Palmer to fill in on Ga. Supreme Court case

by Sarah Fay Campbell

On Monday, Emory Palmer, Coweta County’s newest Superior Court judge, will become a judge on the Georgia Supreme Court — but only temporarily.

Palmer was chosen as a designated judge to fill in for Justice David Nahmias in a case that will be heard Monday.

Nahmias, a former U.S. attorney, has recused himself in the case. When one of the Georgia Supreme Court's seven justices can't serve on a particular case, a superior court judge is designated to serve instead.

"We maintain a list of superior court judges from around the state," said Jane Hansen, public information officer for the Supreme Court of Georgia. "Then whenever a justice recuses himself, the next person up is asked to sit in."

The case Palmer will hear is The State v. Anthony Hargis. Hargis was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine and other crimes in Union County. The Georgia Court of Appeals overturned Hargis' conviction, and the state petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the appeal's court ruling.

The Supreme Court justices "do not like to recuse themselves if at all possible," Hansen said. But sometimes, they have to do so.

Palmer was elected a Coweta Superior Court judge in July 2012, and took office in January. He is one of six judges in the five-county Coweta Judicial Circuit.

Palmer oversees the Troup County Drug Court and is active in the Council of Superior Court Judges, serving on the council's Uniform Rules Committee, Pattern Jury Charge Committee and Legislative Committee.

Before his election, he was a partner in the law firm Carr and Palmer, and had a statewide practice specializing in legal malpractice defense and corporate insurance defense.

A Newnan High School graduate, Palmer served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps during Desert Storm. He attended Georgetown University, where he earned a degree from the School of Foreign Service, and received his law degree from the University of Georgia Law School. Palmer and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Bo and Jack.

Palmer could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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