Voters to Speak in 2 Judicial Circuit Openings; All of the Candidates Are Backed by Established Legal Careers

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

Voters will decide between experienced lawyers seeking election to Superior Court judgeships in the neighboring Brunswick and Waycross judicial circuits, which encompass 11 Southeast Georgia counties.

In Georgia, Superior Court judges handled a wide variety of criminal and civil cases, presiding over both jury and bench trials. Superior Court is the highest trial court in the state.

The non-partisan judgeships are four-year terms.

All of the Brunswick and Waycross candidates have established legal careers, and have been active in community service organizations. Under the Georgia Code of Judicial Ethics, judgeship candidates cannot talk about their opponents or how they would handle certain types of cases.

The Times-Union gave each of the four candidates in the contested judicial races an opportunity to tell the most important fact voters should know about them.

BRUNSWICK JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Anthony "Tony" Harrison and Richard Taylor seek to replace retiring Superior Court Judge James R. Tuten Jr. in the Brunswick circuit, which includes Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis and Wayne counties.

Harrison, 59, of Brunswick has practiced law in Georgia since 1981, and has handled Superior Court criminal and civil cases statewide. He also has represented workers in many labor arbitration cases.

"My entire 27 years as a lawyer has been devoted to representing people from all walks of life in all types of cases throughout the state. I have vast experience in the broad range of cases heard by a Superior Court judge. That is critically important because whoever takes office Jan. 1 must be able to hit the ground running, and I am uniquely qualified to do that," Harrison said.

Taylor, 45, of Brunswick has practiced law in Georgia since 1986. He is the Glynn County solicitor, an elected position he's held for the past 19 years while concurrently maintaining a private law practice.

"My experience in both criminal and civil cases, bench and jury trials and the fact that I have been elected [solicitor] five times and that the office has come under budget since I was elected, proves the public can trust me and that I am capable of managing a heavy case load," Taylor said. …