A Macon attorney has been selected as one of 11 finalists for three vacant seats on the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Gov. Nathan Deal now will interview the finalists, including Charles “Buck” Ruffin, shareholder at the Baker Donelson firm, before appointing lawyers to fill the vacancies created this year when legislators passed a new law increasing the number of judges on the court from 12 to 15.
Ruffin, a former Georgia Bar Association president, was among 42 lawyers interviewed by the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission on Monday and Tuesday. Other Middle Georgia attorneys interviewed were Fort Valley attorney Charles R. Adams III and Houston County Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Hartwig.
The list of finalists released by the Governor’s Office was compiled by the commission after the interviews.
Other finalists include judges from across the state, a district attorney, the solicitor general from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and a Board of Regents vice chancellor.
More than 100 lawyers initially were nominated for the positions.
Middle Georgia already is represented on the court by Stephen Dillard, a Macon attorney appointed to the court by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010. Dillard was elected in 2012 to remain on the bench until his office is due for re-election in 2018.
Another judge with Macon ties, M. Yvette Miller, became the first black female judge on the court when she was appointed by then-Gov. Roy Barnes in 1999. She has won re-election for three terms and is next due for re-election in 2018.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.