One of two contested races for Superior Court judgeships will feature a longtime incumbent squaring off against a longtime Augusta attorney.
Judge Carl C. Brown Jr., who has been an Augusta Judicial Circuit Superior Court judge since 1994, is running for re-election May 24 against Christopher Nicholson.
The judgeship is one of eight positions on the Augusta Judicial Circuit, which includes Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties.
“I’ve had the privilege to serve for many years, and I believe I’ve gained the wisdom and experience needed to strongly serve this community,” Brown said.
Brown, 67, most recently won re-election in 2012. He has served as judge of the Municipal Court of Augusta and graduated from Mercer University’s School of Law.
“A person needs many qualities to serve in this role, including patience, wisdom, understanding and respect for others,” Brown said. “My experience has helped me obtain each of these traits.”
According to his campaign website, Nicholson, of Augusta, has been an attorney of both civil and criminal litigation since 1974. He’s handled more than 20 appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.
“I’ve been around the law all my life,” said Nicholson, who also attended Mercer and will turn 69 in June. “My father practiced law and I’ve been a lawyer my entire career. When it comes to experience, I’ll put my experience against anyone’s.”
If elected, Nicholson says he will attempt to reform the judiciary process.
“There needs to be more of a human element in our system,” he said.
Nicholson is facing some legal issues. The Chronicle reported May 3 that the State Bar of Georgia recommended that he be suspended from practicing law for at least two years. The report and recommendation are now on the state Supreme Court docket. A date has not been set for a decision.
The bar association filed a formal complaint against Nicholson on April 20, 2015, which included his handling of the estate of client Charlie Choice in 2012. The complaint charged Nicholson with violations of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct involving safekeeping of property; truthfulness in statements to others; engaging in professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; and cooperation with disciplinary authorities.
Nicholson has challenged the veracity of the report.
The Superior Court is Georgia’s only general jurisdiction trial court with exclusive, constitutional authority over felony cases, divorce, equity and cases regarding title to land. In addition, the court can try any form of civil or criminal case except probate matters. Superior Court judges are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan, circuit-wide races.