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NYDEO: Justice or a Revolving Door? 02/28/20
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:20 pm
Justice or a Revolving Door?
A Fred-Friendly role-playing examination of the perennial public debate swirling around criminal justice in Fulton and elsewhere in the State.
• Richard Belcher, WSB-TV, Atlanta
• J.P. Matzigkeit, District 8, Atlanta City Council
• Paul L. Howard, Jr., Fulton County District Attorney
• Hon. Robert McBurney, Judge, Fulton County Superior Court
• Tiffany Williams Roberts, Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta
• Jonathan Peters, University of Georgia
• Thomas M. Clyde, Kilpatrick Townsend
29th Annual Georgia Bar, Media & Judiciary Conference
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 1:45 p.m.
State Bar Headquarters / Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Judges, Journalists and Lawyers And the First Amendment
A Primer on Recurring and Emerging Issues and the Law
and panelists’ BIOGRAPHIES
by Nydia Tisdale for AboutForsyth.com. Please $upport nydeos via PayPal
Richard Belcher, WSB-TV, Atlanta — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:22 pm
RICHARD BELCHER is an Investigative Reporter and Anchor with WSB-TV. He joined Channel 2 Action News in February, 1990 with 18 years of broadcast experience. Previously, Richard was a full-time investigative reporter and 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor with WAGA-TV for 15 years. Prior to that he worked at WXIA-TV and WGST Radio.
Richard graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Marketing. Richard is married to Sally Sears, a former reporter at WSB-TV. They have one child, Will, born in February 1991. Richard also has two daughters, Brooke and Robin.
J.P. Matzigkeit, District 8, Atlanta City Council — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:23 pm
J.P. MATZIGKEIT is serving his first term as a member of Atlanta’s City Council, representing the citizens of District 8. J.P. brings a wealth of business experience to the council.
He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Wahoo Fitness, a global tech-fitness company located in Atlanta. Wahoo Fitness premiered on the Deloitte 2017 Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest growing tech companies in North America. Prior to Wahoo, J.P. spent 14 years in Human Resources leadership for Cox Enterprises in Atlanta, including Vice President for Compensation & Benefits. J.P. was responsible for planning, directing and executing the strategic direction of the company’s multi-billion dollar compensation, healthcare benefits and pension fund. Prior to his role at Cox, J.P. held various positions during his 10-year career at Human Resources consulting firm Towers Watson. He worked in the St. Louis, Chicago, New York and Atlanta offices.
J.P. has invested many years in service to the community. Committed to the public input process, he co-founded the Chastain Park Conservancy and served two terms as President as well as serving on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Under his leadership, the Conservancy led the development of the 2008 Chastain Park Master Plan which was approved by the Atlanta
City Council and the Mayor. J.P. played an instrumental role in the Conservancy’s recent $5.2 million capital campaign which funded a new expanded playground and the widening of the Powers Ferry Path.
J.P. earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He is an active member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, where he has served faithfully in the mission’s program. When he’s not working, he’s either traveling, working out or cycling. On occasion, he’s granted the opportunity to do all three simultaneously. An avid cyclist, J.P. has engaged in multiple century rides not only stateside, but also on several continents including Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
J.P. lives in the Chastain Park neighborhood with his wife, Linda, his son, Grant, and Labradoodle, Lily Belle.
Paul L. Howard, Jr., Fulton County District Attorney — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:25 pm
PAUL L. HOWARD, JR. is currently serving his sixth term as Fulton County District Attorney, Mr. Howard first assumed the Office of Fulton County District Attorney in January 1997—becoming the first African-American to be elected District Attorney in the State of Georgia. He succeeded Lewis Slaton, who held this position for 31 years. Prior to being elected District Attorney, Mr. Howard had served as Fulton County’s Solicitor General for four years.
During his tenure as District Attorney, Mr. Howard has achieved a wide range of ambitious goals, transforming the DA’s Office and revolutionizing the county criminal justice system in the process. Some highlights include the top-to-bottom administrative restructuring of an antiquated office, featuring the installation of Deputy District Attorneys who provide day-to-day supervision of the Office’s divisions; the creation of specialized prosecution units, including Major Felony, Crimes Against Women & Children, White Collar Crime, the Multi-Agency Cold Case Squad, Public Integrity and the Trial Division. Additionally, Mr. Howard has established the Fulton County “Complaint Room” and, with it, has implemented a front-end case screening operation that has streamlined and expedited the felony charging process- a change that is saving the county millions of dollars in jail housing costs annually.
Mr. Howard’s innovative ideas extended beyond the courthouse to the community with the advent of “Community Prosecution,” a concept that strategically places Assistant District Attorneys in satellite offices throughout the County. Under the Community Prosecution umbrella, Mr. Howard has implemented several successful initiatives over the years, including the widely popular Citizens’ CourtWatch program. Implemented in 2004, the grass-roots program serves as a vehicle for community engagement in the criminal justice system. As Community Prosecutors track repeat offenders and cases of interest in their respective communities, citizens are kept abreast of pending cases and are invited to observe and participate (at the Court’s discretion) in judicial proceedings. Neighborhood Fresh Start and the Multi-Jurisdictional Burglary Task Force are other notable Community Prosecution efforts.
District Attorney Howard also has a passion for youth and creating programs that address their needs in unique and positive ways. Among his collection of youth initiatives are the Junior District Attorney and Project Legal Lives programs. Each offers elementary and middle school students hands-on lessons in civics and law. The Perkerson Reading Program, Partnership for Perfect Attendance, Project Turn Around and Teen Court round out the list of other key youth programs implemented during Mr. Howard’s tenure.
Mr. Howard’s law career began in 1976 with the City of Atlanta as an Assistant Solicitor. A year later, he became the City’s Deputy Solicitor. He remained in this position until 1980 when he joined Fulton County as an Assistant District Attorney in Mr. Slaton’s office where he served eight years. Upon leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Howard worked for three years as an attorney for the Atlanta law firm of Thomas, Kennedy, Sampson, Edward & Patterson, before becoming Fulton County’s Solicitor General.
Active in professional and community activities, Mr. Howard is a Director-at-Large of the National Association of District Attorneys (NDAA). He is also a member of the National Black Prosecutors Association, the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials and 100 Black Men of Atlanta. Mr. Howard has also served as chairperson of the Gate City Bar Association’s Government Law Section and the Atlanta University Criminal Justice Public Service Institute Courts Committee. During his administration, former Governor Roy Barnes appointed District Attorney Howard to his Commission on Certainty in Sentencing, a perfect complement to Howard’s previous service as co-chair of the Senate Structured Sentencing Commission.
Mr. Howard has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to the citizens of Fulton County. Among his recent accolades is the “Zenith Award for Service to the Community” given by the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA). Mr. Howard has also been recognized by Atlanta Victim Assistance, Inc. with the Paula Bevington “Helping Hand Award” and by the renowned Butler Street YMCA with its “Legacy of Firsts” award. In 2008, Mr. Howard was inducted into the Gate City Bar Association’s Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of other legal notables such as former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, former Governor Roy Barnes and famed attorney Donald Lee Hollowell. Mr. Howard is also a past recipient of the prestigious “Trumpet Award” and has received other national acknowledgements including the “Humane Law Enforcement Award” given by The Humane Society of the United States. He was also honored with the “Good Guy” award from the Georgia Womens’ Political Caucus, the Atlanta Community Prevention Coalition’s “Outstanding Effort to Stop the Violence” award and the Gammon Theological Seminary’s “Outstanding Community Service” award. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has also recognized Mr. Howard numerous times by in its annual “Who’s Who in Law & Accounting” issue. He was also named one of the “50 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Informer magazine.
A cum laude graduate of Morehouse College in political science, Mr. Howard received the school’s Marvin C. Magnum Legal Achievement Award. His exemplary undergraduate performance also earned him an academic scholarship to Emory University’s School of Law.
While completing his graduate work at Emory, Mr. Howard was elected president of the Black American Law Students’ Association and later vice president of the Student Bar Association.
Paul Howard is a native of Midville, Georgia. He is married to the former Petrina Moody and has three children.
Robert McBurney, Judge, Fulton County Superior Court — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:25 pm
ROBERT MCBURNEY has served as a Fulton County Superior Court Judge since 2012, including a term as Chief. A former Fulton County Assistant District Attorney and Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, McBurney has an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Tiffany William Roberts, Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:28 pm
TIFFANY WILLIAM ROBERTS joined the Southern Center for Human Rights in April 2018 as the Community Engagement & Movement Building Counsel. Tiffany Roberts is a civil rights and criminal defense attorney in Atlanta. She has practiced criminal defense since 2008, first as a public defender with the Atlanta Judicial Circuit Public Defender and later as a solo practitioner beginning in 2011. As a public defender, Tiffany represented hundreds of indigent clients facing felony prosecution and graduated from the Gideon’s Promise trial advocacy training program. She expanded her private practice to include civil rights litigation for victims of police abuse.
A significant portion of Tiffany’s practice is dedicated to pro bono representation of activists and organizers. She has been recognized by the Atlanta NAACP, DeKalb Lawyers Association and Southern Center for Human rights for movement lawyering and social justice activism.
Tiffany has volunteered with organizations promoting justice, fairness and equity in the criminal justice system for her entire legal career. A community organizer, she co-founded police accountability organization Building Locally to Organize for Community Safety (BLOCS) in 2008 to promote a holistic approach to public safety. BLOCS successfully advocated for legislative improvements to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board along with other critical local policy changes. In 2015, Tiffany co‐founded Lawyers United for a New Atlanta (LUNA) in response to calls for criminal justice reforms in Atlanta courtrooms. She is also a founding member of the Atlanta chapter of the global Black Lives Matter network, which first convened in 2015. Tiffany was featured as a critic’s choice for one of four Best Citizen Activists by Creative Loafing Atlanta that same year.
In addition to working with grassroots organizations, Tiffany is extensively involved in government reform efforts. In 2010, she was appointed to sit on the search committee for the selection of the Atlanta’s police chief. Her appointment was based on her leadership role in BLOCS. Her civic engagement continued in 2013 as she served on an Atlanta City Council working group to evaluate legislation to address the equitable treatment of sex workers in the city limits. Tiffany joined the Atlanta Fulton County Pre- Arrest Diversion Program (PAD) Design Team in 2017 and continues her work with PAD as a member of its Advisory Board. PAD enables law enforcement to refer community members to social services in lieu of arrest.
Tiffany is a member of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Progressive Agenda Working Group (PAWG), which is responsible for populating and convening commissions focusing on four key social justice issues: criminal justice reform, housing affordability, homelessness and workforce development. Tiffany is co-chair of the PAWG Criminal Justice Reform Commission and sits on Mayor Bottoms’ Transition Team Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee. Her work with PAWG in coalition with several attorneys and community organizations was critical to securing bail reform within Mayor Bottoms’ first month in office. As chairperson of the Ebenezer Baptist Church Social Justice Ministry, Tiffany works to build bridges between grassroots social justice organizations, the legal community and faith-based institutions.
Tiffany is Deputy Director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (NIFTEP) and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgia State University College of Law. Since 2011, Tiffany has co-taught Fundamentals of Law Practice, an experiential course that aims to prepare law students for small firm practice through live-client representation, fieldwork and doctrinal instruction. Through her position with NIFTEP, Tiffany plans international workshops, conferences and symposia dedicated to helping practitioners and academics find innovative ways to teach ethics and professionalism to law students.
Jonathan Peters, University of Georgia — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:29 pm
JONATHAN PETERS is a media law professor at the University of Georgia, with appointments in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Law. He is the press freedom correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review, and he has blogged about free expression for the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Law & Policy Review. He has also written about legal issues for Esquire, The Atlantic, Slate, Wired, and CNN.
Peters is active in several nonprofits, serving as the First Amendment Chair of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, as a member of the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, and as a member of the board of directors of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. He is also a volunteer First Amendment lawyer for the Student Press Law Center and the ACLU.
Peters researches media law and policy, studying how new communication technologies are reshaping the gathering, production, and distribution of news, with the effect of challenging long-held legal principles. He recently completed a project, too, to develop legal guidelines for press rights at peaceful assemblies in Europe, working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Vienna, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in Warsaw.
Thomas Clyde, Kilpatrick Townsend — biography
Posted: March 9th, 2020, 1:30 pm
TOM CLYDE is a partner of Kilpatrick Townsend, where he focuses his practice on complex commercial and appellate matters, with an emphasis on representing print, television, internet and communications companies. A graduate of Princeton University and Duke University School of Law, he has represented clients in an array of litigation in federal and state courts and frequently defends clients in lawsuits challenging First Amendment protected speech.