November 2018 Newsletter

Jon Setzer
GCBA President 2018-19
President's Corner
By Jon Setzer

It sometimes takes until this time of the year for it to really feel like autumn in the Atlanta area, but now that it has, the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. It's a time to begin thinking about winding up the year as the holidays approach. As long as it takes for summer to cool into autumn in Georgia, in my somewhat short legal career, one thing I've taken note of is that the profession similarly changes very slowly.
Especially here in Gwinnett County, we've been fortunate to have judges who take the bench and serve our community for a long time, giving us a continuity that many places don't often have. When new judges have taken the bench, they usually do so one or two at a time. However, when we ring in 2019, we will have three new elected judges and a new appointed Recorder's Court Judge taking the bench. While the new Recorder's Court Judge has not been appointed, yet, we do know who our new Superior and State Court Judges will be. I hope you will join me in welcoming them to the bench at our next luncheon on November 16. I also hope you will join me in honoring our outgoing judges on November 28.
Sometimes it seems as though this time of year is busier than other parts of the year for everyone, with parties to attend and work to wind up. Part of the reason that it's so busy is so that we may spend a little time with our families before the hustle and bustle of the New Year forces us back into our normal work days. For us in the Gwinnett Bar Association, we will start thinking about celebrating our holidays with fellowship and camaraderie as we do every year with what we anticipate will be a wonderful Holiday Party at the Berkeley Hills Country Club on the evening of December 7. After that, I hope that everyone takes some time for themselves or their families. We will not have a luncheon in December, but we will return in January, hopefully recharged for all the change that is coming.
October Luncheon
We hope you enjoyed hearing from Ellen Gerstein with the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services and each political candidate that was able to join us at our last meeting on October 19, 2018. 

November Luncheon
Friday November 16, 2018 12:00pm
The 1818 Club
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway #300
Duluth, GA 30097

Join us for our next meeting featuring the three newly elected judges to Superior and State court, Tracey Mason, Tracie Cason and Ronda Colvin-Leary. Each of them will speak as they transition into taking the bench in January 2019.

Mark Your Calendars!
This Year's Monthly Meetings:             
  • November 16
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19 
  • May 17




          Other Events:
  • November 28   Judicial Reception Honoring Retiring Judges

     GJAC Breezeway

  • December 7      Holiday Party

     Berkeley Hills Country Club

  •  December 18   Criminal Defense Bar's Annual Toy Fundraiser

     Historic Courthouse

by Morris Margulis, GCCDB Communications Director

The criminal defense section meets the first Friday of every month.  At our monthly meetings, we serve a catered lunch and have a featured speaker.  In addition, we offer a two-day CLE every March. 
The Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Bar held its November 2018 monthly meeting at the Dominick's in downtown Lawrenceville. The speaker, Marlyn Tillman, the executive director of the Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline (StoPP), spoke on the interplay of school disciplinary hearings and the criminal justice system.
A special, guest appearance was made by Dan Mayfield, Chief Asst. District Attorney, to discuss the D.A.'s new electronic discovery process.
Save the Date

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 11:30 a.m., GCCDB will hold our annual Toy Raiser at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville. This is our biggest event of the year, headed up by attorney Christine Koehler. Bring an unwrapped toy or make a $20 donation (or more) that will benefit patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Egleston Hospital. Come have lunch paid for by GCCDB (with donation) with many Gwinnett judges and prosecutors for a great cause. For more information, including how to donate if you can't attend the lunch, contact Katie Huckaby.

2018 GCCDB Slate of Officers:
Sean Goldstein, President
Richard Armond, President-elect
Jessica Towne, Vice president
Drew Mosely, Treasurer
Morris Margulis,  Communications

Join the Section!
Interested in joining the section or want to RSVP for a monthly meeting? Please
contact section President Sean Goldstein at
EPPS UPDATE:  Future Meetings and Volunteer
by Melody A. Glouton
The Gwinnett Estate Planning and Probate Section (EPPS) is pleased to host Corey Rieck, President and Founder of The Long Term Care Planning Group, on Tuesday, November 13.  The meeting will be at 12:00 noon at Dominick's Italian Restaurant on the Square, 197 W Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.  Please email Melody Glouton if you plan to attend. 
Corey's firm specializes in delivering Long Term Care education and coverage to companies, high net worth individuals and large organizations. Since 2001, Corey has devoted his career to Long Term Care as a result of multiple personal experiences.  A neutral provider of Long Term Care Solutions since 2001, Corey brings a unique and comprehensive consultative perspective to this issue.  Since 2003, part of his commitment to the Long Term Care Industry includes his having trained over 3,500 advisers from San Francisco to Wall Street on how to properly position Long Term Care to clients through the CLTC organization. Additionally, he has authored dozens of published industry articles on Long Term Care and has assisted many of the nation's leading LTC carriers on operational and educational matters.
Please note that you do not have to be a member of the section to attend the meetings (please feel free to forward the message or bring a friend!).  If you are interested in joining the section, or simply being added to the section email list, please email Melody Glouton or Lauren Bryant.

Please remember our Volunteer Opportunities:
Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic - Monthly

Who should volunteer: Attorneys with probate and/or guardianship experience (need not be an expert, but some experience is required to assist attendees)
What: Provide guidance to pro se petitioners with their filings in probate court
Where: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center
When: Third Thursday of each month from 1:30pm - 4:30pm 
Why: To help our citizens and the Probate Court in processing petitions more efficiently and effectively
How: Please contact Elizabeth Strupe with questions or to sign up for the Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic

Pro Bono Representation
Arlene L. Coleman
William E. Fields
Thomas O'Brien
Kathryn Taylor Franklin

Probate Clinic
Michelle L. Bloch
Walter J. Clarke
Dawn C. Deans
Bruce R. Hawkins Jr.
Yesenia Muhammad
Patricia O'Kelley
Ashley Scarpetta
John L Welsh II

Consumer Law Clinic
Michael A. Arndt
Craig W. Sherrer

Family Law Information Class
Dorothy "Dodie" Sachs

Thank you!!

GCBA members Danielle Britt Mays and John A. Mays, Jr., are excited to announce the birth of their son John Walt Mays. John Walt was born at Gwinnett Medical Center on October 23, 2018, at 1:19 p.m., weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces and measuring 19 ¾ inches long. John Walt is the attorney duo's first child, named in honor of his grandfathers: John A. Mays, Sr., and Gwinnett attorney Walt M. Britt.


Chandler, Britt, & Jay, LLC is pleased to announce that Dorothy "Dodie" Sachs has joined the firm as an associate.  Dodie's practice will remain focused in family law issues, and will expand the firm's family law practice.  
The firm is located at:
4350 South Lee Street
Buford, GA 30518
GCBA Scholar says Thank you!

DeQuentin Augustine from Loganville received a scholarship to attend Georgia Gwinnett College for the 2018-19 academic year. After graduating high school, he began his studies at GGC as a Political Science major, with a concentration in Legal Studies. He hopes to become an attorney. 

DeQuentin wrote a letter to express his gratitude to the bar for the scholarship and to update us on his progress in school.
GCBA, meet your new judges!
2018 has certainly been  the year of women , as three women are set to join the Gwinnett County bench. In 2019 we will welcome to the bench the following amazing women that bring with them vast legal careers that have propelled them into this exciting new position. We look forward to hearing from each of them at the next bar meeting, but here is a preview...  

Tracey Mason
Superior Court: Div 9
Tracey Mason Blasi is a Gwinnett native who is committed to all the citizens of Gwinnett County. She is a graduat
e of Leadership Gwinnett, is the President of The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, is a past 
President of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County, and serves on the Advisory Committee of Gwinnett Legal Aid. She has been a board member of The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, The Council for Quality Growth, Annandale Village, and was a co-founder of the United Way's Women's Legacy.

Tracey has the commitment to excellence and the experience that Gwinnett County deserves. As a former Judge in Duluth Municipal Court, she demonstrated integrity and fairness while overseeing all of her cases promptly and efficiently. A major part of her legal practice has been serving as a professional legal mediator. As a trained mediator, Tracey was able to bring people in heated legal battles together by fashioning creative, workable solutions - which often saves money for all involved. Tracey will draw on her experience , both as a judge and as a mediator, to effectively move cases through the legal system - and will do the job with honor and competence.

Tracey was sworn-in on November 8, 2018 at the Historic Courthouse.

Tracie Cason
Superior Court: Div 2 
Tracie Cason was a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office. Tracie graduated Cum Laude with honors from the University of Georgia in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, during which she interned in the homicide unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. She attended and received her Juris Doctorate Degree from Baylor University School of Law in 1997. In the DA's office  Tracie has spent several years on the Child Protection Team, which was responsible for prosecuting all child molestation and cruelty cases. As Deputy Chief, Tracie supervised three Superior Court trial divisions and the Special Victims Unit. She has served as the chairperson of the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit Child Abuse Protocol Committee and is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit Sexual Assault Protocol Committee. 

As part of her duties supervising SVU, Tracie was highly involved in the planning and execution of Operation Spring Cleaning, a joint operation with the GBI, GCPD, District Attorney's Office and many other law enforcement agencies to crack down on domestic minor sex trafficking.  She was invited to be a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council's State Expert Committee for Sexual Assault Response Teams. As a member of that Committee, she has been critical in developing state-wide training for the creation and implementation of Sexual Assault Response Teams.   Additionally, Tracie is an active member of the Gwinnett Coalition's Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Committee.

In her free time, Tracie is an avid Dawg fan (having been going to UGA games since she was in the womb). She and her husband, David, regularly attend UGA sporting events, traveling all over the country to see the Dawgs play! They have 3 dachshunds named Munson, Dooley, and Erk and a chocolate lab, Emma Mae. 

Tracie will be sworn-in on November 28th at 5pm at the Historic Courthouse on the square,  all are welcome to join.
Ronda Colvin-Leary 
State Court: Div 4
Ronda Colvin-Leary knew she wanted to be a judge from a young age, growing up in the small town of Fort Deposit, AL. She looked up to judges as impactful figures but she also heard about members of her community being fearful about going to court and leaving not feeling they were treated fairly. From that, Ronda decided she wanted to have a positive impact and become a judge that could make a difference.

With this goal in mind, she went on to graduate from Auburn University and then Florida Coastal University School of Law in Jacksonville, FL. After graduating law school she moved to Georgia and worked as a Staff Attorney to a municipal court judge. She later became an Assistant Solicitor in DeKalb County. After a few years, Ronda opened her own practice in Gwinnett County were she handled criminal, juvenile, personal injury and contract cases.

Along with her practice, Ronda was the part-time Solicitor for the City of Winder since 2011. In 2016 she ran for State Court Judge for the first time. Although this run was not successful, Ronda learned a lot about building and maintaining relationships throughout the community. She continued to focus on ensuring that she was accessible and known throughout the county. She is active in many community organizations including: Lawrenceville Lions Club, Step by Step, Diamonds in the Rough and Gwinnett Rotary.

When Ronda was sworn-in on September 26, 2018 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, she became the first elected African-American sworn-in to the State Court of Gwinnett County.
Gwinnett grieves for Officer Antwan Toney, killed in the line of duty October 20th 
Gwinnett County mourns the death of Officer Antwan DeArvis Toney, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday, October 20th. Officer Toney was six days away from celebrating his third anniversary with the Gwinnett County Police Department.
On October 20th, police officers were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle call at Crumps Landing Road and White Road near Shiloh Middle School. While working his shift on patrol in the Uniform Division, Officer Toney responded to the scene with other officers. As they approached the suspicious vehicle, shots were fired from inside the vehicle. One of those shots struck Officer Toney.
Other responding officers returned fire and pulled him to cover. Officer Toney was transported by ambulance to Gwinnett Medical Center where, despite heroic efforts by his fellow officers, paramedics and hospital staff, he died as a result of his injuries.
Officer Toney's death is the first felonious assault death in the department since 1964 and the first line of duty death since 1993. Governor Nathan Deal ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol building and in Gwinnett County on Wednesday October 24th.
Officer Toney was born in Inglewood, CA, and just recently celebrated his 30th birthday. In his younger years, he served as a Boy Scout and a Police Cadet, and he participated in the Orange County Police Explorers Program. He graduated from the Police Department's 94th Academy on April 21, 2016. During his spare time, Officer Toney loved volunteering with local youth in Georgia. You would often find him playing basketball and mentoring whenever and however he could.
Officer Toney is survived by his mother, Antoinette Page; father, Anthony Toney; stepfather, Carl Johnson; grandfather, Frank Toney; three siblings, Sherharazzar Johnson, Carla Johnson, and Dartangan (Whitney) Johnson; three nieces, Marshe' Huang, Nola Johnson, and Maui Cobb; godson, Kaleb Law; and a host of extended relatives, coworkers, and friends.
Congratulation to Judge Joseph C. Iannazzone - 2018 Recipient of the Ogden Doremus/Kent Lawrance Award

This year the Council of State Court Judges presented Gwinnett County State Court Judge Joseph C. Iannazzone with the Ogden Doremus / Kent Lawrence Award.  President Judge Nancy Bills and Senior Judge Bob Mock presented the award on behalf of the Council of State Court Judges at the Fall Conference Banquet last Wednesday night. 

In his presentation, Judge Mock noted:
  "Judge Iannazzone also as President and Vice President of the Georgia Council of Magistrate Court judges and served on numerous committees on  both councils.

Among other committees Judge Iannazzone served on are the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, the Magistrate Court Training Council, the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, the judicial Council of Georgia, and the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Judiciary.    He is a member of the The American College of Business Court judges, the American Bar Association and serves as chair and co-chair on numerous committees and subcommittees of that body.

He is the founding judge of the Gwinnett County DUI Accountability Court:   he has developed several automated systems currently in use by the court including a computerized system for the generation of criminal arrest warrants ;  he developed the first internet site maintained by a local Georgia Court; he  developed a nationally-recognized program to hear applications for arrest warrants via video conference and a video conference probation revocation system."
Holiday in Gwinnett 

31st Annual Lighting of the Tree | FREE!
November 22 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The tradition continues with the lighting of the Great Tree Gwinnett Historic Courthouse lawn on Thanksgiving evening. Santa will light the tree and receive visitors in his living room inside the courthouse. Visitors can enjoy historical guided tours, enjoy kids' activities, live entertainment, food vendors, and more. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville.
Breakfast with Santa
November 24 from 8:30am to 10:00am. Enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa in the beautifully decorated Superior Court Ballroom. Make a craft and hear a story from Santa or one of his helpers. Bring your camera to take photos with St. Nick. All ages welcome. Cost: $15 per person. Preregister online with activity code GHC48721 or by calling 770.822.5450. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville.
Holiday on the Square
November 24 from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Santa is in town so be sure to drop off your wish list, and bring a camera for photos with the Jolly Old Elf. Then enjoy crafts in the Elf Lodge. Cost: $10 per person. Call 770.822.5450 for more information. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville.

Lilburn Christmas Parade | FREE!
December. 1 from 10:00am to 11:30am. The annual Lilburn Christmas Parade is less than a month away! The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will travel down Main Street, ending at the Calvin Fitchett Municipal Complex at approximately 11:30 a.m. Kids can visit with Santa after the parade at Lilburn City Hall-Library. 
Chief Justice Hines killed in wreck returning from granddaughter's choir performance
by Ross Williams

Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harris Hines has died.  Hines was killed in an automobile crash Sunday. According to family members, Hines and his wife Helen were on Interstate 85 heading back to Cobb from Newnan Sunday afternoon, where they listened to their 8-year-old granddaughter Edie sing in the Newnan First Methodist Church choir.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck and the two were the only ones in the vehicle.
Initial reports suggest the vehicle left its lane and the vehicle flipped. Justice Hines was reportedly driving. Family said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Helen Hines was taken to Grady Hospital and treated for minor injuries. Family members said she was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday night.

Hines was born Sept. 6, 1946 and grew up in Atlanta, the son of Edith and Ruben Hines, a schoolteacher and a flour salesman.  Hines attended Grady High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to enroll at Emory University, initially planning to study medicine, but later deciding upon a career in law.
Hines retired from the state Supreme Court at the end of August after serving as a judge since 1974, when he was appointed to Cobb's State Court in 1974 by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter.

Former Gov. Zell Miller appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1995, and was elected Chief Justice by his colleagues in 2016. He was the first Cobb resident to attain that position.
His fellow justices and other court officials said they were in shock at the loss.

"He was a great man," said Justice David Nahmias.

"He only just retired," said Georgia Supreme Court Public Information Officer Jane Hansen. "He was so beloved by everyone on the court... Everyone is in a state of shock and devastation."

Your Law Firm is a Business!

By: Michael D. Deming Jr., MBA


You practice law and are pretty good at it. Your staff knows how to assist you in your practice and how to service your clients to make them happy and make you money. But what you may not know very well is the business side of your law practice, whether you want to admit it or not.


Most lawyers practice in a courtroom and have control of the trial, the business at hand.  However, most law firms are not run like a business and that causes the managing partner, who is probably in court, to leave their potential profits on the table for their shareholders- which is the partners and their hardworking staff. In other words, YOU are leaving money on the table! If you or your partner, a paralegal, or a bookkeeper manages your accounting and operations, you are probably not maximizing your profits. Bookkeepers are great at data entry and ensuring your books are up to date, paralegals know how to help you and your firm service your clients, and you know how to practice law, but that only gets you by day to day.Your Law Firm is a Business!...


Read Full Article Here

Lawyers Need to Stop Using Gmail Immediately

Lawyers need to stop using gmail for their practice right now.   An article in the Wall Street Journal made it very clear that lawyers who use the system are doing so at their ethical peril.

To understand why I feel this way you need a slight history lesson. Go back to the 90s when email first became popular.   For those of use who are old enough to recall, lawyers couldn't use email in their practice because it was unencrypted. Our duty to safeguard client confidences per Rules 1.1 and 1.6 prohibited us from using the tool.   The ABA and state bars across the country deemed that unencrypted email was too insecure and that lawyers who used it weren't taking the necessary steps to fulfill their duty of protecting clients' confidential information.   So what changed? Today email is generally still unencrypted, but lawyers use it every day  (yes, there have been recent opinions which question whether we should continue to use unencrypted email, but it is permitted in a variety of instances). Here's the change- Congress criminalized the interception of email. 
Once Congress made the interception of email a crime, the powers that be agreed that lawyers had a reasonable expectation of privacy in using the medium. The key phrase is a "reasonable expectation of privacy."   The ABA issued a formal opinion in 1999 confirming that idea:...

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