» jUDICIAL pROfILEs // GWinnett CoUnty SUperior CoUrt 214
or final judgment and decree immediately before being excused.
A laptop, Internet connection or prepared rough draft is often
helpful in that regard. Getting matters resolved and completed
is in everyone’s best interests, especially busy trial lawyers with
numerous demands on their time.
22. Suggestions/admonitions for counsel: Be professional. Be prepared. Accurately cite the law. Review the Lawyer’s Creed of our
State Bar. The best part of this line of work is spending courtroom
time with competent, professional trial lawyers who focus on the
merits of their respective cases. That still makes this job exciting.
23. Irritating lawyer conduct: See prior CLE professionalism lectures on “Rambo” litigators. Bickering between lawyers is a distraction from the merits of the case and applicable law. In essence,
ad hominem attacks on opposing counsel seldom help a client’s
case and makes it more difficult for the court to address the true
issues needing attention.
24. Other recommendations: In civil cases, we will implement a
deadline order process about 90 days into the case which will set
forth all applicable time deadlines as well as the date your case
will first appear on the trial calendar. You get to choose when
your case will first appear and we reach 90 percent of those cases
first time up. We find that busy lawyers can better prepare a case
when they know well in advance of when a case will be reached.
judge R. Timothy Hamil
College: University of Georgia
Law school: University of Georgia Law School
previous Experience: Judge, Gwinnett County State Court,
judge Randy G. Rich
College: University of Georgia,
Law school: Georgia State
University College of Law, 1992
Born: 1967, Atlanta
previous Experience: Gwinnett
State Court judge; partner, Rich &
Smith, Randolph G. Rich (litigation)
policies, procedures and Recommendations:
1. Division designation: 4
2. Pretrial conferences and pretrial orders: Conferences by
request only. Phone conference is preferred. Pretrial Orders are
3. Require dispute resolution: In select cases.
4. Telephone conferencing: Yes.
5. Special settings: Yes.
7. Letter briefs: Yes, if appropriate.
8. Filings on computer disk: Prefer email attachments sent to staff
attorney & opposing counsel.
9. Voir dire: Counsel are given numbered jury list of prospective
jurors. Jurors have numbered cards. Counsel are given seating
locations to help with their notes. General questions followed up
by individual questions. Counsel are encouraged to use general
questions to identify appropriate follow-up issues. Individual voir
dire is typically conducted in panels of twelve.
10. Court hours/breaks: 9 a.m. until between 4: 30 to 6 p.m. Ending
time depends on when current witness testimony can be reasonably concluded. We try to conclude a witness’ testimony within a
given day, if possible. Usually go 1-1½ hours with a break. Usually
lunch is 1-1½ hours.
11. Available audio-visual equipment: Screen and ‘Elmo.’ Cabling
installed so that laptop displays can be projected on large-screen
LCD. Most of our courtrooms have wireless connection.
12. Using audio-visual equipment: None currently needed.
13. Trial exhibits: Expect counsel to reasonably confer to the extent possible on admission of exhibits to help expedite admitting
appropriate exhibits. Prefer show the exhibit to opposing counsel
prior to showing to the witness. If unique issues are involved, an
additional copy for the court to follow along is sometimes helpful.
14. Courtroom decorum: Best succinct outline is set forth in the
Lawyer’s Creed, State Bar of Georgia. A copy of the creed hangs in
our courtroom foyer as well as in our office. During a trial or hearing, bickering between counsel is a distraction from the merits of
the case and parties to the case. We have a spacious parking lot if
counsel want to argue with each other.
15. Jury charges: We try to make it easy. If counsel want a pattern
charge included, simply cite its name and number, no need to
print out. For unique charges, we like them filed as soon as possible. An electronic version sent to our staff attorney and opposing counsel is extremely helpful and efficient.
16. Pattern charges: Simply give us the pattern charge name and
number. We prefer requests to be submitted in advance of trial or
at the beginning of trial, the sooner the better.
17. Resolving pretrial issues prior to striking jury, criminal: Depends. No ironclad policy. Motions which may be potentially case
dispositive need to be heard in advance. Prefer not to have full
panel of jurors left waiting.
18. Resolving pretrial issues prior to striking jury, civil: Depends.
No ironclad policy. Motions which may be potentially case dispositive need to be heard in advance. Prefer not to have full panel
of jurors left waiting.
19. What constitutes good cause for granting continuances: Determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally we can work around
continuances if it has not become a pattern in a particular case.
20. What constitutes good cause for discovery: No ironclad perspective. Counsel using reasonable diligence in a timely manner
will most likely be granted more time. If granted, we may also set
a new trial date.
21. Order preparation guidelines: We subscribe to the “sooner the
better” rule. For instance, if the parties announce a settlement at a
trial calendar, counsel should be prepared to complete any order