Herbert Phipps, the presiding judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals, seen at his portrait unveiling at the Dougherty County Courthouse, has been appointed chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
ATLANTA — Presiding Judge Herbert E. Phipps, of Albany, has been selected to succeed Chief Judge John J. Ellington as chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals announced Phipps’ unanimous election to the position Tuesday afternoon. Phipps will be sworn in for a two-year term as chief judge of the appellate court on June 25.
“This is just a huge honor,” Phipps, reached at his Atlanta office Tuesday afternoon, said after the Court of Appeals announced his selection. “The fact that I was voted in by my colleagues makes it even more of an honor. I think it shows they have respect for me and they’re confident I’ll do what’s right for the court.”
As chief judge, Phipps will be responsible for the administration of the court, supervising the court’s fiscal affairs, initiating policy and representing the court in its relations with other courts, government agencies, the bar and the public, court officials say.
“Yes, I’ll be taking on more responsibility in addition to judging,” the chief judge-elect said. “That just means I’ll have to work a little harder. Our court is already the busiest by caseload per capita in the nation, but I’ve found in my career that the best way to do things is just to focus on doing the best I can.
“I plan to be the best chief judge I can be, but that’s what I’ve always tried to do.”
Phipps was serving as a judge in Dougherty Judicial Circuit Superior Court when then-Gov. Roy Barnes appointed him to the Appeals Court in 1999, a position he has been elected to three times. Before he became a Superior Court judge, he was judge of State, Magistrate and Juvenile courts in Dougherty County.
Phipps has a juris doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a graduate of Morehouse College. He serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and is a past president of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and the Dougherty Judicial Circuit Bar Association. He and his wife, Connie, have two grown children and a grandchild.
Phipps’ swearing-in ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in the Court
of Appeals courtroom on June 25.