Honorable Stephen Louis A. Dillard, Presiding Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals | “Appellate Courts: Righting Wrongs or Simply Correcting Errors?”
Today on See You in Court, we are honored to be joined by the Honorable Stephen Louis A. Dillard, presiding 73rd Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Honorable Stephen Louis A. Dillard:
Presiding Judge Stephen Louis A. Dillard was appointed as the 73rd judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia on November 1, 2010, by Governor Sonny Perdue. Prior to his appointment, Judge Dillard was in private practice with James, Bates, Pope & Spivey in Macon, serving as chairman of the firm's appellate practice group. Judge Dillard was elected and reelected by his fellow Georgians in 2012 and 2018. On July 1, 2017, Judge Dillard was sworn in as the 30th Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia for a two-year term that ended on June 30, 2019. He currently serves as the presiding judge of the Court’s Fourth Division.
Judge Dillard was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 13, 1969. He attended and graduated from Hillwood High School in Nashville, Tennessee; Samford University (B.A. 1992); and the Mississippi College School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1996). In college, Judge Dillard was a member of The Sigma Chi Fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa. He was also given the Evelyn Meadows Historical Essay Award, as well as the William McMillian Rogers Colonial Dames Overall Essay Award for "The Tempting of America to be America: Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Papers." During law school, Judge Dillard was a member of the Moot Court Board and received the Judge Robert G. Gillespie Outstanding Achievement in Appellate Advocacy Award, as well as the American Jurisprudence Award in Appellate Advocacy. He also reactivated the Mississippi College Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, serving as its president for three years.
After graduating from law school, Judge Dillard joined the Macon law firm of Stone & Baxter, where he practiced from 1996 until 2001. In September 2001, he left private practice for a two-year period to serve as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for Judge Daniel A. Manion (who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986). In September 2003, Judge Dillard joined James Bates as of counsel, specializing in appellate practice and complex litigation. While in practice, he received an AV® Preeminent™ Peer-Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was named by Super Lawyers as one of Georgia's "rising stars."
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