Suzanne Smith becomes first female superior court judge
by Jessica Loeding
Mar 27, 2014 | 3363 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal Monday, Suzanne Smith became the first female superior court judge for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit.

“I’m so excited, and like I told someone yesterday, it’s like a dream come true for me and I’m just so excited about it,” Smith said.

Smith will replace retired Judge Shepherd Howell. She currently serves as municipal court judge for Calhoun, judge pro tempore for Gordon County Juvenile Court and as the county attorney for Gordon County.

“... She has valuable experience as a former prosecutor, as municipal court judge, and as a juvenile court judge,” said Chief Superior Court Judge David Smith. “She is also well-versed in the many civil issues that will come before her on the Superior Court bench. In fact, I recall that one of her very first jury trials was in the historic courtroom in the 1903 courthouse here in Cartersville.”

Her background in litigation and time on the bench will serve her well, Suzanne Smith said.

“I have been a county attorney for Gordon County for 20-something years, about 20 years, a municipal court judge for many, many years, a juvenile court judge,” she said. “... Those experiences have given me the opportunities to participate in many varied types of legal matters and I think that the experience I’ve gained in the courtroom and outside the courtroom will have prepared me to serve on the bench in similar type matters for the cases that we hear here in the circuit.”

Suzanne Smith will join David Smith, Carey Nelson and Scott Smith as superior court judges.

“I’m confident that she will hit the ground running. She’s very confident in the courtroom whether as a litigator or as a part-time judge, and she has extensive knowledge of the many civil and criminal issues with which she will have to deal as a superior court judge,” David Smith said.

As the only first female superior court judge, Suzanne Smith said she will look to those who have impacted her career.

“I’m very honored by that opportunity. I have been very fortunate in my career that I have had many wonderful mentors who have been willing to share their time and expertise with me,” she said. “I know that I look forward to having the opportunity to be, to serve as the first female judge in the circuit but I know that I will have the example of many other fine attorneys who have preceded me to look to for help and experience and guidance in that regard.”

“I think she will be warmly embraced by the ... attorneys in both Gordon and Bartow counties,” David Smith said. “I don’t think her gender will have any impact on the fact that she is going to be an extremely effective superior court judge.”

Suzanne Smith graduated from Berry College and received her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She was a private attorney for two years before going to work for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. In 1990 she returned to private practice before becoming the Gordon County attorney in 1995. Smith has been involved with the Calhoun Downtown Development Authority and Calhoun Historic Preservation Commission among others. According to her resume, Smith also is fluent in Spanish. She and her husband, Nathan, have one child and reside in Calhoun.