The governor won’t nominate a fifth judge for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit for at least a few more weeks, but on Monday the list of candidates was reduced from 11 to eight.
Candidates were required to fill out a five-page, 37-question application documenting their legal history and legal opinions and submit it to the Judicial Nominating Commission by Monday in order to continue on in the nominating process.
Public Defender Anthony Carter and attorneys Donald Osborne and Tricia B.Smith withdrew themselves from the process, said Barbara Watson, legal secretary for the JNC chairman, leaving eight candidates in contention:
• Stan Cox, Stan Cox Law Office in Monroe
• David Dickinson, Dickinson & Willis in Monroe
• Lori B. Duff, Jones and Duff in Loganville
• Sheryl Fambrough, Law Office of Sheryl Fambrough in Monroe
• Ann M. Overbeck, Overbeck & Glass in Social Circle
• Robert Stansfield, Greer, Stansfield & Turner in Covington
• David C. Strickland, Alexander, Royston, Hardman, Shinall & Strickland in Covington; Municipal Court Judge for Covington and Porterdale
• Kendall Wynne, district attorney for Alcovy Circuit
The next step in the process is for the JNC to interview all eight candidates on Oct. 13 in Atlanta. Watson said the interviews last 15 minutes and the questions focus on what type of judge the candidate would make, not on specific cases or job experience, which are largely answered in the questionnaire.
The JNC is composed of 23 members, most of whom are lawyers, and about 75 percent of the members will be present for any one interview.
After the interviews are completed, the JNC will select up to five finalists to present to Gov. Sonny Perdue. The governor will then choose the fifth judge whenever he sees fit, because there is no set timetable.
Sen. John Douglas (R.-Social Circle) said that the last judge appointed to the Alcovy Circuit was a Walton County resident, so by traditional rotation the next judge should be a Newton County resident. However, Watson said the JNC will choose the best candidates regardless of where they live.