Jason E. Ashford


Jason E. Ashford is the State Court Judge for Houston County, Georgia, where he was elected in November, 2010 and re-elected without opposition in 2014. As State Court Judge, he presides over civil and criminal jury trials and is a vocal advocate for mediation, court technology and docket efficiency. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Ashford was a felony prosecutor for over a decade.

He was the District Attorney and Chief Assistant District Attorney in Houston County, where he was responsible for prosecuting serious violent felonies and homicides. Prior to being named Chief Assistant, he helped create and was the first head of the Houston County Special Victims Unit, where he specialized in prosecuting both crimes against children and domestic violence. He was an adjunct professor for 17 years for Middle Georgia State University specializing in Computer Law and taught Government Contracting for several years at Georgia College and State University. He is the author of many articles in academic and practitioner publications, and travels regularly to speak on effective litigation, judicial ethics, and technology in and out of the courtroom. He is on the faculty or taught for many organizations, including the American Law Institute, the American Institute for Justice, and the National Judicial College.

Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Judge Ashford was an active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force, and served as Comptroller and Support Flight Commander for the 5th Combat Communications Group at Robins Air Force Base. While in the 5th, he was responsible for group logistics, civil engineering, supply, equipment issue, and transportation. After serving as an active duty officer, he then joined the Georgia Air National Guard, where he was the Commander of the 116th Security Forces Squadron for the 116th Air Control Wing, heading a 60-person unit.

Judge Ashford holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Juris Doctorate, both from Florida State University. He is a former President of the Warner Robins Optimist Club and the Houston County Bar Association, and is active in community and philanthropic organizations. He and his wife Tina occasionally write a computer column, TechnoFiles. They enjoy horseback riding, tennis, and outdoor activities. Together they have one son, Ryan.

Joseph Farah


Hon. Joseph J. Farah was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1975 and Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1979.

He was a private practitioner 1980 until 1998 and his major areas of practice were appellate work, criminal law and domestic relations. Judge Farah was appointed to the Genesee County Circuit Court in March 1998, replacing Hon. Thomas C. Yeotis, and has run unopposed until his retirement in November, 2022.

He was originally assigned to the Family Division and handled domestic and juvenile cases until 2005, and his last assignment was to the Civil/Criminal Division.

Judge Farah is a member of the Genesee County and Michigan Bar Associations, and West Flint Optimist Club.

He is a board member of the Centennial Inns of Court, Michigan Judges Association, and Metro Community Development.

He was on the Michigan Board of Law Examiners for 10 years. Judge Farah wrote and directed a short film entitled, “Jury Duty: It Isn’t Fair If You’re Not There”, which was distributed statewide. He is a frequent lecturer on evidence to students, lawyers, and judges.

Leslie G. Johnson


Judge Leslie G. Johnson is retired as the Director of the Mississippi Judicial College, a position which he held from July 1992 until July 2006. Prior to assuming directorship of the college, Honorable Leslie G. Johnson served as Administrative Director of Courts for the State of Alabama.

He served the State of Alabama as Circuit Judge for fourteen years and prior to that he served as deputy district attorney for six years. He received his B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, his M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama, his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, and his LL.M. from the University of Mississippi.

Judge Johnson also served as the Director of the American Academy of Judicial Education from April 1997 to February 2003 and served as Director of Off-Campus Programming for the National Judicial College from February 2003 to October 2005.  He currently has a private law practice in Florence, Alabama.

Barbara McDermott


Judge Barbara McDermott serves on the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas (First Judicial District of Pennsylvania) and has been assigned to the homicide program for ten years. 

She serves on various committees of the First Judicial District (FJD), and chairs the Jury Committee. She also represents the FJD on the executive committee of the PA Conference of State Trial Judges (PCSTJ) and is co-chair of the Criminal Law Section. 

Judge McDermott has previously served as the National Association of Women Judges’ District Director for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. She has also served as co-chair of the Women Judges’ Initiative of the FJD, developed a Trans-Competency training curriculum for the FJD, and moderated judicial presentations at the women’s prison in Philadelphia. 

She is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Criminal Law Inn of Court and is a Board Member of the Urban Resources Development Corporation (a faith-based housing non-profit organization).

 Judge McDermott lectures frequently for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, judges moot court competitions, and has taught at Arcadia University in Philadelphia. Judge McDermott guest lectures at numerous colleges and law schools as well as developing and presenting at biannual judicial educational programs for trial and appellate judges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 She was a criminal defense trial attorney (1990-2011); law clerk, Court of Common Pleas (1990-2001); Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia (1984-1990); Assistant Counsel and Special Deputy Attorney General, Department of Environmental Resources, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1980-1984). Judge McDermott is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Seton Hill University.

Daniel D. Narum


Judge Narum was appointed to the District Court Bench in 2006, elected in 2008, reelected in 2010 and 2016. He serves as the Presiding Judge of the Southeast Judicial District administering judicial services to 14 counties containing vast stretches of sparsely populated agricultural land and 3 of North Dakota’s population centers, with a team of just 7 judges. Judge Narum is a general jurisdiction trial judge with unlimited civil jurisdiction, as well as Family, Juvenile and Probate Court dockets. His criminal court docket includes misdemeanor and felony matters. 

Judge Narum chairs the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee of the North Dakota Supreme Court which provides ethics opinions to judges. He also serves on the Administrative Counsel of the North Dakota Supreme Court and has previously served on the Juvenile Policy Board, Court Technology Committee and the Judicial Planning Commission. Judge Narum served as the President of the North Dakota Judges Association 2012-13.

Judge Narum has provided continuing legal education on a wide range of topics including, Civil Practice, Ethics, Family Law, and Firearms in the Courtroom.

Prior to taking the bench he was a partner at Kessel Splitt & Narum, PC in LaMoure ND where his practice areas included real estate, probate, business and telecommunications law. In addition to private practice, Judge Narum served as State’s Attorney for LaMoure County until his appointment to the bench. He also served as State Judge Advocate for the North Dakota American Legion.

He is a 1999 graduate of the University North Dakota School of Law and a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. He served in the United States Navy 1987-90 and Naval Reserve 1990-91.

Judge Narum is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota and licensed to practice all North Dakota Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Judge Narum lives in LaMoure, ND with his wife Caroline Homan, 12 year old son Asher and 10 year old daughter Ellery. He serves his small community as an active member of the Lion’s Club and American Legion and served as a volunteer fireman for 12 years. He is an avid outdoorsman, hunter and horseman. He is an archery, shotgun and outdoor survival instructor for 4-H and has served as a volunteer Hunter Education instructor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for more than 20 years.

Jack F. Nevin


Jack F. Nevin is a recently retired Superior Court Judge in Tacoma Washington. Judge Nevin is retired from the Army Reserve where he holds the rank of Brigadier General. In his last duty position he held a “dual hatted” position, serving as Chief Judge of the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Commander US Army Reserve Legal Command (Provisional). His Army career included duty in Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Balkan Peninsula. In 2009 he was awarded the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal.

In 2001 Judge Nevin served as Presiding Judge for the Detention Review Commission, United Nations Command, Kosovo. In 2002 he assisted the government of El Salvador in establishing its first victim witness assistance program. Most recently, Judge Nevin has focused his effort in the areas of post conflict governance, where in both civilian and military roles he has worked in areas ranging from the development of ethnically neutral bar examinations in Kosovo, to judicial training in Bosnia-Herzegovina and former Soviet Union. In 2005 he assisted the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in development of a new criminal code. He has lectured in Argentina on the development of Public Disclosure legislation and in Africa on the successful prosecution of government corruption. His most recent endeavors have included contributing to a long term project on reconstruction of the Iraqi Court System. In 2009-2011 he lectured on issues of public corruption in Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Chad.

Judge Nevin is a 1996 graduate of the Air War College and 1998 graduate of the Army War College. He currently serves on the board of advisors of the National Institute of Military Justice through which he provides guidance and assistance to both the legislative and executive branches of government on a host of military law issues. In this capacity he also serves as a trial observer at the Office of Military Commissions, Military Tribunals Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

Judge Nevin has lectured throughout the United States on a host of subjects focusing primarily on trial practice and the rules of evidence. He serves as faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Washington State Judicial College. Judge Nevin has taught on the undergraduate and graduate level for approximately thirty years. Currently, he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy and Military Law at the Seattle University School of Law, Adjunct Professor Kessler Edison Trial Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law and Lecturer Humanitarian Law Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. Judge Nevin has lectured and published extensively in subjects ranging from military retirement benefits as community property to post conflict governance and the international law implications of military tribunals. He has written Montana’s Real Property Forfeiture Statute: Will it Pass Constitutional Muster? Volume 54 No. 1 Montana Law Review, Winter 1993, Tellevik v. Real Property: Washington’s Constitutional Dilemma Volume 29 No. 2 of the Gonzaga Law Review, Spring 1994, Conviction, Confrontation and Crawford; Gang Expert Testimony as Testimonial Hearsay Vol. 34 Seattle University Law Review Spring 2011 and Neither A Model of Clarity Nor A Model Statute: An Analysis of The History, Challenges, and Suggested Changes To the “New” Article 120 Volume 67 Air Force Law Review 2011.

Judge Nevin holds a BA from Washington State University and an MBA\J.D. from Gonzaga University.

Eric Norris


Judge Norris was born in Athens, Georgia and grew up in the Normaltown and Forrest Heights neighborhoods. While in Athens he attended Oglethorpe Elementary School. At age 11, he moved to the family farm in Oconee County after the death of his grandfather. Judge Norris attended and graduated from Oconee County High School.  During his senior year of high school, Judge Norris was recommended by State Senator Paul Broun (D) for the prestigious Georgia Military Scholarship. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Finance from North Georgia College in Dahlonega in 1990 and his Juris Doctor from Regent University in Virginia in 1994, Judge Norris returned to Western Circuit and opened a private law practice on Main Street in Watkinsville.

In 1996, Judge Norris married his best friend, Jennifer Stewart. They have two children, son Caleb and daughter Greer. Jennifer is native Athenian and a Double Dawg graduate of the University of Georgia. After completing her music degree and master’s degree, Jennifer taught orchestra at Clarke Middle School and Clarke Central High School. She is the owner of Athena Quartet, and has played for many of your weddings and special events in the Athens area.

In 1996, Judge Norris started a general law practice in both civil and criminal cases that gave the foundational building blocks for the types of cases litigated in the Magistrate, Probate and Superior Courts of the States.  Judge Norris has served the community as Chief Magistrate Judge (11 years), Lieutenant Colonel in the Georgia Army National Guard (34 years) and in private law practice (20 years). In 2016, Judge Norris was appointed to the Superior Court Bench and in 2018 Judge Norris was elected to the Superior Court Bench and re-elected in 2022.

Judge Norris serves in numerous legal, civic and military roles. He has served as President of the Western Judicial Bar Association, and further served on: the 10th District Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Western Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Committee, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court’s Workload Assessment Committee, Council of Magistrate Court Judges, Council of Superior Court Judges and Presiding Judge of the Western Judicial Circuit Treatment and Accountability Court. Judge Norris, has served as President of the Oconee County Rotary Club, graduate of Leadership Oconee, Oconee State Bank Citizens Advisory Board, North Oconee High School Mock Trial Coach, and Judge for the Georgia Mock Trial competitions.

Presently, Judge Norris has served over 30 years in the Georgia Army National Guard as Signal Officer, Field Artillery Officer and Inspector General. He has held command from Company level to Battalion Command. In addition, Judge Norris has received numerous military awards to include the Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

Mark Anthony Scott


Judge Mark Anthony Scott has left an indelible mark on the legal landscape during his tenure as a judge of the Georgia 4th Superior Court District Stone Mountain Circuit. Although he concluded his term on January 18, 2023, his contributions and dedication to justice continue to resonate within the legal community. Earning the trust and support of the electorate, Judge Scott successfully secured re-election for the position of judge in the Georgia 4th Superior Court District Stone Mountain Circuit in the general election held on June 9, 2020. This victory underscored the confidence placed in his abilities to uphold the law with fairness and impartiality.

Judge Scott’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree from California State University at Fresno and a Juris Doctorate from Howard University. Admitted to the Georgia bar in 1986, he embarked on a successful career in private practice, honing his legal skills and expertise. Throughout his career, Judge Scott has been recognized for his exceptional contributions to the legal profession. He served as a Board Member of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, demonstrating his commitment to upholding the principles of justice and ensuring equal access to legal representation. Additionally, he served as both President and Board Member of the DeKalb Bar Association, further highlighting his dedication to legal advocacy and community engagement.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Judge Scott is an active member of the esteemed Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, where he has made significant contributions. In 2007, he was honored with the prestigious Elder Watson Diggs Award, a testament to his commitment to service and excellence.

Judge Mark Anthony Scott’s tenure as a judge of the Georgia 4th Superior Court District Stone Mountain Circuit exemplified his unwavering commitment to justice, fairness, and legal excellence. His notable achievements, coupled with his involvement in various legal associations, reflect his deep-rooted passion for upholding the law and serving the community. Although his time in office has concluded, his legacy as a respected jurist and legal advocate will endure, inspiring future generations in the pursuit of justice.

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