Praise 102.5 Featured Video
CLOSE

Polls close at 7pm and we want to make sure you are aware of who’s runnning for the most important seat, Superior Court Judge seat. Three candidates – Sterling Eaves, Belinda Edwards and Angelia “Angie” McMillan – are vying for the Fulton County Superior Court judge seat being vacated by Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane in the May 24 nonpartisan election.

Below are unedited responses from Northside Neighbor readers:

Sterling

Sterling Eaves

60, is married and lives with her husband in the Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta.

What degrees do you hold?

Juris Doctor, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, GA 1988

BA Magna Cum Laude, Accounting, Saint Leo College, Saint Leo, FL 1978

What is your judicial/legal experience?

I have 15 years of service on the bench.

I began my judicial career in 2000 as a pro hac vice Traffic and Municipal Court judge in the City of Atlanta. In 2003 I began my 12 years of service in the Fulton County Magistrate Court.

Among my assignments as a Magistrate Judge was to preside over Fulton County Superior Court calendars. There I conducted probable cause/preliminary hearings, bond arraignments and hearings, probation revocation hearings, bench trials, and final plea hearings. I also presided over Fulton County State Court calendars and Fulton County Magistrate Court calendars. I issued orders of Superior, State and Magistrate Court including arrest and search warrants, production orders, court orders, and income deduction orders.

I began my legal career 28 years ago as an associate counsel with Dun & Bradstreet Software Services, Inc. in the areas of intellectual property, contracts, real estate and employment. In 1991, I opened my own law firm. I specialized in litigation representing individuals, businesses and business associations in a broad array of civil and criminal matters. I also worked as an arbitrator, a mediator and as a civil case special master for the Fulton County Superior Court.

What volunteer work have you done?

As an Atlanta native, I feel it is important to perform volunteer service for the betterment of my community. Weekly, I participate in “Everybody Wins! Atlanta”, a program to improve children’s literacy and develop the reading skills of students in low-income elementary schools. I also work with physically and mentally challenged youngsters and adults at the Chastain Horse Park. Lastly, I am a volunteer with Junior Achievement.

How has your work helped the community?

Before I became a judge, I volunteered for ten years with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation as a court appointed guardian ad litem for children in contested custody cases. Last year, I renewed my relationship with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers enrolling for service in the Domestic Violence Program. As an attorney I was also active in the Pro Bono Project of the State Bar of Georgia.

How has your experience prepared you for this position?

In my fifteen year service as a judge in our county, I have learned how to hear and resolve cases expeditiously while giving a full and fair hearing to all. I have also built strong relationships with county personnel inside and outside of the court system and have acquired the case management and personnel management experience needed to effectively manage and operate a court within Superior Court.

Why are you the best person for the job?

I have the greatest breadth of judicial and legal experience among those running for the Fulton County Superior Court Bench. I have demonstrated over my long career that I have an essential quality necessary to successful judges: a judicial temperament. I have the ability to properly apply the law to the facts and to understand how my decisions will affect the people appearing before the court.

What is your vision for the Superior Court’s future?

I have a vision for our Superior Court where the law is followed, rulings are timely, staff is courteous, and a full and impartial hearing is given to all. While a judge in both North and South Fulton County I saw first hand the importance of the direct availability of our court system to the people it serves. As a Superior Court judge I would support establishing satellite locations to make the court directly accessible to everyone. The cycle of crime presented by repeat offenders is a daunting problem that I will work to address.

What are the biggest issues you see facing the court?

Case management is the biggest issue facing the Court. In heavily populated Fulton County trying a civil or criminal case is a slow process for a myriad of reasons. Fulton County is a special case in that it is the situs of the capital of the state and all cases and appeals involving state government and its agencies are by law, are filed there. For this and other reasons Court dockets are large and it takes too long to resolve them.

Budgeting is also a major issue. Recently, discretionary services provided to our community by the court have been seen as a logical place for budget cuts. When budgets are cut, court services used to reduce dockets are negatively impacted causing a slowdown in the cases being resolved.

Why are you the best person to deal with them?

As a result of my 12 years as a Magistrate Judge in Fulton County I have learned to efficiently work through over-crowded dockets while still giving everyone an opportunity to be heard fully and fairly.

Budgeting is problematical because there are many programs competing for a limited amount of resources. As a result of the relationships I have built over my many years experience at Fulton County I will be a vocal advocate for the court. My education in accounting and experience in private industry as well as being the owner of my own firm have given me the skills necessary to be an asset to the court.

Belinda

Source: Special photo / Belinda Edwards

Belinda Edwards

What is your age?

Sixty two.

Where do you live?

I am a resident of unincorporated Fulton County.

Do you have a spouse and/or children/grandchildren?

I have an adult son.

What degrees do you hold?

BA Economics, Stanford University, 1975. MBA, Columbia University Graduate School of Business, 1977. JD, Georgia State University College of Law, 1990.

What is your judicial/legal experience?

I will refer you to my bio and resume for a more extensive answer to this question. Succinctly, my experience includes having served as Chief Judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, General Counsel for Morris Brown College, Senior Attorney for Atlanta Public Schools and Assistant City Attorney and Senior Financial Analyst for the City of Atlanta. I have also served as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the State Department of Community Affairs. I am a certified arbitrator and mediator and currently in private practice focusing on mediation with the firm of Hollowell Foster & Herring.

What volunteer work have you done?

I volunteer primarily through the various organizations I belong to which are referenced in my bio. Currently through the Junior League of Atlanta, I volunteer as a reader with the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GARRS). GARRS is a reading service for the blind and is “dedicated to bringing the best in contemporary literature, periodicals, and newspapers to the visually challenged.” I host the Lullaby Hour, a children’s program. My sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, is founded on the principle of service to the community. Thus through my chapter, Pi Alpha Omega, we are constantly engaged in programs to benefit the community. In March, the “Month of Giving“, the chapter collected books, prom gowns, backpacks of school supplies and metals. Recently we volunteered at Sadie Mays Nursing Home to assist in their celebration of their 69 Anniversary. The chapter has an ongoing program ASCEND with students from Douglas High School to foster interest in STEM, community service and exposure to cultural events. With Leadership Atlanta I joined with other members to put on forums to educate members on current issues in the criminal justice system.

How has your work helped the community?

My volunteer work has primarily focused on enhancing the lives of young people and their families by working to ensure their basic needs are met and they are given opportunities to participate in various programs to improve their skill sets and pursue their dreams. Additionally my work has educated the community on various issues and I would like to think brought about a positive change and motivated others to get actively engaged in their community.

How has your experience prepared you for this position?

My experience has perfectly prepared me for this position by giving me an understanding of the work required of this position and fostering in me a willingness to do the work required. I have over thirty years of judicial, legal, business and mediation experience. I know from my legal experience and serving as Chief Judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court what the position entails. Having sat on the bench, I found that parities coming to court wanted their matters heard in a timely manner, to be treated respectfully and leave the Court with some understanding of why the court ruled in the manner it did. All of which I have done. I further understand that the case is not over until an order is issued and filed in the Clerk’s office. Thus, an efficient and effective case management system is a necessity.

Also, people sometimes forget that, in addition to criminal cases, the Fulton County Superior Court has a family division, civil division and accountability courts. I have both a legal and business background handling complex financial, real estate and administrative matters. I have also presided over an accountability court and conducted felony criminal hearings. Thus, I am thoroughly prepared to handle any matter that may come before the court because of the depth and diversity of my education and experience. I bring a wealth of experience in most areas that may possibly come before the court including conducting adoptions and deciding custody issues.

Why are you the best person for the job?

I am an experienced litigator, transactional attorney, mediator and judge with experience presiding over criminal cases (felonies and misdemeanors), civil cases and an accountability court, Family Drug Court. I have managed a daily docket, judicial, legal and administrative staff and overseen court operations. With over thirty years of judicial, legal and business experience in Fulton County, I am the most qualified and ideal candidate to succeed Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane who is retiring. I am committed to fairness, justice and accountability and making a positive difference in my community, Fulton County. I have the judicial experience and commitment to public service that matters and I pledge to observe a strict standard of impartiality and equality that all before the Fulton County Bench deserve. My educational background and experience makes me uniquely qualified to serve on the Fulton County Superior Court Bench. I have not only an understanding of the job but a willingness to do the job. Additionally, I am committed to public service. Having served in both public and private sector positions, I have learned that my work is most rewarding and fulfilling when it involves public service. Finally, I am committed to performing the work.

What is your vision for the Superior Court’s future?

A court that provides access to justice for all in a timely manner and relies on best practices to help people through the process of dispute resolution. A court where all affected parties work together through innovation to achieve the agreed upon desired results.

What are the biggest issues you see facing the court?

The biggest challenges facing the court are: (i) ensuring that all parties have access to the court; (ii) that civil matters are not consumed by the constitutional demands to address criminal matters; (iii) maintaining a balance that allows pro se litigants to navigate the process without the judge having to become their advocate; (iv) adequate resources are in place to fund court operations and programs; and (v) meeting the changing needs of people in the courts as expectations change.

Why are you the best person to deal with them?

I will refer you to my previous answers which sets forth my education and experience and add that I am a hardworking, honest person of integrity with high ethical standards that believes in fairness, justice and accountability. Additionally, I am a problem solver with proven analytical skills capable of handling complex financial and legal matters without becoming overwhelmed. Finally, I am a native of Atlanta. I grew up here and have spent my professional life hearing that the best judges are more than their resumes — they are ideally committed to and part of the communities they serve — that’s me. I have the education, experience, commitment to both public service and making a positive difference in Fulton County that matters.

Angelia

Source: Angelia “Angie” McMillan

Angelia “Angie” McMillan

What is your age?

59 yrs old

Where do you live?

East Point, GA

Do you have a spouse and/or children/grandchildren?

I have 2 adult children ages 25 & 19

What degrees do you hold?

NC Central Univ (BA, 1977), The Atlanta Univ (now Clark-Atlanta Univ) (MA,1979) and Woodrow Wilson Law School (JD, 1984)

What is your judicial/legal experience?

Member of the GA Bar since 1987; Staff Attorney with Falanga and Davis, PC (Sandy Springs) & Hyatt Legal Services (Jonesboro). Court Appointed Attorney with cities of East Point, College Park and Hapeville. Established A.M. McMillan Law Center in 1989 focusing primarily on family, criminal and probate law. As a trial lawyer, she has been lead counsel for countless divorces, custody actions, modifications, adoptions, misdemeanor and felony criminal cases.

What volunteer work have you done? How has your work helped the community?

-In-Take Counselor with The Neighborhood Justice Center serving the Fulton County Magistrate Court at the onset of that project as mediation has developed and is now implemented in most Ga. Superior Courts as a successful way to resolve disputes without trial (1987-88);

-Places orphans with permanent families through adoption procedures (1989-present);

 – Speaks to community organizations without fee regarding effect of mass incarceration on families (2010-present);

– Served Atlanta Business League & City of Atlanta International Trade Contracts Initiative with Caribbean (1989);

– Hosted and trained Law Interns at her office (1989-2002);

– Gives school supplies to minor children of incarcerated women (2008-present)

– Supplied groceries to the elderly, widowed and single mother families monthly in NW and SW Atlanta(2005-2013)

– Visited local jails and state prisons (1992-2011)

– Hosted weekly radio series (WTJH/East Point) regarding legal remedies for battered and abused women (1988-2002)

– Served food monthly to women and children living in SE Atlanta shelter (1987-1996)

– With continued commitment in serving community she has and still conducts numerous free legal workshops and is often called upon as guest speaker for churches and other non-profit organizations;

_ Gives free Plant and Vegetable Seeds to promote Stronger Family Bonds through family/ community garden activities and to Address Hunger in Fulton County.

How has your experience prepared you for this position?

– Being a Candidate for the Family Law Division, most experience in practice of law involved domestic relations content;

– Having taught world history and law to adults in schools sharpened organizational, administrative, research, listening and oral and written communication skills to simplify complex matters ;

-Because Fulton County has become a multi-cultural population, travels with extensive time spent in more than nine (9) countries and having taught world history and law to adults (university students) raised appreciation of other cultures;

– As a sole practitioner establishing a law office, management of time and resources is realized; and

– Aware of the needs and desires of Fulton County citizens

Why are you the best person for the job?

1) Knowing that Judges interpret the law not make them, her creative thinking skills sharpened as an educator, lawyer, orator, author and missionary make her best prepared to serve from the bench all citizens from every walk of life;

2) Angie McMillan has a passion for Justice (uncommon, unwavering, unafraid, unbiased) for ALL Citizens;

3) She believes Stronger Families and Communities begin with True Justice;

4) Believing in humanity, she is diligent, compassionate, and decisive to what is fair and what is in the best interest of the common good;

5) She comes from humble beginnings devoting her entire adult life uplifting the oppressed and challenged while not fascinated with money nor fame; she remains an humble servant; and

6) Angie has nearly 30 years experience in practicing law; counselling and advocating restoration of families in domestic, financial, criminal and probate matters supports the belief that she can make a better difference as Judge.

What is your vision for the Superior Court’s future?

Because Superior Court has general trial jurisdiction with exclusive authority over divorce, felonies, equity and matters involving land title, it is overwhelmed with cases, especially in larger counties such as Fulton. Therefore it is crucial that the court is efficient yet thorough in hearing grievances with assurance of being fair, respectful, patient, reasonably affordable and accountable in its decisions all of which are critical to the court’s honor and positive perception by the people. Community involvement through education and communication are key components to the success of our judicial system.

What are the biggest issues you see facing the court?

– Restoring the public’s trust; Public Relations

– Improving efficiency & cost

Why are you the best person to deal with them?

– Being involved with community for more than 37 years in Fulton County on a grass root level gave hands-on experience and awareness of the culture and issues;

– Advocate of public civic engagement;

– Establishing a law office/practice and being a mother molded cost efficiency;

– Belief in humanity and order; and

– God fearing

SOURCE: Marietta Daily Journal | PHOTOS: Provided

Please Vote Today!! Meet The Three Women Running For Fulton’s Superior Court Judge Seat  was originally published on majicatl.com