Findley served from 1977 to 1995 as a Superior Court judge in the Atlantic Judicial Circuit. He became president of the council in 1983. Taking a leave of absence from the bench with the approval of the other judges of his circuit, Findley devoted himself to the transformation of the council from a social organization to one that is widely respected and serves to assist Superior Court judges and the judicial circuits by providing administrative support, research, programming, court automation and communications. Like Findley, the primary criterion for the award is service to the council and to the justice system of Georgia.
Appointed to the Superior Court bench in 1996 by then-Gov. Zell Miller, Wright was elected by her colleagues on the Superior Court of Fulton County Judiciary to serve as the chief judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, Fifth Judicial Administrative District, Georgia’s busiest trial court, for a term beginning May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2012. Wright was then re-elected for a term beginning May 1, 2012 through Feb. 1, 2014. As part of her work with the council, she has served on its executive, budget, personnel and nomination committees, among other duties.
As the chief judge, Wright is the chief judicial administrative officer of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and ensures that the administrative tasks of the court are carried out, addresses the needs of the public, attorneys, court staff and fellow judges and helps to direct and manage the day-to-day operations of the court. During her term, the court has advocated for and implemented technological advances benefitting the jury system and jurors, established a deputy chief judge position and provided for equal access to the courts with the development of a language interpretation advancement plan, and advocated for the support of accountability courts and alternatives to incarceration in an effort to help manage jail overcrowding.
Throughout her legal career, Wright has been an advocate for family and domestic issues and served admirably in the Superior Court’s Family Division, presided over the Parental Accountability Court, Metropolitan Crime Commission and the State Commission on Family Violence.