Gov. Nathan Deal has chosen Macon attorney Philip T. Raymond III to be the next Macon Judicial Circuit judge.
Raymond, 58, was at his office on Vineville Avenue on Wednesday when he saw a phone number flash on his cell phone display.
He was on a landline, talking with another lawyer, when the call came in at about 5:35 p.m.
“I saw that number and knew it was an Atlanta number,” Raymond said.
When he answered, Deal was on the other end of the phone line and the governor delivered the news that Raymond had been chosen for the judgeship.
“I’m just thrilled to have been selected,” Raymond said Thursday. “This is a chance for me, at this point in my career to give back to the community.”
He said he’s helped lots of people get through difficult situations during his 32-year law career and hopes to help more people from the bench while also mentoring younger lawyers.
A date hasn’t been set for when Raymond will be sworn in and receive his black judge’s robe.
His seat on the bench won’t come up for election until 2014. The winner of the 2014 election will serve a four-year term said Michael O’Sullivan, a spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Elections Division.
As a child, Raymond lived in the north Georgia towns of Athens, Cornelia and Gainesville. His father was a Georgia Power employee and the family moved multiple times, Raymond said.
Initially a pre-med student at The University of Georgia, Raymond changed his major to political science during his sophomore year after becoming interested in the law. After graduation he moved to Macon to attend Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, he said.
After graduation, Raymond took a job in Gainesville but soon returned to Macon when a job opened at a law firm where he’d clerked during his final year of school.
In the following several years, he worked at several Macon firms handling cases involving business litigation, criminal charges and family law.
In 1992, he co-founded a firm focusing on family law with Susan Dalton. He and Dalton married the following year. The firm now is known as Shaffer, Raymond & Dalton although Earl Thomas “Tom” Shaffer died in 2003.
Dalton and an associate working at the firm will continue to work on the firm’s active cases.
The future of the firm hasn’t been decided, Raymond said.
Raymond said he enjoys fishing, traveling and hunting both birds and big game. He also enjoys cooking and prepares most nightly meals with his wife.
The couple have three children and reside in Macon.
Raymond is a Charter Master in the William Augustus Bootle Inn of Court and a member of St. James Episcopal Church.
Raymond is filling the judgeship vacated in 2011 by Chief Judge Martha Christian’s retirement.
He will begin his career as a judge focusing on family law cases.
Interviews for the judgeship were held Tuesday. The governor also considered Macon lawyers W. John Camp and Graham A. Thorpe for the position.
Raymond was one of five finalists for a Superior Court judgeship in 2007.
The Macon Judicial Circuit comprises Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.