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|UPDATED: Lesbian attorney Jane Morrison leads in race for Fulton State Court judge|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|July 31, 2012 20:55|
With over 75 percent of precincts reporting, attorney Jane Morrison is leading in her bid for a seat on the Fulton County State Court, which would make her one of the first openly gay judges in Georgia and the Southeast.
Morrison currently has 60.64 percent of the vote compared to 39.1 percent for opponent Melynee Leftridge in this nonpartisan race, according to unofficial results from the Fulton County elections office.
The two are competing for the seat left open when Judge Brenda Cole retired after serving 14 years on the bench. State court handles misdemeanor criminal cases such as DUI and civil cases including contract cases and personal injury cases.
Morrison, whose partner is Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1994.
Morrison moved to Atlanta nearly two decades ago and has practiced in Georgia for 18 years. She was one of the founders of the Stonewall Bar Association. In 1996, she helped organize the organization's first annual dinner, an event that continues to attract high-profile attorneys and judges from across the state.
In 1997, Lambda Legal, an LGBT non-profit legal organization, opened a Southern Regional Office with Morrison as its first regional director.
Morrison has her own civil practice where she works full-time, but she is also a part-time solicitor for the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. She's also served as a judge on a part time basis for Atlanta Municipal Court as well as a part-time Fulton Magistrate judge.
Leftridge attended Spelman College and then Georgetown University Law Center. She said she wants to move to state court because as a magistrate judge she only gets to see pieces of a case.
Leftridge has been practicing law for more than 20 years and has civil and criminal experience. She became a part-time magistrate judge in 2007 and full-time in 2010.
Leftridge said she has attended several Stonewall Bar events and promises to be fair and impartial on the bench.
Top photo: Attorney Jane Morrison with partner Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner (by Ryan Watkins)
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