Houston judge to serve on Georgia Supreme Court case

efarlow@macon.comJune 28, 2013 

Chief Judge George F. Nunn Jr. of the Houston County Superior Court

Chief Judge George F. Nunn Jr. of the Houston County Superior Court was selected to serve on a case in place of Georgia Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell, who recused himself.

Nunn, 69, will hear arguments in the Lowndes County case of Spectera Inc. v. Wilson et al. with Georgia Supreme Court justices Monday. He will also participate in the decision.

Nunn said he was asked to serve about a month ago.

“I’ve done it twice before,” he said. The last time Nunn heard a case in place of a Supreme Court justice was late 1990.

In Spectera Inc. v. Wilson et al., a group of optometrists sued Spectera Inc. after the company changed its contract with the optometrists to require them to purchase eyeglasses and contact lenses from Spectera’s laboratory rather than from their own.

The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the optometrists, and now Spectera is seeking to appeal the ruling.

Jane Hansen, public information officer for the Supreme Court of Georgia, said justices recuse themselves from cases as little as possible.

“It doesn’t happen that often,” Hansen said, but if there is any relation between a justice and a case, they will choose not to serve on that case.

Hansen could not say why Blackwell recused himself from the case. However, the case came from the Court of Appeals of Georgia, where Blackwell used to serve.

“It does stand to reason that there may have been some kind of connection,” Hansen said.

The Supreme Court of Georgia maintains a list of Superior Court judges from around the state, Hansen said. Designated judges may serve on a case in place of a Supreme Court justice and are chosen from this list.

Nunn has been chief judge of the Houston County Superior Court since 1996. He began serving on Superior Court in 1986. Before that, Nunn practiced law in Perry.

He graduated from law school in the fall of 1966.

Nunn said it was an honor to serve on a case for the Supreme Court of Georgia.

“I’m indeed honored to be asked to do it,” he said.

To contact writer Emily Farlow, call 744-4225.

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