Judge Padgett receiving award for judicial history book

Judge J. Wade Padgett

A gift from a fellow jurist started Judge J. Wade Padgett on a writing and research project that has led to him to getting an award Thursday night for Excellence for Local History Advocacy.


The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council selected Padgett’s book, “From Court in the Wilderness to Court in the Metropolis: A History of the Augusta Judicial Circuit,” as this year’s recipient for the award. Padgett is to receive the award at a ceremony in Morrow, Ga.

“When I was sworn in as a Superior Court judge, Judge (Bernard) Mulherin gave me a ‘scroll’ with the names of all the judges who had served as Superior Court judges since 1870. I was flattered to be among that number,” and it sparked his interest to learn about those who preceded him on the bench, Padgett wrote in an email.

Padgett started in 2012 with his research from newspaper archives at the Georgia Archives in Atlanta. He focused his project on developing biographical descriptions for every judge, clerk and prosecutor for the Superior, State, Civil and Magistrate, Probate and Juvenile courts in the Augusta Judicial Circuit, which is composed of Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties.

Padgett credits former Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet with helping him find a publisher, Mercer University Press, and the Augusta Bar Foundation with paying for the cost of publication. The book is Padgett’s first published work.

“I hope to eventually begin writing the book that I really need to write, which is the Teenage Years 101 book for parents and teens in the modern world,” said Padgett who gave numerous seminars about the law and dangerous teen behavior before becoming a Superior Court judge.

Padgett, a former Magistrate for Columbia County, was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2009.

Reach Sandy Hodson at sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com or (706) 823-3226