September 30-- A few times each year the Court of Appeals of Georgia travels around the state holding oral arguments on cases so that citizens can get to see firsthand what they do without traveling to Atlanta. Last week 3 judges on the court held their meeting at Vidalia High School. They were Judge Amanda Mercier, Judge Carla Wong McMillan, and Chief Judge Christopher McFadden.
Judge McFadden explained, “We are a single intermediate appellate court for the entire state of Georgia and we are all elected statewide and are responsible to all the voters in the state of Georgia and our cases come from all over Georgia. We only have one court room for the Court of Appeals and that is in Atlanta next to the Capitol. This sort of thing allows us to travel around the state and let the whole state see what we do,” said McFadden.
He added, “The advice we give to aspiring students is to read, write, and study hard. The law is a demanding profession. Ability and diligence are clearly rewarded. It’s really a great career for those who have the aptitude and for those who that type of work suits them.”
McFadden explained the real purpose of the Court of Appeals. “To explain it in kind of crude terms is imagine you’re in court in front of that single judge and it’s a bad judge. We don’t have many bad judges in Georgia but they are occasionally found. And the judge says I don’t really care about what the law says I’m just going to do whatever I want and what are you going to do about it. Most of the time, the answer to what you’re going to do about it is our court.”