Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday he has appointed four new Superior Court judges.
The new judges will fill openings in the Cherokee, Coweta, Macon and Stone Mountain judicial circuits. Their appointments will take effect as soon as they can be sworn in.
Markette Baker – Coweta
Troup County Solicitor General Markette Baker is the new judge for the Coweta Judicial Circuit.
“Markette Baker is an excellent litigator who is admired and respected by her peers throughout Georgia, and over the years, she has shown remarkable leadership as Troup County Solicitor-General,” Kemp said in a news release. “By appointing Markette to the Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court, I am confident that she will seamlessly adapt to her new role and serve Georgians well for many years to come.”
Baker is a graduate of Converse College and Mississippi College School of Law. She was first elected Troup County solicitor general in 2004 and reelected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Previously, she practiced bankruptcy and family law at Whatley, Baker & Baker. She also served as an associate municipal judge in LaGrange, represented families on the Troup County Juvenile Indigent Panel, and prosecuted misdemeanor cases as an assistant solicitor general in Troup County. In 2017, Baker was named “Georgia Solicitor-General of the Year” by the Georgia Association of Solicitors General.
Jeffery Monroe – Macon
Bibb County State Court Judge Jeffery Monroe will move up to the Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court.
“Given his successful tenure of service on the Bibb County State Court and distinguished legal career in the private sector, I am proud to appoint Jeffery Monroe to the Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court,” Kemp said. “Without question, Jeffery is the right man for this important job, and I know that he will operate with the utmost integrity and impartiality as he serves his community.”
Monroe has served on the Bibb County State Court since August 2017. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Georgia. Before serving as a state court judge, Monroe was a partner at Jones Cork in Macon, specializing in special education, student discipline and employment discrimination, as well as insurance law.
Shondeana Morris – Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
DeKalb County State Court Judge Shondeana Morris will step up to the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court.
“Shondeana Morris’ impressive legal career and public service make her the right choice for the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court. Given her experience on the DeKalb County State Court and successful track record as a Fulton County prosecutor, I believe that Shondeana offers the ideal set of legal expertise and leadership skills for this critically important position,” Kemp said.
Morris has served on the DeKalb County State Court since August 2017. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from Mercer University School of Law. Before serving as a state court judge, Morris was deputy district attorney in Fulton County and an assistant solicitor for Atlanta.
Morris is a member of the State Bar of Georgia’s board of governors, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, Leadership DeKalb, Junior League of DeKalb and UGA Alumni Association’s board of directors.
Jeffrey Watkins – Cherokee
Jeffrey Watkins, founder of a general practice firm in Cartersville, is the new judge for the Cherokee Circuit.
“Throughout the years, Jeff Watkins has proven himself to be a top-notch attorney in his field of expertise, and I know that he will work tirelessly to ensure fairness, impartiality, and justice in his new role,” Kemp said. “Among his peers, Jeff is well-respected not only for his legal work, but also for his professionalism and commitment to important, local initiatives. In the years ahead, I am confident that he will excel in the courtroom, bolstered by the strong support of his community.”
Watkins is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Mercer University School of Law. His firm had handled business law, civil and commercial litigation, real estate and probate law, and zoning and land use cases. Previously, Watkins was a founding member of White, Choate, Watkins & Mroczko, practicing with the firm from 1998 to mid-2014. He also was a senior associate at Moore, Ingram, Johnson & Steele in Marietta, practicing in the areas of insurance defense, workers’ compensation, and general civil and commercial litigation.