I am happy to congratulate three new members of the Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, who were recently appointed by Governor Nathan Deal.

  • Keith Blackwell was promoted from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice, taking the place of retiring Chief Justice George Carley. Justice Blackwell is brilliant and a good guy.

The promotion of Justice Blackwell to the Supreme Court and the retirement of Judge Charles Mikell created two vacancies on the Court of Appeals, for which Governor Deal made his selections today. They are:

  • Elizabeth “Lisa”  Branch, formerly an associate general counsel of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and now a partner working in with commercial litigation and government affairs at Smith, Gambrell & Russell.
  • William “Billy” Ray, a former State Senator currently serving as Judge of the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, is also the founder and presiding judge of the Gwinnett County Drug Treatment Court.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was kind to include me in the short list of seven from which the two new Court of Appeals judges were chosen. I had a very warm and friendly telephone interview with Governor Deal, who called from Amsterdam during a trade mission.

It was an honor to be considered. In the words of the late Doris Day, “que sera sera.”

Now back to work representing my clients.

Ken Shigley is immediate past president of the State Bar of Georgia and current chair of the board of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia. Lead author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (West, 2010-12), he has an AV Preeminent rating in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, double board certification in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Advocacy from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (formerly National Board of Trial Advocacy), and is listed in Super Lawyers (Atlanta Magazine), Legal Elite (Georgia Trend) and Who’s Who in Law (Atlanta Business Chronicle). In the American Association Justice, he is a board member of the Trucking Litigation Group and incoming secretary of the Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section.