ATLANTA — Chief Judge John M. Ott of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit has been designated to serve in place of Justice Nels S.D. Peterson in a case coming before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Ott will hear the appeal of Georgia Ports Authority v. Lawyer (S17G1951). The Supreme Court of Georgia will hear arguments in the case in its session at 10 a.m. Tuesday.In this case, the Ports Authority is appealing a Georgia Court of Appeals ruling that it is not immune from a lawsuit brought by a man injured on a ship who was awarded $4.5 million in damages. In addition to hearing arguments, Ott will participate in the court’s decision.
Designated judges are appointed when a justice must recuse himself or herself from a particular case. The Supreme Court of Georgia maintains a list of select judges from around the state and when the need arises, the Court appoints the next judge on the list.
Ott, 63, was appointed to the Superior Court of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit by then-Gov. Joe Frank Harris on Aug. 16, 1990. He became chief judge in 2005. The Alcovy Judicial Circuit covers Newton and Walton counties.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Ott was district attorney in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 1984 to 1990.
Ott served as the administrative judge for the 10th Judicial District and was on the Executive Council of the Superior Court Judges and the Judicial Council for the State of Georgia. He is currently the chairman of the Personnel Committee for the Superior Court Judges and also serves as the Superior Court judge representative on the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision and the Advisory Committee for the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
Ott obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He is married to Lisa Lingner Ott and has a stepson, daughter and two grandchildren.