the 12 judges currently on the court got there by being elected (instead of first being appointed by the governor), and all 4 have names that begin with “A” or “B”, so a lot of voters seem to pick the first name on the ballot. Most of this year’s candidates seem to have the appropriate experience and temperament to be on the Court of Appeals, but I’m not sure that’s true of the candidate who’s listed first…
This batch of ghee is called “Pure Ghee” and comes in pretty tins.
If I could afford any house in Decatur, and the staff to care for it, this one would be it. It’s gorgeous, on a reasonable sized lot, close to everything, and did I mention that it’s gorgeous? I love its garden, but I’d tear out even more of the lawn and replace it with an English cottage garden. But that’s just me – always wanting more.