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Baldwin sworn in as new state court judge

POSTED: October 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Larry Baldwin, left, poses with Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue Monday during Baldwin's swearing-in ceremony in Atlanta.

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Larry Baldwin will take the bench this afternoon after being sworn in by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Monday as Hall County’s newest judge.

Baldwin, 39, is the third judge on Hall County’s state court bench. He said nearly 11 years of service in the Hall County Solicitor’s Office prepared him for his new role on the other side of the bench.

"The last 11 years I’ve spent a lot of time in the state court of Hall County and, of course, I know most of the attorneys that practice in town from my time in the solicitor’s office. I know the courthouse personnel, so I think that will be a real advantage going forward," Baldwin said.

Hall County’s growing caseload of misdemeanor criminal cases and traffic citations necessitated adding a third judge in state court. Judges Charles "Charlie" Wynne and B.E. "Gene" Roberts were handling the work of 3.7 judges, according to a study conducted last year by Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts. Not counting civil cases, the judges handled more than 8,000 criminal cases in 2007.

With the naming of the new judgeship, Baldwin said he saw an exciting opportunity.

"I had considered it the last few years. If the opportunity presented itself, (I knew) it would be something I would want to pursue," Baldwin said. "... When the new judgeship came open, I just thought it was an exciting opportunity and decided to put my name in for it."

Wynne, the incumbent chief state court judge, faces opposition in the Nov. 4 election from local attorney Sonny Sykes.

Baldwin, a native of Toledo, Ohio, is a 1990 graduate of Florida State University and a 1994 graduate of Emory School of Law.

He has worked in the Hall County Solicitor’s Office since 1998, the past four years as elected solicitor-general. Baldwin ran as a Republican for solicitor-general; state court judge is a nonpartisan post.

He was this year’s honoree as the Gainesville Jaycee’s Young Man of the Year for his volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County and domestic violence prevention. Baldwin lives in Murrayville with his wife Elisabeth and their twin daughters.

"I look forward to the opportunity," Baldwin said. "I think I can be fair and impartial. ... I look forward to the change."



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