About Judge Leonard
Judge Leonard has served the citizens of Cobb County since his appointment to the bench in December of 2010. He currently presides over the Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court. Through his service on the benches of both the State & Superior Courts of Cobb County, he has the unusual distinction of having been appointed by two different Governors and elected four times.
Judge Leonard obtained his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 1997 and his J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2000.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Leonard enjoyed the challenges of being a small business owner. He established his Marietta law practice in 2000 practicing primarily in criminal law and civil litigation. Although his practice was based in Cobb County, he travelled all over Georgia making almost daily court appearances. This experience resulted him appearing in front of approximately 100 different judges in both the state and federal courts and has played a vital role in how Judge Leonard treats people and runs his courtroom.
Judge Leonard was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia as the Chairman of the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Judicial Workload Assessment. As a member of the Council of Superior Court Judges, Judge Leonard serves on the following committees: Pattern Jury Instructions, Uniform Rules, Court Security, and Court Technology. He also Chairs the Automated Data Collection and Case Management Standards Subcommittee.
Judge Leonard has been involved in many activities within the Georgia Bar Association and Cobb County Bar Association, including:
• Chairman, Standing Committee on Judicial Workload Assessment
• Chairman, Technology Committee of COVID-19 Taskforce
• Member, Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inn of Court
• Chairman, Cobb Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Committee
• Former President and Member, Cobb Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section
• Former Vice-President, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
• Former President, Cobb Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section
• Former Member, Cobb County Bar Association’s Board of Trustees
• Member, Marietta Lawyers Club
• Member, Atlanta Lawyers Club
• Evaluator, High School Mock Trial and Georgia Moot Court Competitions
Awards and Recognition
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Leonard was recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star for three consecutive years, from 2009 to 2011. He was the 2006 recipient of the Cobb Bar Association’s Ross Adams Award. In 2009, he received the “Greatest Trial Victory of the Year” award. In 2013, Judge Leonard was featured in Cobb Life Magazine’s “Top 20 under 40” publication. In 2014, he was recognized as one of the Daily Report’s “On The Rise,” an award honoring the top 40 lawyers in Georgia under the age of 40. In 2018, he was presented with the President’s Award for his work with the Bench and Bar Committee by past Cobb Bar President, Judge Kimberly Childs. In 2020 he received the prestigious Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. In 2021 he recognized by GACDL with the President’s Award for helping to modernize courts with technology in an effort to keep people safe during the pandemic. In 2021 he recognized by the State Bar of Georgia’s YLD for Distinguished Judicial Service. In 2021 Judge Leonard was honored with the Thomas Charron Public Service Award for his work helping to guide the judiciary through the pandemic and in training judges across Georgia on best practices for conducting remote proceedings.
Judge Leonard is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education courses for judges, lawyers and paralegals on subjects ranging from technology, family law, criminal law, evidence, ethics and professionalism. Judge Leonard enjoys speaking to young lawyers about the importance of integrity and professionalism in the practice of law. He has lectured on professionalism as a keynote speaker for incoming law students as part of the Chief Justice’s Committee on Professionalism. He has also taught classes on criminal law and ethics at Emory University School of Law and Kennesaw State University.
Judge Leonard served as the Chairman of the Board for the Tommy Nobis Center, an organization that provides job training and placement for people with disabilities. In 2020, he received the Thomas A. Slaughter Award for his years of service and dedication to helping people with disabilities. He has also volunteered his time at numerous local and regional non-profit organizations. He frequently speaks to local youth groups and schools about the impact of how these young people’s choices today will impact them for the entirety of their lives, especially regarding their choices on social media. He also invites school groups and Girl and Boy Scout troops to the courthouse to conduct mock trials and learn about the court system.
He is also involved in the Chamber of Commerce and is an alumnus of the Leadership Cobb Class of 2013 and Honorary Commanders Class of 2022.
Judge Leonard lives in Cobb County with his wife. They have three children and three black labs.