Monthly Meeting Dates for Bar Year 2019 - 2020

August 16, 2019 January 17, 2020

September 20, 2019 February 21, 2020

October 18, 2019 March 20, 2020

November 15, 2019 April 17, 2020

December 2019 - No meeting May 15, 2020

April 19, 2019

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges and Elected Officials

  3. Recognition of guests

  4. Announcements:

  • Law Day Banquet – May 9

  • Criminal Defense section – next May 3 luncheon on mental health

  • Solo and Small Firm Section – next meeting May 8

  • Speaker Judge Ken Hodge introduced by David Lipscomb

We need more lawyer legislators – thanked Beth Moore who was in attendance.

Conducted a tour of the State Bar’s Website – www.

  • Lawyer Directory: 39,000 active lawyers in Georgia

  • Free Mental Health programs for lawyers.  Jude Hodges was the chair of the wellness program Lawyers Helping Lawyers. We have a lawyer suicide prevention program.

  • SOLACE – Started by Ken Shigley

  • Law Practice Management Program

  • Requested that people sign up to serve on committees for the bar

Judge Hodges stated that he travels a lot on bar association business.  We have one of the best run bars in the country, but we also have the second lowest bar dues of any mandatory bar in the country.  Our bar programs are funded in party by ICLE.  ICLE and CLC gave the Georgia Bar $1.3 million dollars last year.   There is a case out of North Dakota, Fleck v. Wetch, where a lawyer in North Dakota is trying to undo the mandatory bar association in ND.  This would affect Georgia, and our mandatory bar, and there is a committee for the State Bar of Georgia already studying this issue, and how to disband our bar and save as many programs as possible.  Many of the programs we have for the lawyers and the public would have to be discontinued.

Judge Hodges talked about the importance of malpractice insurance for lawyers.  Judge Hodges wants Georgia to have mandatory malpractice coverage.  Oregon and Idaho have Mandatory Insurance.  Several states have conducted studies on this, and the State of Washington has an 80 page report that is very in depth.  California also conducted a study.   Even with Mandatory Malpractice Insurance, several groups of lawyers would have exemptions: attorneys that don’t have an active practice, prosecutors, Judges.  Speak to your Board of Governors representatives if you have opinions on whether we should have mandatory malpractice insurance.  If you feel that you are part of a group that should be exempt, speak to your Board of Governor’s representatives, as exemptions are available, and they are contemplating a process where you can apply for an exemption.

Judge Hodges is currently being sued for malpractice in a case where he was a court appointed receiver (and therefore he has immunity).  Even with the immunity, he has incurred $100,000 in legal defense costs that are being covered by his malpractice insurance.  Members of the GCBA spoke for and against the malpractice insurance.  The Bar is considering an exemption for criminal defense lawyers.  There would be a lower rate for newer attorneys. 

As an alternative to mandatory malpractice insurance, they are considering whether attorneys should have to disclose whether they have malpractice insurance. 

The Georgia Bar only acts on issues that are in the interest of all attorneys.  Before taking any action, the Bar votes to make sure the action to be contemplated would be appropriate for the bar to take and be in the interest of all attorneys.  There is a case from California that discusses these factors: Keller

February 15, 2019


  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges and Elected Officials

  3. Recognition of guests

  4. Announcements

    1. Jon Setzer: The next EPPS meeting will be on March 22, 2019, featuring Richard Bryson at Dominick’s in Lawrenceville.

    2. Jon Setzer: The first Small Firm/Solo Practice section meeting will be on March 20, 2019 at Dominick’s.

    3. Sean Goldstein: The Criminal Law section will not have a March meeting. Instead there will be a day long CLE on March 29, 2019 in Conference room C of GJAC. It will be $150, on Trial Practice, not just criminal law practice.

    4. Margaret Washburn: Take a look at a new case Strickland v. State, that was written about in the newsletter, discussing the charge of Following Too Closely, which was found to not be charged properly.

      Also, applications for the Board of Governors is available.

    5. Jon Setzer: The GCBA general CLE will be on March 15, 2019, presented by Parag Shah.

    6. Jon Setzer: Volunteers are needed for the Sip and Swine Festival on March 1st and 2nd.

    7. Jon Setzer: Tickets are available for the Gwinnett Gladiator’s game on March 15th.

    8. Alfia Tarassenko: The Legal Food Frenzy competition will be from April 22-May 3, 2019. Please donate. This year’s goal is 300,000 donations. Law Schools will also be participating for the first time this year.

  5. Michael Carlson conducted a presentation on the “new” evidence code. Carlsons on Evidence was available for sale with a 20% off for bar members.

January 18, 2019 Bar Meeting Minutes


  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges and Elected Officials

  3. Recognition of guests

  4. Announcements

    1. Jodi Miles: The new Small Firm/Solo Practice section has been adopted. Details about the first meeting and events to come.

    2. Judy King and David Lipscom: The is a proposal for mandating malpractices insurance for with the State Bar. Look out for more information about the pros and cons about this potential requirement for lawyers

    3. Stephen Fern: GCBA will be organizing an outting for a Gwinnett Gladiator’s hockey game on March 15, 2019. Stephen will collect money for tickets at the next bar meeting.

    4. Jon Setzer: The high school mock trial competition is coming up on Feb 1st and 2nd and volunteers are needed to judge.

  5. Richard Alexander spoke about the new e-filing system that began on January 1st for civil cases in Gwinnett. He answered many questions about how to use the system and some problems that have been encountered by attorneys so far.

November 16, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Guests

  3. Recognition of Judges and Elected Officials

  4. Announcements:

    1. The Criminal Defense Bar’s annual Toy Raiser will be on December 19, 2018 at 11:30am at the Historic Courthouse. Contact Christine Koehler, Sean Goldstein or Kate Huckabee, to make a donation.

    2. A petition for a new bar section is being passed are to start a Solo Practice/Small Firm section. About 7 more signatures are needed. See Jodi Miles to sign the petition

    3. Tracie Cason’s swearing in will be on November 28, 2018 at 5pm at the Historic Courthouse.

    4. The retiring judges’ reception will be the same day at 3pm in the GJAC breezeway

    5. the GCBA Holiday party will be December 7th. invitations have been sent out.

  5. Speakers: Newly elected judges

    1. Ronda Colvin Leary

    2. Tracie Cason

    3. Tracey Mason

October 19, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:15pm -1:00pm

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges and Elected Officials

  3. Recognition of 1st time guests

  4. Announcements:

    1. Rachel Lazarus: There will be a CLE next Wednesday on Immigration.

      On Nov. 10, 2018, there will be a CLE conducted by Jessica Gordon on Adoption Law.

      There is a clinic every Wednesday in the law library

    2. Jon Setzer: A reception for the retiring judges will be held on Nov. 28, 2018 at GJAC

      The Holiday Party will be on Dec 7th at Berkeley Hills Country Club

      High School Mock Trial competition will be help in Athens in May, volunteers will be requested.

  5. Hala Carey introduced Ellen Gerstein with the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services

  6. Candidates for office in Gwinnett County addressed the members:

    1. Carolyn Bourdeaux

    2. A Statement from Bob Woodall

    3. Zahra Karinshak

    4. Matt Reeves

    5. Scott Hilton

    6. Beth Moore

    7. Bonnie Rich

    8. Aisha Yaqoop

    9. A Statement from Chuck Efstration

    10. Andrea Stephenson

    11. Rosanna Szabo

September 21, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:00pm -1:00pm

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges, Elected Officials, and Guests.

  3. Announcements:

    1. Jodi Miles: A petition is being started to start a new bar section for small firm and solo practice. The petition was available to sign at the meeting. 25 signatures are required to start the new section.

    2. Dana Pagan: This years LEAD picnic will be October 13, 2018 at Rhodes Jordan Park. Please see Dana to make donations or to volunteer. Only 1/3 of the necessary funds have been raised so far.

    3. Jon Setzer: This year's Christmas Party will be on December 7th.

    4. Jon Setzer: This years charity will be the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, which is the non-profit organization deemed by the County Commissioners as responsible for planning services for children and families.

  4. Jon Setzer introduced the speaker, Deputy Steven Cooley, founder of the STRAP program.

  5. Deputy Cooley gave a presentation about his STRAP program, started in 2011, that mentors Gwinnett county youth, from 13 to 17 years old. He discuss the impact that this program has had on the lives of these kids, and how the bar members can get involved or donate. Co-founder Judge Rodney Harris and Board Member Allison Cauthen also made remarks about their participation in the program.

August 17, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:00pm -1:30pm

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges, Past Presidents, Elected Officials, and Guests.

  3. Announcements:

    1. Dana Pagan: This years LEAD picnic will be October 13, 2018 at Rhodes Jordan Park. Please see Dana to make donations or to volunteer.

    2. Dana Pagan: South Gwinnett High School is looking for attorney volunteers to conduct mock interviews for the Law Department students, 11th and 12th grade, on August 30th and 31st. Contact Dana to sign up for a time slot.

    3. Tuwanda Williams: Membership forms are available to become a member of our Gwinnett Association of Women Lawyers. GAWL has CLE opportunities, and social events throughout the year. The next event is a Wine & Tapas Tasting on Thursday, August 30th at 6 p.m. at Riley’s On The Square.

    4. Matt Reeves: The Probate Section, will be conducting a CLE on September 11th for Ethic and Professionalism credit. Guest speaker, Jenny Mittelman, Deputy General Counsel for State Bar of Georgia. Location TBA.

    5. Jon Setzer: The Gate City Bar/GABWA Judicial Reception will be on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, from 6:00 -8pm at King & Spalding LLP. We are a co-sponsor again this year.

    6. Jon Setzer: This year's Christmas Party will be on December 7th.

    7. Rachel Lazarus: Participate with the Pro bono Project this year. The pro bono project screens cases to ensure the client is indigent and lawyers with various areas of practice are needed. If you participate you would be eligible for free CLEs, the second Tuesday of each month.

  4. Jon Setzer introduced the speaker, Professor Robert Shapiro, former Dean of Emory Law School, who presented an update on this year's US Supreme Court decisions.

January 19, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:27 p.m. - 1:11 p.m. 

1. Pledge of Allegiance

2. Guest Speaker, Lynn Garson, Esq.- Lawyer Assistance Program, Georgia Bar- Did you know that as member of the Georgia Bar, you get 6 FREE counseling sessions with a licensed counselor? Did you know that as a member of the Georgia Bar, you can get low cost, pre-paid services such as child care. Those are just some of many benefits of the Georgia Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program. The Lawyer Assistance Program is completely confidential, throughout the state, and is available to any bar member. The Lawyer Assistance program helps lawyers deal with the stresses specific to the career, including mental health issues and addiction issues. Similarly, the Georgia Bar's Peer to Peer program provides networking for lawyers going through specific life difficulties. 

3. Recognition of Judges, Past Presidents, Elected Officials, Guests, and Candidates for Office.

4. GCBA Member Gerald Davidson, Esq., introduced long-time friend (and former State Bar President) Ken Shigley, Esq., who spoke to members about the Georgia Bar's SOLACE program. The SOLACE program provides support to attorneys (and their families) that are going through a life crisis (health issues, financial struggles, and natural disasters. To submit requests for support or to volunteer with the program, e-mail 

October 19, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:20 p.m. - 1:07 p.m.

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges, Elected Officials, Past Presidents, and New Guests

  3. Announcements

    1. Richard Armond, Criminal Defense Section- The next Criminal Defense Section meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Gwinnett Detention Center on Friday, November 3. Jodi Miles of Carpe Agentum Consulting will be the guest speaker. She will be speaking to members and non-members about practice management and boosting PR for your firm

    2. Pro Bono Project- The Pro Bono Project’s First Annual Friday at the Festival was cancelled due to circumstances outside of their control. More information to come on future CLE’s.

    3. Julie Potts, Gwinnett Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Picnic (LEAD Picnic)- This year’s LEAD picnic will be held on Saturday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rhode Jordan Park. Volunteers will be needed starting at 9 a.m. We still need donations! Please make donations payable to GCBA and send to the attention of Julie Potts, Mihae Park, or Dana Pagan in the Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office at GJAC. Also, this will be Julie Potts last year organizing the LEAD picnic so we will need a new volunteer to head it up!

  4. Judge of the Month- Honorable Angela D. Duncan, Gwinnett Magistrate Court

    1. Introduction by Chuck Efstration

    2. Judge Duncan was accompanied by her Father, who is also a Gwinnett attorney and her former law partner, and her wife Michele Tainter, who is the case manager the Gwinnett County Drug Treatment Court

    3. Judge Duncan spoke to GCBA about the importance of mentors in the legal profession. Judge Duncan recognized many bar members in the room who helped her grow as an attorney and judge. Judge Duncan gave a heartfelt reminder to bar members that our job is all about the clients and the individuals in the courtroom, whether you are a Judge or an Attorney.

  5. Speaker of the Month- Lester Tate, Former Georgia Bar President and Country Lawyer

    1. Introduction by David Lipscomb

    2. “Attorney Tate”, a self-described Country Lawyer, spoke to bar members about client-centered representation and remembering it is all about the client! We have a special role in society, in that we are able to help individuals get relief from the injustices they face, big and small. Attorney Tate described the courtroom as the ultimate equalizer, where individuals can get justice against those individuals and companies that are otherwise pretty untouchable in our society due to their wealth and status.

  6. Adjourn

September 22, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes

12:10 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  2. Recognition of Judges, Elected Officials, and New Guests

  3. Announcements

    1. Sean Goldstein, Criminal Defense Section- The Criminal Defense Section September Meeting was held on September 15, 2017, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. The Criminal Defense Section welcomed guest speaker Angelique McClendon, who spoke to section members and non-section members about developments in driver’s license law and the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services. The next meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Gwinnett Detention Center on Friday, November 3. Jodi Miles of Carpe Agentum Consulting will be the guest speaker.

    2. Rashanda Davis-Ball, Pro Bono Project- On September 28, 2017, the pro bono project will be hosting a CLE on settling cases. On October 20, 2017, the Pro Bono Project will be hosting its First Annual Friday at the Festival. More information to come. Also, attorney volunteers are always needed at the Pro Bono Projects monthly clinics, which are held once a month from 1 to 4 p.m.

    3. Dana Pagan and Mihae Park, Gwinnett Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Picnic (LEAD Picnic)- This year’s LEAD picnic will be held on Saturday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rhode Jordan Park. Volunteers will be needed starting at 9 a.m. We usually raise around $9,000 each year for this event, and to date, they have raised no money (side note: David Lipscomb did chip in during the announcement, making the first donation of the year!) Please make donations payable to GCBA and send to the attention of Julie Potts, Mihae Park, or Dana Pagan in the Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office at GJAC.

    4. Jorgia Northrup- Empire Mock Trial Program is this weekend, and we still need evaluators for this nationally acclaimed program.

  4. Judge of the Month- Honorable Patricia Muise, Gwinnett Recorder’s Court

    1. Introduction by Margaret Washburn- Judge Muise is the oldest of 6 sisters and was born and raised in Rhode Island. She graduated from Brown with a B.S. in Biology at the age of 20. Her first job was a telephone operator. She then went on to engineer submarines! Judge Muise moved to the Atlanta area in 1987 with her family and entered law school soon thereafter while raising her children. She started her legal career doing real estate closing, and then became an Employment Law Trial Attorney. Judge Muise was twice elected to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissions. She was appointed to the bench in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court in 2002. Her time serving the County as a Commissioner gives her much professional expertise over the cases she currently presides. She has been married for 32 years and has 7 grandchildren. She has dedicated over 25 years to the Gwinnett community as a public servant.

    2. Introduction to Recorder’s Court: The Express Lane Alternative to State Court- Judge Muise taught GCBA members the “do’s and dont’s” in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court, and also gave us a great overview of the processes in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court. One insider tip: Sit at an attorney table when the calendar is called so you get in and out quickly… Judge Muise takes cases with attorneys first!

  5. Speakers of the Month- Terance Mathis, Former Atlanta Falcon, and Karen Duffy, Director of Cure for ALS

    1. GCBA watched a heart wrenching video on living with ALS. We learned that research and advancement of a cure for ALS is taking place at the Emory ALS Clinic, with the efforts of Dr. Glass and his staff; however, there is still NO CURE for ALS

    2. The Emory ALS Clinic is small and widespread across the Emory campus and the building cannot accommodate everyone who needs to be treated

    3. To Donate to the Emory ALS Clinic, go to and click the donate button! Your donations will fund the Emory ALS Clinic expansion, research, and advancement in finding a cure for ALS

  6. Adjourn

August 18, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes


Guests: The following guests and new members were present at the luncheon.  Please make sure to welcome them as you see them in the future. 
•    Preston Fleming is a student at John Marshall Law School due to graduate in December. 
•    Debbie Peters is a mediator and just joined the GCBA.  She can be reached at (770) 368-2076 or 
•    Tad Ransopher is a new member of the GCBA, and is the head of the master of tax program at Georgia State.  He can be reached at (770) 475-4444 or 
•    Dan Mayfield brought his daughter Laura Mayfield, a new member of the GCBA.  Laura can be reached at (770) 271-5244 or

Constancia Carter – Criminal Law Section Announcement
The criminal law section’s next meeting will be September 15, 2017 at GJAC in Conference Room B. Angelique McLendon of the Georgia Department of Driver Services will be speaking on the new statutes and rules, and specifically the rules concerning interlock devices.  The fee for the luncheon is $5 for Members and $15 for Non-Members.  Contact Constancia for more information:

Rachel Lazarus – Pro Bono Project Announcements
1.    Pro Bono CLE: these CLEs, held the second Wednesday of each month, are free for people who take pro bono cases or volunteer for the Pro Bono Clinics.  The next CLE, Networking for People Who Hate Networking, will be September 13, 2017 from 11:30 to 1pm at GJAC.
2.    Upcoming 6 hour CLE: Don’t Just Settle! Settle the Right Way.  This CLE is focused on Family Law Settlement Agreements, and will be held on September 28, 2017 in the Auditorium at GJAC.  The CLE is Sponsored by the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project and the GCBA.  
3.    Friday at the Festival will be held October 20, 2017 at the Duluth Festival Center.  This is a fundraiser to benefit Gwinnett Legal Aid.  We are still looking for performers, sponsors, and attendees.  

For more information on any of these events, please contact Rachel Lazarus at for more information. 

No Other Section Announcements were made.  

Opening Remarks

Carlton Rouse, President for the 2017-2018 Bar year, made opening remarks regarding the upcoming bar year.  He introduced our mission statement for the upcoming year: Me2We.  The following is Carlton’s opening remarks: 

Our bar theme this year, i.e., “ME 2 WE” embraces the ideal that what is in our best interest often times is in the best interest of the greater community. It goes without saying; we all want a working society, a strong local community, and higher esteem for our profession. The question is, what can we do to get there.  In my humble opinion, I do not believe there is not just one solution to this question. That said, the appropriate answer for each of us will be different and unique.  So as we meditate and think about “Me 2 We” over the course of this upcoming year, I hope it causes us to explore how we can apply our passion to areas where we can help others.  

For our part, the Bar will strive to offer you speakers who will entertain and inform you with respect to professional matters, work life balance, and important social issues. We also hope to have events that will help build camaraderie with your peers and lasting memories.

Judge of the Month

Donald Lee, Vice President for the 2017-2018 Bar Year, introduced our Judge of the Month, Judge Robert Waller.  Donald Lee is the Guardian Ad Litem assigned to Judge Waller’s courtroom, and just swept Judge Waller’s fantasy baseball team.  

Judge Waller was born in Albany, Georgia and graduated from Albany High School.  He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Atlanta Law School.  Judge Waller was a history teacher at Morrow High School in Clayton County, Georgia for four years, prior to becoming an attorney.  Judge Waller served as a Juvenile Court Judge from 1988 to 1991.  He was a practicing attorney and part time Magistrate Judge from 1991 to 2009, and then became a Juvenile Court Judge again in 2009 to present. 

Judge Waller is a past president and founding board member of the Gwinnett children Shelter, a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett, a former member of the board at the Tull YMCA, among other civic organizations and duties, including the South Gwinnett Rotary Club, and is a presenter at ICLE and ICJE courses. 

Judge Waller’s Remarks

    Judge Waller stated he has been working with delinquent kids since 1979.  At that time, there were a plethora of programs to help these children.  Over the years, there have been countless studies performed to determine what will best help those children, but the funding for those programs has greatly reduced.  The needs of the delinquent youth are still there, but the funding from federal and state arenas has reduced and is not growing.  There are ways to get around this, and one of the ways is through the program that our speaker this month James Rayford does.  

    You can get involved and help.  In Judge Waller’s opinion, programs that help the most are those where people make connections with children and their families.  Being a role model makes the most impact.  The single most important thing you can give a child is your time. 

Monthly Speaker

    Donald Lee introduced our speaker, James Rayford.  Mr. Lee stated that he couldn’t think of a better first speaker in light of the bar officers’ mission for this year – from Me 2 We. 

    As an educator of twenty – eight years, James Rayford earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Rust College in holly Springs, Mississippi and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University.

    Currently Mr. Rayford serves as Director of Academic Support for Gwinnett County Public School’s Community – Based Mentoring Program where their primary mission is to provide mentors for identified male students.  He has seen the program grow from 57 students and 33 mentors in its pilot year, to having served 500 students and 231 mentors during the 2016 – 2017  school year.  

    He has been married to his wife Dawn, for 26 years, and they have four children. 

James Rayford Remarks

    Mr. Rayford started his remarks by showing a short video showcasing the mentoring program.  The video can be found here:

    This year, 97% of the students that participated in the mentoring program were grade promoted at the end of the school year.  This is a remarkable statistic in light of the fact that the students selected to participate in the program are those that have been identified as likely not to be grade promoted or to graduate from high school.  90% of the seniors in the mentoring program graduated high school.  

    Mr. Rayford’s goals are to recruit and train mentors, to encourage students, to support their parents, and to seek additional resources to sustain the mentoring program. There is an annual golf tournament to support the Mentoring Program.  This year, the golf tournament will be held at Bear’s Best on Monday, October 9, 2017.  Please contact Carlton Rouse if you would like to participate on a GCBA team (  All contributions to the Mentoring Program go to the program.  There are no administrative costs covered by the fundraising efforts.  If you don’t play golf, there will be a silent auction from 9:30 to 11:30 as well.  

    Gordon Johnson, Esq. is a group mentor for the program and he participated in a question and answer session with Mr. Rayford about his participation in the program.  He has a group of about 6 students.  He teaches them basic social skills – like how to speak to an adult, how to look people in the eye when talking and shaking hands, etc.  Mr. Johnson stated that while you think that participation in the program would be a sacrifice of your personal time and energy, but participation is not a sacrifice.  Your community and these children need you, and that his participation is rewarding. 

    If you would like to participate as a mentor for the boys program; training sessions are in September, October, November, and December.  Matching is in January.  There is a minimum one year commitment.  Janice Warren is starting a girls mentoring program.  For more information on participating as a mentor, contact Kathy Burnette at (770) 682-8086 or