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american lawyer media news service judges: Albert Thompson had it hung. Elizabeth E. Long reversed. Atlanta-Fulton County’s two top judges are feuding, and a portrait of famed golfer Bobby Jones is at the center of the spat. It involves the chief judges of two local courts: superior and state. The former handles felonies. The latter is technically lower in the pecking order, dealing with misdemeanors on the criminal side. Both handle high-stakes civil cases. The chief judge of neither court reports to the other. The flap arose over a project that Chief Judge Albert L. Thompson of state court is undertaking with local bar members and history buffs. They plan to hang portraits of former judges and well-known lawyers in the courthouse. Jones dominated golf in the 1920s, was a founder of the Masters Tournament and was a partner at an Atlanta law firm. Last month his picture went up in a hallway at the Justice Center Tower in downtown Atlanta. But the portrait, a photograph of a painting of Jones, is no longer on that wall. Superior Court Chief Judge Elizabeth E. Long ordered it removed and stowed in Thompson’s courtroom. Thompson charged that Long had the picture removed summarily and without contacting him. Long said she tried to contact Thompson but didn’t reach him. “It was clearly a purposeful insult to take it down,” Thompson said. Long said that the courthouse belongs to the public and the picture was in a public space. “In public space, we should all decide what goes there,” Long said. Thompson, she said, “should have called us and we would have discussed it.” She said she didn’t know the picture was going up beforehand and heard complaints about it last month from several colleagues when she returned from a vacation. Thompson can hang anything he likes in his courtroom, Long said, but when a picture appears in a public space, all the courts and agencies in the building should be consulted first. “Maybe Bobby Jones is appropriate, maybe not,” she said. Thompson called her on June 2 after discovering the portrait in his courtroom. Long said she tried to suggest that courthouse officials form an art committee to plan such displays jointly. “He didn’t hear the words,” Long said. Thompson said he’d cleared the picture’s placement with the county manager and was planning a dedication ceremony. He said the matter is far from settled. “We intend to complete our program,” Thompson said. “It will be restored.” Jones, who died in 1971 at the age of 69, was a partner at Atlanta’s Jones, Bird & Howell, a predecessor firm to today’s Alston & Bird.

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