» jUDICIAL pROfILEs // DekAlB CoUnty StAte CoUrt 180
judge Eleanor L. Ross
College: American University, 1989
Law school: University of Houston,
previous Experience: Judicial
candidate for U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia.
Appointed to state court by Gov.
Nathan Deal in April 2011. Former
prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
judge Alvin T. Wong
College: Auburn University, 1973
Law school: John Marshall Law
Born: Sept. 28, 1951, Hong Kong
previous Experience: General
practice, sole practitioner, 1976-
95; John C. Tyler, 1978-84; Salem
& Wong, 1984-91; partner, Gambrell & Stolz, 1995-98; current
policies, procedures and Recommendations:
1. Division designation: 1.
2. Pretrial conferences and pretrial orders: Yes–require both.
On simple, routine cases (personal injury cases), I require pre-trial orders more often. Some conferences held by phone.
3. Require dispute resolution: I am a big proponent of ADR; we
have a county ADR center where I send a lot of cases. I offer to
mediate at no cost to litigants by agreement of counsel for all
cases involving substantial damages, medical malpractice or
lengthy cases, even if already mediated.
4. Telephone conferencing: Yes.
5. Special settings: Yes.
6. Attaching supporting authorities: No, unless hard to find.
7. Letter briefs: Yes.
8. Filings on computer disk: Depends; yes for complex cases
and pattern charges. File pretrial orders by email; send email
to my calendar clerk. All procedures are in my standard civil
9. Voir dire: Jurors are seated in the audience rows and given
white labels with numbers that coincide with the jury list. In
addition to qualifying the jury, I will ask general questions.
Then plaintiff or state has a chance to ask general questions
with liberal follow-up, followed by the defense. There should
be little need for specific questions, but if desired, they are
10. Court hours/breaks: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., longer depending on
circumstances. Lunch: 1-1 ½ hours; 15-minute morning and
afternoon breaks, sometimes longer, and as needed. The court
will make special accommodations for those who have any
medical condition that requires more break time.
11. Available audio-visual equipment: Equipment must be
requested prior to trial.
12. Using audio-visual equipment: Use of such equipment
should be discussed with the court at the pre-trial conference. If parties provide their own audio/visual equipment,
the operation and safekeeping of the equipment is counsel’s
13. Trial exhibits: All trial exhibits, including demonstrative evidence, must be marked, numbered and exchanged as marked
prior to the pre-trial conference and prior to trial.
14. Courtroom decorum: Counsel and parties should be courteous, professional and respectful and must be on time and
15. Jury charges: Lawyers are required to submit jury charges
at the beginning of the trial in hard copy and electronic format
using Corel WordPerfect format and/or Microsoft Word.
16. Pattern charges: Yes. With regard to said jury instructions,
counsel should state and remit the numbered pattern jury instruction requested from the court and should state and remit
the page number where the pattern charge can be found.
17. Resolving pretrial issues prior to striking jury
a) Criminal: Yes.
b) Civil: Yes.
18. What constitutes good cause for:
a) Granting continuances: Usually decided on a case-by-case
b) Extending discovery: Usually decided on a case-by-case
19. Order preparation guidelines: Attorneys should provide
the court with proposed orders.
20. Suggestions/admonitions for counsel: Be on time, be
courteous, be professional and be prompt. Prior to coming to
court, and as much as possible, resolve any and all issues with
opposing counsel and let the court render judgment on issues
that can’t be resolved. Get to the heart of the matter, and
quickly. At any stage of court proceedings, be prepared to support your argument and objections with statute or case law.
No speaking objections in front of jurors. Don’t make frivolous
objections or argument.
21. Irritating lawyer conduct: Being unprepared and demonstrating unprofessional conduct.
22. Other recommendations: Be professional and nice. Know
your case and be prepared to support your argument and
objections with statute or case law.