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7 apply to be 5th Hall Superior Court judge
HallCourthouse.jpg

Seven people have submitted applications to be the fifth Superior Court judge in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit covering Hall and Dawson counties.

The Judicial Nominating Commission released the applicants’ names this week:

  • Clint Bearden
  • Michelle Hall
  • Larry Baldwin
  • Shiv Sachdeva
  • Edward Hartness
  • William Akins
  • Lindsay Burton

Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 138 this year, creating the fifth seat. State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, said the circuit qualified for a fifth judge due to the caseloads.

Dana McGuire with the commission said interviews were held Wednesday at the State Bar of Georgia in Atlanta.

The commission is made up of attorneys and judges from across the state. Learn more about its members.

The commission will next submit a short list to Deal of up to five people deemed qualified for the position.

The governor’s appointment will have a term running from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. After that, a nonpartisan election is held in 2020 for a four-year term.

Sachdeva and Akins both work in the Hall County District Attorney’s Office.

Hall ran last year in the State Court election, but she was defeated by John Breakfield.

Burton previously worked in the district attorney’s office before being appointed in 2013 to the Juvenile Court bench.

Baldwin was elected as State Court Solicitor-General in 2004 before being appointed to the State Court bench in 2008.

Bearden is a native resident of Dawson County serving as a general practice attorney and the vice chairman of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority.

Hartness works in Gainesville in the areas of divorce law, family law and business law among others.

Court Administrator Reggie Forrester said the county is about 50 percent complete with its courthouse annex project, which will house Juvenile Court and Probate Court, allowing the county to extend the life of the main courthouse and make room for the fifth judge. The work is set to be finished by the end of January.

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