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Chief Magistrate appoints five to Magistrate Court bench

Courtroom Gavel
November 9, 2022

Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan F. Murphy Appoints Five to the Magistrate Court Bench

Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan F. Murphy has appointed Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper to serve as a full-time Magistrate Judge and Lauren R. Boone, Ronna M. Woodruff, Che A. Karega II, and retiring Cobb Solicitor-General Barry E. Morgan as part-time Magistrate Judges.  Those appointed were selected after an open application and interview process from a competitive field of well-qualified candidates. 

On January 1, 2023, Judge-designate Edmondson-Cooper will fill the vacancy created by Judge Sonja N. Brown’s recent election to the Superior Court.  Ms. Boone and Ms. Woodruff will be sworn in next week and assigned to currently vacant shifts.  Mr. Karega and Mr. Morgan will begin their judicial service in early 2023.

“Jana’s stellar legal career, tireless community service, passion for increasing access to justice, and excellent work ethic have well-prepared her for the fast-paced Magistrate Court bench,” said Judge Murphy, “We’re excited to add Lauren, Ronna, Che, and Barry to the People’s Court family.  Collectively, they bring over 80 years of diverse legal experience to the bench.  Working in shifts around the clock for a fraction of the hourly rate they can earn in private practice, our part-time judges are the backbone of the Court, providing true community service.”

The Magistrate Court operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with a heavy criminal and civil caseload.  Known as the People’s Court, the Magistrate Court provides an easily accessible forum to resolve disputes for tens of thousands of self-represented litigants each year.  Presiding over the first three hearings in most criminal cases, the Court also plays an essential role in considering both public safety and the accused's Constitutional rights.