September 2016
President's Corner

I'm going to devote the president's corner this month to an important request:
Mock trial teams at Gwinnett high schools urgently need attorney-coaches.  
There are many benefits to volunteering as an attorney-coach.  Through mock trial, you will have an opportunity to assist outstanding students with an interest in the judicial system and the legal profession.  Serving as a mock trial coach is a great way to support your community and local high school.  Finally, you can earn some CLE credit and hone your legal skills as you instruct!
To begin the process, please email me at with the high school(s) most convenient for you.  We will put you in touch with the nearest high school faculty-coach.  
Once you're in contact with the assigned faculty-coach, there will be an opportunity to discuss your availability to attend practice sessions between October and January.  
As a former Gwinnett mock trial participant and attorney-coach, I have seen great benefits for both students and coaches from serving as a mock trial volunteer.  Several high schools might not have mock trial teams this year unless an attorney-coach is identified soon.
Thank you for your support!  
September Bar Luncheon: 
Civil Attorneys Working to Stop Human Trafficking and Judge of the Month

For the September Bar Luncheon, we welcome Attorney Jere C. Smith and Lt. Chris Rafanelli of the Gwinnett County Police Department.  Our Judge of the Month is The Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Gwinnett County.  

Jere C. Smith is President of the Board of Directors of Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery (CLAWS) and a Partner at Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, LLP in Marietta, Georgia.  Learn more about CLAWS by clicking here.

Lt. Chris Rafanelli is Supervisor of Vice Crimes Unit for the Special Investigations Division of the Gwinnett County Police Department, investigating cases of sex trafficking crimes. 

Judge of the Month: 
The Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Gwinnett County. 
New Online Child Support Calculator
by Pat Buonodono, Staff Attorney, Georgia Commission on Child Support

On behalf of the Georgia Child Support Commission, I am happy to announce that we have released our new Online Child Support Calculator for use by you and your clients.

While the Excel calculator is still available, we encourage you to use the online version. It works in essentially the same manner as the Excel calculator and remains true to the format outlined in the Guidelines at O.C.G.A. 19-6-15(b).

You can access the calculator at Go to the website, and then click on the button that says Georgia Online Child Support Calculator. This will take you to the calculator Home page. At the top right side of the page, you will see a button to "Sign Up." If you click there, and enter at least the required information, you will establish your account. To log in, use the same user name and password each time, just like with any other website.

At your discretion, you may establish your office as an organization in the online calculator. This would allow you to add employees to your organization and allow them access to child support worksheets created by any member within the organization. Your organization will have an administrator. This is initially the staff person you select who will establish your organization, but it may be changed later. Please contact one of the calculator Administrators identified in this email for assistance. We will be happy to walk your administrator through the steps to establish your organization. 

The new calculator is user friendly and intuitive. The finished product is in the form of a .pdf - please click here for a sample document so you will recognize the worksheet and schedules. You will note that the worksheet is shorter because it prints only the portions of each schedule that are used. You will be able to share the worksheet with your client and even with opposing counsel, should you wish to do so.
Click here to view the user guide.

Please let us know what we can do to assist you in becoming familiar with the new online child support calculator. If you have questions about the calculator, please do not hesitate to call us:
Obituary for the Honorable James Walbert "Jim" Oxendine 

The Honorable James Walbert "Jim" Oxendine of Duluth, Georgia, died on Sunday, August 21, 2016, in Madison, Georgia, at the age of 88 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. 

Jim was born on December 30, 1927, in Fairmont, North Carolina. Jim left Robeson County, North Carolina, to serve his country in uniform during the Korean War. After returning from combat, he obtained his undergraduate degree and went on to obtain a Master's in Education. For many years, he sold school textbooks for Rand McNally.


Long before it was common place, he worked full-time as a textbook salesman and attended law school part-time at night. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1973.


Following a distinguished legal career in Gwinnett County, he was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris to Chair the State Board of Worker's Compensation. He then served as a Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge for many years and was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes as a Senior Judge of the Superior Courts of Georgia.


Jim was a member of the Rotary Club of Duluth. He served on the Board of Trustees of Greater Atlanta Christian School, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, the Warm Springs Foundation, and Annandale Village. Click here to continue reading
Gwinnett Pro Bono Project News and 
Thank Yous
September CLE is September 14, 2016 The 10 Commandments of Effective Legal Writing with appellate guru David Webster. The CLE is from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Conference Room A. 
Sign up for the new CONSUMER LAW CLINIC.  Once a month, assist low income clients with answering debt suits, suing for poor living conditions, and understanding their rights as consumers.  Contact Rachel Lazarus

Thank you from the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project:
Pro Bono Representation (May-August)
Lisa H. Baggett
Wallace M. Berry, Jr.
Arlene L. Coleman
Barbara Evans (2 cases)
Melanie D. Fenwick-Thompson
Kathryn Taylor Franklin
John V. Hogan
Jason H. Kang
Patricia Analeece McKenzie
Andy Morgan
Donald W. Osborne
Sumner E. Riddick, II
Steven M. Reilly
Mark L. Wells
Joseph A. Zdrilich
Probate Clinic Volunteers (May-August)
Lauren Bryant
Raymon Burns
Lindsey Cambardella (May & July)
Walter J. Clarke
Frances Kuo
John Miles (June & August)
Raina Nadler
Nathan Powell
Ashley Scarpetta
Mark Stuckey
John Welsh (July & August)
Michelle Wilson
News & Events

Retirement Announcement:
The Juvenile Court will be honoring the retirements of Judge Stephen E. Franzen and his Judicial Assistant Kathy Wilkinson with a drop-in at the Court between 2pm and 5pm on September the 30th, 2016.  

We invite everyone to join us in wishing them well and a chance to share your memories working with Judge Franzen and Kathy over the years.

Reminder: Upcoming Law Enforcement Appreciation Picnic

As many of you are aware, each year the Gwinnett County Bar Association in conjunction with the Gwinnett Chiefs Association sponsors the Law Enforcement Appreciation Picnic which is well-attended by officers and their families.  The picnic is one of the larger projects sponsored by the Bar.  The picnic will be held at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville on Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 11am - 2pm.  Please consider donating either your time or money (or both) to make the picnic the success it has been in years past.  

The Bar collects donations, which are then used to purchase door prizes for the officers and their families.  The prize drawing is done for both the adults and the children.  If we don't have good prizes, the officers won't come back next year.  If you can donate money, please make the check payable to the GCBA and send it to the attention of Julie Potts, Mihae Park or Dana Pagan in the Solicitor's Office.

If you wish to volunteer your time at the picnic, please email Julie PottsYou may also email Mihae Park or Dana Pagan.  I know with the help of each and every one of you that this year's picnic will be even more successful than last years!
Law Day Announcement!

GCBA is pleased to announce the theme for Law Day 2017! This year's theme will be "The 14thAmendment: Transforming American Democracy." As we approach the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment, this year's theme explores how the Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses served as the cornerstone for future landmark civil rights legislation and court decisions protecting the fundamental rights of all Americans.
Over the course of the next year, GCBA intends to honor this year's theme through its educational outreach, community service project, and Law Day banquet. We will need local attorneys to aid us in this endeavor! Opportunities will include career day presentations, individual classroom presentations at the Gwinnett County Schools, and community service projects. If you are interested in volunteering your time, please contact Danielle Britt Mays at or 770.271.2991.

ABA News
Milich Minute

In a divorce case jury trial, Husband offers an email received:

From: Pierre LeGrand

I love your wife and want to take her with me to Disney World. Is that ok?

Wife objects that the email is not authenticated.

Which is the best answer?
  1. Overruled. the fact that the email said it was from Pierre is enough, by itself, to meet authentication requirements.
  2. Sustained without more evidence tying the email to Pierre.
  3. Sustained IF the court decided it has not been proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the email is authentic.
  4. Sustained. Pierre is clearly nuts.

12 Milich

Click to purchase his book here!
Probate Court and Laws Update

  • Due to The Appellate Jurisdiction Reform Act of 2016 appeals from the Probate Court on a will construction case are no longer appealable to the Supreme Court of Georgia, but are now appealed to the GA Court of Appeals.  (OCGA 15-3-3.1)  This applies to Article 6 Probate Courts with expanded jurisdiction such as Gwinnett County.  Appeals from a Non-Article 6 court are to the Superior Court of that court's circuit. The Appellate Jurisdiction Reform Act goes into effect 1-1-17.
  • HB 547 changed the language of OCGA 53-3-4 regarding year's support and the divestment of real property taxes on property set aside by an award of year's support.  In paragraph (b)(1) the word "homestead" was substituted for the words "real property", and a paragraph (b)(2) was added.
  • The Uniform Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceeding Jurisdiction Act added a new Chapter 11 to title 29 as well as repealed Parts 2 and 3 of Article 9 of Chapter 4 and Parts 2 and 3 of Article 13 of Chapter 5.  This effects jurisdiction, transfers to and from other states, and allows for registration of a foreign guardianship or conservatorship with states that have also adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act or a variation of it as Georgia did.
  • Georgia Probate Court Standard Forms #1-13, 17, 18, 31-33, 65, 72 and supplemental form 1, 2, 4-6 have been updated.  To download copies of the new forms click "Standard Form", at
  • Electrical outlets have been installed at Counsel's tables in courtroom 1-H.  Now you can bring your laptops, AV equipment and other electronic devices designed to help you litigate in Probate Court.
  • Recently South Carolina passed legislation to recognize and give reciprocity to the Georgia Weapons Carry License, making it the 31 state to do such.  The Georgia Attorney General's office maintains a list of the states Georgia currently reciprocates in recognizing weapons carry licenses.
  • Beginning in July the Gwinnett County Probate Court began providing fingerprinting on site for its weapons carry license applicants.  Previously, new applicants, were required to go to the permits office within five days of filing an application to be fingerprinted.  Renewal applicants do not require fingerprinting.
Criminal Defense Update

On Friday, September 9th, at 12:00 the Criminal section hosted its monthly meeting. The September meeting focused on the resources available to defense attorneys through the Law Library and the AOC. Brandi Robertson and Grace Holloway gave a presentation on the Law Library's services. Kimberly Ciccaglione provided tips to using JCATS and help us schedule interpreters. Hayat Zamayar gave us tips about using the courtroom technology.  
12 Scales Justice


To RSVP or Join the section, please contact Constancia Carter at

Next Meeting Dates:
October 7, 2016 12 pm Gwinnett County Detention Center Classroom B
November 11, 2016 12 pm Gwinnett County Judicial Administration Center Conference Room C

Lunch is $5 for section members and $10 for non-section members. 
Estate Planning and Probate Update: 
Next Meeting Information

On Tuesday, September 13th, the Estate Planning and Probate Section (EPPS) welcomes a panel discussion Dealing with the Family Dysfunction Dynamics.  Let's face it-most families experience some form of dysfunction.  And when it comes to family discussions surrounding a patriarch's estate plan, the dysfunctional elements can easily become magnified.

The panel of guest speakers will include Kristen Lewis, Dave Polstra, and Eddie Staub.  Kristen is an estate planning attorney with Smith Gambrell Russell in Atlanta, specializing in special needs trusts.  Dave is the Co-Founder of Brightworth, a fee-only wealth management firm in Atlanta.  Eddie is the Executive Director of Eagle Ranch Children's Home in Flowery Branch, GA.  They will discuss the root causes of family dysfunction, beginning in the child rearing years and then explore how estate planning professionals can join a collaborative effort to addressing these issues when they arise when discussing a client's estate planning objectives.  The lunch will be held at 12:00 noon in the private room at LongHorn Steakhouse in Lawrenceville.  The restaurant is located at 800 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043 and can be reached at 770-338-0646.
Note that you do not have to be a member of the section to attend the meetings and no need to RSVP, but if you are interested in joining the section, or simply being added to the section email list, please contact Melody Glouton or Lindsey Cambardella
Lastly, please contact Elizabeth Strupe if you are interested in participating in the Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic that occurs on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30pm - 4:30pm at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Family Law Section Update: 
Next Meeting Information

The Family Law Section of the Gwinnett County Bar Association is hosting its regularly scheduled meeting. Lunch is free for section members. All are welcome to attend. The meeting starts at 12:00 p.m. and generally lasts for approximately one hour.  For additional information please email the Chair, Sharon Jackson at or send a text to 678-992-3799.

Our next meeting for family law is the last Wednesday in October (October 26, 2016) at 12:00 noon at  La Cazuela Mexican Restaurant (Upstairs Meeting Room) 179 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

Upcoming Events:  (The last Wednesday of every other month - even months)
Office Furniture for Sale!

Office furniture includes pieces shown in photos above, the desk set and conference table set. Selling for $750 OBO.

Please contact Ali Jamal if you're interested via email at
Office Space for Rent!
Office space for rent in downtown Lawrenceville, GA in the Langley Commons office park . It's less than a mile from the Gwinnett County courthouse, has a conference room and access to the use of a receptionist. 

Anyone interested can contact Constancia Carter at: (770) 939-0226 or via e-mail at
In This Issue
September Bar Meeting Details

Friday, September 16th
from 12pm - 1pm 
at the 1818 Club
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

Gwinnett County Bar Association | | |
P.O.Box 576
Lawrenceville, GA 30046