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Gavel changes hands in Flowery Branch court
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Michelle Rohan is the new Flowery Branch Municipal Court judge.

Michelle Rohan has realized her fifth-grade dream.

Early on, the South Hall woman knew she wanted to be a lawyer, then a trial judge.

“I had to figure out what it was I had to do to get there, and I went about accomplishing that,” said Rohan, who will be sworn in tonight as Flowery Branch’s new Municipal Court judge.

The ceremony is set for 6 p.m., or at the start of the Flowery Branch City Council meeting.

Rohan, 36, takes over for G. Hammond Law III, who held the post since Flowery Branch revamped its police department in the late 1990s.

“Being a Municipal Court judge is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in that area, and it allows me the flexibility of owning my own practice,” Rohan said in an interview Wednesday at her office on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.

She will preside over misdemeanor criminal cases and city ordinance violations. The court meets every other Tuesday night, with her first session set for April 13.

In 2001, the Carrollton native graduated from Georgia State University with a law degree and moved from Cobb County to Hall.

She worked in the Hall County Solicitor’s Office from January 2002 to November 2005. She then entered private practice, going solo in May 2006.

A defense attorney, Rohan focuses mainly on criminal law, but she also practices family and immigration law.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else,” she said of her work. “Luckily for me, I’ve liked it and have stuck with it.”

Rohan, who has a 6-year-old son, Hunter, said she saw the Municipal Court opening on the Georgia Municipal Association’s Web site.

Flowery Branch City Councilman Craig Lutz said last week that the city focused on three candidates but that “everybody felt (Rohan’s) confidence was the thing that took her over (the other candidates).”

After a closed session March 24, City Council voted to appoint her to the post.

Lutz served as mayor pro tem in the vote since Mayor Diane Hirling was absent from the meeting.

“I didn’t have a vote, but I felt very good about whom the council selected,” he said.

Lutz said concerning Law, the outgoing Municipal Court judge, that the council, in an earlier discussion with him, “felt like we should go in a different direction.”

There were no hard feelings, he added.

“He served the city well,” Lutz said.

Law affirmed that Wednesday afternoon.

“It was a matter of three newly elected (council members) who wanted their own person,” he said. “There were no disagreements, no problems. I was pleased to serve, and (Rohan) will do a very good job.”

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