Originally created 06/14/06

Nominee waits for approval

If confirmed by the Senate, Lisa Godbey Wood will become the next federal judge sitting, and living, in Augusta.

Ms. Wood, 43, has been the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia for the past two years after her first nomination to a federal post by President Bush.

"To be a federal district court judge in the Southern District of Georgia would be the pinnacle of a legal career for me," Ms. Wood said Tuesday.

After graduating with honors with an undergraduate degree, Ms. Wood graduated first in her 1990 class at the University of Georgia School of Law, where she also served as managing editor of the Georgia Law Review. U.S. District Court Judge Anthony A. Alaimo selected her for a clerkship. A year later, she joined the Brunswick law firm Gilbert, Harrell, Sumerford and Martin, where she made partner four years later.

Ms. Wood served on the Georgia Public Safety Board and the State Bar of Georgia's judicial evaluation committee and disciplinary review panel. She was also president of the Brunswick Bar during her 13 years of private practice.

Although Ms. Wood comes from Brunswick, she will move to Augusta with her family if the Senate approves her for the judgeship, she said.

Ms. Wood was picked to fill the shoes of U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr., who is taking senior status later this month on his 65th birthday.

Ms. Wood said she hasn't been told when a Senate hearing might be set or how long the confirmation process will take. She understands the necessity of careful deliberation for a lifetime appointment, Ms. Wood said.

"You're not going to find anyone saying anything middle-of-the board about her. She is a fantastic choice," said Augusta attorney Pete Theodocion, who practices in federal court.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss' press secretary, Annie Laurie Walters, said the America Bar Association will prepare an evaluation or review of Ms. Wood for the Senate judicial committee. The committee will schedule a hearing and vote on her confirmation, and then the full Senate will vote, Ms. Walters said. So far, there is no time scheduled.


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