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Fayette judge picked for appeals court seat

Fayette County State Court Judge Carla Wong McMillian has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals by Gov. Nathan Deal.

McMillian, a Tyrone resident, was appointed to the state court judgeship in August 2010 to replace then-judge Fletcher W. Sams, who was promoted to a Superior Court post. McMillian won her first election to office in July, winning 66 percent of the vote over challenger Stephen Ott, Peachtree City’s municipal court judge.

The state court position was McMillian’s first judicial experience, building on her background as a corporate business attorney with nearly three quarters of her litigation being in federal court. As a private attorney prior to her appointment, McMillian was employed with the Atlanta law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan.

In his announcement Wednesday, Gov. Deal did not name a replacement for McMillian and it is not immediately known when that will take place. Historically the governor announces that he will seek applications for a given judicial vacancy, and the top candidates for the seat are selected by a committee before the governor makes a final decision.

McMillian has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her law degree from the University of Georgia. She has been recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the “2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women” in Georgia.

McMillian’s victory in July made her the first Asian-American woman elected to a judgeship in georgia. She also has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” for 2012 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

McMillian and her husband, Lance, have two children.



Excellent choice. Congratulations, Judge!

NUK_1's picture

I hope her replacement is just as good and has the same mindset. FC really needed her and thankfully decided she was the better judge over Stephen Ott, but now there is a gap to be filled.

PTC Observer's picture

agree with this sentiment

A good and well qualified, honorable and conservative judge is getting harder and harder to find. We'll be lucky if we can find one.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

And they usually just look at lawyers, which makes it even harder. Maybe we should just nominate Don Haddix. He'd like the power and no one in their right mind would ever want to brought into a court and be judged by him, so it would help reduce the crime rate.

Can't quite picture him in a robe, maybe this isn't such a good idea.

Live free or die!

would be hard pressed to find a blog where you did not mention Don Haddix (always negatively) regardless of the subject. One thing you are doing is keeping his name out in the public, and as you and the majority of people know most people vote for a name they recognize, they remember the name but not what it was about---just look at our last elections at every level. People had lots to say about the state of affairs but in many instances voted again for the same people. Maybe that is your purpose--are you really a closet supporter of Haddix or is it unrequited love? This string started seriously discussing the merits of competent people to replace a good judge, McMillan, with one to serve us as well as she has--and what do you do? Bring up Mr. Haddix's name of course. Keep this up and we will all be on to you; denigrating your idol while worshiping him in private. It's okay to have a crush, even on the same sex, but most of us get over them in our late teens. Maybe you are just a late bloomer.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Analyze this.

Live free or die!

ptctaxpayer's picture

Morgan and King both made me wonder the same damn thing. Here we are talking about a judge and Morgan randomly brings in Haddix. Mike King does the same thing. People will be posting about the ice storm and here it comes "Yeah but Haddix." Makes you wonder if these guys had an unfortunate experience with Donnie in the BOQ showers that they haven't yet gotten over. LOL. You guys are funny.

Just why would you think that the Mayor would have been in the BOQ at all?

ilockemup's picture

Judge McMillian was good. Pretty obvious we wouldn't keep her long. Good luck.

Who will be her replacement? We need a conservative. This court handles all the DUI's we write in Fayette County, for example. You need someone that organized.

How about Bob Ruppenthal? He knows the process and he knows how the arrest and warrant deal works. It'll probably end up being a lazy politician or friend of a lazy politician who doesn't know the difference between the Intox and detox.

NUK_1's picture

That was the first name that popped into my head also. I think he'd be a solid and deserving choice.

ginga1414's picture

I've worked within the legal community my entire adult life (a lonnng time).

The first judge I worked for was Superior Court Judge Frank Guess who was with the DeKalb, Newton, and Rockdale Circuit. My first day on the job, Judge Guess told me which lawyers could be trusted and those who couldn't.

Yes, we need someone who is "honorable." We need someone who is tough but fair and follows the letter of the law.

We certainly don't need a politician.

We don't need someone who has been a politician or who has even contemplated being a politician.

Our new judge should be someone who thinks of his or herself as a public servant.

For that matter, all elected or appointed officials should think of themselves as public servants.

Elected officials, appointed officials, every governtment employee should think of themselves as public servants.

I really admire those countries that mandate military service for all citizens. It allows those to understand that we all must give back to society and allows others to mature before they start a career.

However, all to often, people feel entitled, get greedy, and only look out for themselves. Guess that's human nature to some degree. (Look at DeKalb county)

That's why the constituents need to keep a close watch on all government.

Hopefully we will get an honorable conservative judge that can be trusted to uphold the laws in Fayette County. It's a shame we are losing Carla Wong McMillian, as we will miss her stewardship.

The court of appeals will now be her kangaroo court.

ginga1414's picture

I agree with Nuk! Bob Ruppenthal is an excellent choice for our vacant State Court Judgeship.

All Fayette citizens have an opportunity to let Gov. Deal know who we would like to fill that position.

PLEASE contact Gov. Deal's legal team and let them know who your choice is to fill the Fayette State Court vacancy.

The contact information is: Rhonda Greenway - - 404-651-7715

Having held the position of Chief Magistrate Judge in Fayette County, Judge Ruppenthal is more than qualified for the State Court position.

ginga1414's picture

There is a correction to the information I just posted concerning Gov. Deal's legal team.

Apparently Rhonda Greenway has recently had a name change so her new e-mail address is:

The legal team phone number is: 404-651-7715

highflyer2's picture

Let me be the first to say that I think Judge McMillian will do great in her new position, but let me also be the first to try and notify Gov. Deal that Bob Ruppenthal is NOT the candidate that people think he is. All I ask Gov. Deal to do is ask some of the people of the county, such as other lawyers and people of the county.
ALL IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS, I have told him things that has went on in this county and in his own backyard and he did NOTHING to see if the allocations were true or not. Do I sound like a person scorned? You better believe it and I'm going to talk to anyone that will listen!

I won’t dignify her with the title of Judge. Carla was the most bias judge I’ve ever seen. Her judging was more akin to Chinese communist dictatorial Law. Anyone who rules that the Health Dept Regulations are only for Tax and not for the Protection of the Public has no business being a judge.

I told the people of Fayette County when she was running for election last Summer that Carla was a political insider, who was buying the election with 95% of her donations coming from outside Fayette. The same lawyers that influenced the Committee to recommend her for the Appeals Court.

In her acceptance response she said “it’s a bittersweet appointment”, as though she had a duty to accept. Oh yeah, shortly after winning the Fayette Election, Carla filled out an application for the Appeals Court position, even before her election term started.

The only good thing about her appointment is decent honest Fayette citizens won’t have to put up with her sorry judging anymore. Carla will be right at home on the Appeals Court, fooling around like the other judges do refusing to hear appeals cases. Then the Governor will appoint another jerk from outside of Fayette.

MajorMike's picture

There were only two candidates that were truly qualified to sit on the State Court bench when Gov. Deal first appointed Carla Wong to the bench here. While the only time I have ever met her was at the candidates forum, I have heard nothing but negative reviews of her service from reliable citizens in both the general public and, in great part, the Fayette legal community.

I'm glad she's going somewhere else.

Bob Ruppenthal would be the obvious choice to replace her, lets see how the politics play out.

NUK_1's picture

Her opponent was an Eric Maxwell flunky. Does it get more "insider" than a Maxwell supported and endorsed stooge? Of course she had a lot of donations from outside FC....when you're a member of The Federalist Society, they like to support their own since a lot of judges seem allergic to those ideals.

I liked Judge McMillian's legal views and her time here. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

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