A list of 15 nominees for the bench has been created, and the nominees have until Sept. 28 to submit a completed application package to the state Judicial Nominating Commission. A final applicant list then will be released of the candidates who have accepted the nomination.
The list of nominees includes Cherokee County Solicitor General David Cannon Jr. and Barry W. Hixson, chief assistant solicitor, as well as Nancy Carson and Joseph Oczkowski, who serve as Cherokee County Magistrate Court judges.
Dee Morris, who works for the Gilmer County District Attorney's Office, and attorney Channing Ruskell, a former solicitor general for the county, both are on the list, as is Jennifer Marcotte, who works as a staff attorney for a Cobb County Superior Court Judge.
Attorneys with private law firms who were nominated are Canton attorneys Benson Chambers Jr., Jonathan A. Kesler, Nancy Pasterz, Jeffrey Rusbridge and Tim White and Woodstock attorneys Gregory A. Hicks, Hugh M. Dorsey III and Thomas Holbird Jr.
The people on the list were either self-nominated or nominated by someone else. Barbara Watson, assistant to Judicial Nominating Commission Chairman Michael Bowers, said the final list might not include all 15 nominees.
"Some might choose not to apply," she said. "They may have personal reasons not to pursue a judgeship at this time."
Once the final list of nominees has been determined, interviews with the 23-person nominating commission will be scheduled at the state bar office in Atlanta. The 15- minute interviews are scheduled for Oct. 13.
"It is just a way to get to know the person better," Ms. Watson said about the interviews. "It is to find out what their judicial temperament might be."
The commission will create a short list of nominees that it will send to the governor's office.
Governor Sonny Perdue then will schedule interviews with the shortlist nominees and make his appointment.
No timeline has been established for by when a third state court nominee will be named.
According to the legislation that created the position and was passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year, the initial term of office for the new judge would continue through the end of 2010. An election would be held in November 2010 to determine who will fill the first full four-year term for the new position.
The nominees are:
Cannon Jr., 38, of Canton graduated from Mercer University and was admitted to the Georgia Bar Association in 1995. In his second four-year term as solicitor general, Cannon previously served in private practice in Canton.
Ms. Carson, 51, of Woodstock was first appointed as an associated magistrate judge in 2004 after being in private practice with Carson & Ruskell in Woodstock and serving as an assistant solicitor. She graduated from Georgia State University and was admitted to the bar in 1997.
Chambers, 51, of Macedonia is an attorney with the Canton firm of Bray & Johnson and serves as Canton city solicitor. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson College of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1983.
Dorsey graduated from Duke University and was admitted to the bar in 1972.
Hicks of Towne Lake graduated from Mercer University and was admitted to the bar in 1983.
Hixson has worked for 11 years for the county government, having served in the district attorney's office before joining the solicitor's office. He graduated from Tulane University and was admitted to the bar in 1995.
Holbird of Towne Lake graduated from Atlanta Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1993.
Kesler of Canton is an attorney with Bray & Johnson in Canton and past president of the Blue Ridge Bar Association. He graduated from the University of Kentucky and was admitted to the bar in 1999.
Ms. Marcotte, 39, of Woodstock works as a staff attorney for Cobb County Superior Court Judge Dorothy Robinson. She graduated from Southern Illinois University and was admitted to the bar in 1997.
Morris previously served as chief assistant district attorney in Cherokee. He graduated from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the bar in 1993.
Oczkowski, 38, of Woodstock is a part-time Cherokee County Magistrate Court judge. He graduated from John Marshall Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1999.
Ms. Pasterz, 46, of Canton works in the law firm of Nicholas Dodys in Atlanta. She graduated from Wayne State University and was admitted to the state bar in 1996.
Rusbridge, 35, of Canton works at Dyer & Rusbridge in Canton. He graduated from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the bar in 1999.
Ruskell, 54, of Woodstock served as solicitor general for six years and went on to form the Woodstock firm of Carson & Ruskell. He graduated from Emory University and was admitted to the bar in 1980.
White, 46, of Holly Springs is an attorney in Canton. He graduated from John Marshall Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1998.