Monday, November 23, 2009
Fulton Superior Court Elects Chief Judge
Judge Cynthia D. Wright has been elected Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County. She will assume office in May 2010 following a transition period during which she will work closely with current Chief Judge Doris L. Downs.
Judge Wright has been a Superior Court Judge since 1996. She is currently one of three Family Court judges who hear all domestic litigation filed in Fulton Superior Court, Georgia’s largest trial court.
Judge Wright said her priorities as Chief Judge will include working with the Fulton Board of Commissioners and the State Legislature “as we address the pressing fiscal needs of the County and the State and to develop a better working relationship with all of our Fulton Justice System Partners.”
“If we join hands with each other we can’t point fingers,” Judge Wright said.
The Fulton Superior Court’s Chief Judge chairs meetings of the Court’s judges and is in charge of all administrative functions. The Chief Judge also represents the Court on the 24-member Judicial Council of Georgia, the state-level judicial agency charged with developing policies for administering and improving the courts.
Lawdragon, a guide to the nation’s best lawyers and judges, selected Judge Wright as one of the 500 Leading Judges in America. The Family Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia presented the 2006 Jack P. Turner Award to Judge Wright for her outstanding contributions and achievement in family law in Georgia. In 2000, Judge Wright also received the Joseph T. Tuggle, Jr. Professionalism Award from the Family Law Section of the State Bar Association of Georgia.
She is Budget Chair and Ethics Chair of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, a board member of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and a former Board Member of the Georgia Women of Achievement.
Judge Wright was appointed to her position on the Fulton Superior Court by then Governor Zell Miller on November 1, 1996. She has since been elected to three terms without opposition. Prior to assuming her current judgeship, she served as a Judge of the State Court of Fulton County.
She also served as chief legal counsel to Governor Zell Miller for his first term (1991-1995). During that period of time, she authored the legislation and constitutional amendment which established the Lottery for Education. Prior to working with Governor Miller, earlier in her career, she was assistant legal counsel to Governor George Busbee (1978-1980).
Judge Wright’s private practice of law included work as an associate with the law firm of Troutman Sanders and as a partner in the law firm of Corlew, Smith and Wright. Judge Wright also served as corporate counsel to the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority. Upon first graduating from law school, Judge Wright served as a research associate with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. As a law student, Judge Wright pursued her interest in politics, public policy and law by interning with U.S. Senator Sam Nunn.
Judge Wright graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia in 1974 and received her juris doctorate in law from the University of Georgia in 1977.
The Fulton Superior Court serves the county’s almost 1 million residents. It comprises both the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and the 5th Judicial District, Georgia’s only single-county Judicial Circuit and District.
Fulton Superior Court's 19 Judges hear administrative appeals and preside over civil, major criminal and domestic relations cases. And, because Fulton County includes the state’s capitol of Atlanta, by law the Court hears all lawsuits filed against state government.
To meet the challenges of these special circumstances the Fulton Superior Court has created a variety of innovative programs and services to provide meaningful access to justice for all. Other programs innovated by the Fulton Superior Court are one-jury or one-day juror service and specialized courts including Family Court, Business Court and Drug Court.