Posted: 2:16 pm Monday, March 10th, 2014

Who’s about to retire and make you judge? 

By Jim Galloway

fatherdaughterjudge

We have witnessed this kind of funny business before in legislative races, but seldom have we seen a Georgia judge bequeath his place on the bench to his offspring – in this case, a daughter.

Last Monday, Superior Court Judge James R. Osborne qualified for another four-year term on the Paulding County circuit. Not unusual. Osborne was appointed to the post in 2005 by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

But on Friday, the judge was joined by a single rival: Elizabeth Osborne Williams, a real estate lawyer working out of the Talley, Richardson and Cable law firm – of which Judge Osborne was a founding partner.

Her father is the judge. Mrs. Williams makes her parentage clear here.

While we’re willing to entertain more, two possibilities are likely: First, some father-daughter relationship issues are about to get a serious airing in this contest.

The other possibility is that Judge Osborne intends to retire by serving out his current term but withdrawing his candidacy for re-election – which would make his daughter the sole candidate in the non-partisan contest to replace him.

You can place your own bet on which is more likely.

By the way, the “Richardson” in the above law firm belongs to former House speaker Glenn Richardson.

23 comments
Derwin0
Derwin0

True Jim, this is new for judges.  Usually they resign a year prior to the end of their term so that the governor can appoint a successor for them, which is how Osborne got his seat in the first place.


But since Deal hasn't been doing that as much as his predecessors did, or most likely told the judge last year that he wasn't going to appoint his daughter, the judge decided to try this ploy instead.


To bad the new law, that automatically extends qualification to 5pm today, makes it likely his little girl will get competition.

Derwin0
Derwin0

The General Assembly amended Title 21 when it changed the election dates, and it now states that if an incumbent withdraws his candidacy just prior to the qualification deadline, qualification is automatically extended for two additional days.  


"(4) In any case where an incumbent has filed notice of candidacy and paid the prescribed

qualifying fee in a nonpartisan election to succeed himself or herself in office but

withdraws as a candidate for such office prior to the close of the applicable qualifying

period prescribed in this subsection, qualifying for candidates other than such incumbent

shall be reopened at 9:00 A.M. on the Monday next following the close of the preceding

qualifying period and shall cease at 5:00 P.M. on the Tuesday immediately following

such reopening, notwithstanding the fact that any such days may be legal holidays."


This was done to prevent previous instances where this was done to get an anointed successor in without competition.

DontTread
DontTread

Selling Senate seats is ok, as long as you're a Democrat.  But god forbid, don't retire from your job as a judge.


Isn't there another election for Superior Court Judge in four years?

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

"Judges shall participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall personally observe such standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved." Geogia Judicial Code of Conduct

You be the judge. (no pun intended)

Jke
Jke

Some regions specialize in it. Let's see, NYC, Chicago, Detroit, NOLA, etc. Even some countries specialize in it, Nigeria, Somalia, Jamaica, etc. The truth is corruption exists everywhere mankind can be found. To regionalize it, nationalize it, or any -alize it is to promote stereotypes, racism, nationalism, etc.

surepip
surepip

We call them THE FIRM locally in Paulding.

They also represent the Board of Commission , the BoE, Airport Authority,the IBA, etc.

not to mention 90% of our ROBBER BARON MEGA DEVELOPERS who keep the campaign donations flowing.

THE FIRM supplies the attorney for the zoning meetings deciding on the zoning for THE FIRMS clients

But they don't see a conflict of interest!

DeadeyeDick
DeadeyeDick

Judge Osborne announced his retirement two hours after his daughter qualified.

notagain
notagain

Yeah and you repugs gripe and whine about Nunn....

td1234
td1234

It is committing professional suicide in a county to run against is you live and practice law in a county and then run against one in an election. This deal is crooked and someone from the state bar or supreme court should step in force the qualifications period to be reopened.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

Nepotism is a common acceptable practice all over The South...No surprise here. Surely one can expect other family members are also in the Family business in some capacity as well.

td1234
td1234

Every Superior court judge comes for the same law firm. Every county and city entity is represented by the same law firm.  

Bubba30342
Bubba30342

I halfway expected Judge Gary Andrews on the Court of Appeals to do the same thing.

John53
John53

That isn't what happened here. Judge Osborne waited until two hours AFTER the qualifying period closed to announce his decision so the extended qualifying law does not apply.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Selling Senate seats is ok, as long as you're a Democrat.


Asserted by no one here but you.

Just sayin'.


td1234
td1234

@hamiltonAZ  But then it is only other Judges that can say if they held the standard or not. 

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

You never have to worry about a conflict of interest if you always put yourself first.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@John53  okay, Jim didn't post any info on that.  Looks like the nepotist judge and his little girl found a loophole that the General Assembly needs to close up.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

There is an oversight commission (JQC), but ultimately, yes, the Supreme Court.

NWGAL
NWGAL

It is common wherever corruption thrives but that isn't everywhere. Some regions specialize in it.

td1234
td1234

@Bernie31 @NWGAL  Like NJ and Chicago? They seem to make the ones down here look like rookies.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@NWGAL - LOL! rofl!...Thank You! could not have said it any Better.

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