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Posted: February 20, 2009 10:21 a.m.

Ozburn nominated to Georgia Supreme Court

Submitted photo/

Judge Samuel Ozburn

Alcovy Circuit Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Ozburn was nominated by State Sen. John Douglas to the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission to fill the vacancy left by Chief Justice Leah Sears of the Georgia Supreme Court when she retires effective June 30. If Governor Sonny Perdue accepts the nomination, Judge Ozburn would become Associate Justice of the court.

"I am proud to announce the nomination of Samuel Ozburn to the Georgia Supreme Court," said Douglas (R-Social Circle). "Judge Ozburn is a credit to our judicial system, the legal profession as a whole and to all who strive to give back through public service."

"I was very humbled by it and very honored as well," said Ozburn, who described the request to submit his name for nomination as somewhat unexpected.

"It was not something I had set as a goal or that I had been thinking about over the years," he said. "When [Senator Douglas] came to me, I was a little surprised. I told him before I could decide I wanted to talk with my wife and the other judges and pray about it."

Everybody he spoke with was very encouraging and after a few days, he came back to Douglas and agreed to have his name submitted.

His name will be reviewed along with other nominees by the Judicial Nominating Commission, made up of lawyers, judges and laypersons, which will submit a short list of candidates to the governor, who will make the final selection. Whoever is nominated for Sears' seat will serve the remainder of her term until 2010, when they will have the chance to run in the statewide election for a full six-year term.

Ozburn was appointed to the bench on the Superior Courts of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court by Governor Zell Miller in 1995 and has been re-elected for four terms without opposition. He also served as Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia by special designation in May of 2005. Prior to his 13 years on the bench, he practiced law in Newton County for 19 years.

A life-long Newton County resident, Ozburn is active in the community, serving as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army in Newton County. He has also held the position of president of the Alcovy Circuit Bar Association, Kiwanis Club of Covington and the Newton County Mental Health Association.

After graduating from Newton County High School, Ozburn attended Oxford College of Emory University, University of Georgia and the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University. He continues to reside in Newton County with his wife, Rhonda, where they are active members of Eastridge Community Church. They have two adult sons, David and Britt.

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