OSAH NEWS, September-October 2013

Topic under: Court News

Judge Michael Malihi Discusses Courtroom Design with UGA Architect Students.

Judge Michael Malihi discussing Courtroom Design with UGA’s Interior Architect Students

In September 2013, Judge Michael Malihi met with Professor Thom Houser’s Interior Architect students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens to discuss the intricacies of courtroom design.  The presentation detailed the general requirements for designing a courtroom and allowed the students to study the blueprints of OSAH courtrooms.  The presentation covered a variety of fundamental details, such as the need for signage, security, a comfortable waiting area, equal access for persons with disabilities, lighting, floor covering, climate control, and audio, video and Wi-Fi capabilities.  Other aspects of the presentation covered broader considerations.  For example, in determining a courtroom’s size, a variety of factors are considered, including the usual types of cases heard by the court and the expected number of litigants and spectators.  Also, because most cases are open to the public, students learned that courtrooms must have one or more public entrances for spectators and adequate space for the press.  However, judges should not use the public entrances for safety reasons and, therefore, courtrooms must have a restricted-access corridor and a private door for judges.   In addition to structural concerns, Judge Malihi noted that an interior architect must consider the impact of the furniture on the utility and purpose of the courtroom.  As a courtroom needs to allow for the maximum number of people, most courtrooms use bench-style seating similar to church pews.  Because timeliness is very important in most judicial proceedings, courtrooms also require an accurate clock.  One final consideration, which is particularly relevant to the design of OSAH’s  courtrooms due to the electronic recording of hearings in the absence of a court reporter, is how to minimize acoustical problems to enable clear recordings even though attorneys, litigants, and the judge will be speaking from different positions within the courtroom.

Judge Ana Kennedy honored at the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary.

Judge Ana Kennedy honored at the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary.

Judge Ana-Beatriz Kennedy attended the 39th Annual Conference of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary.  The conference was held in Chicago from September 15 – 18, 2013.  The conference, titled “A Meeting of the Minds: Administrative Law – A Federal and State Perspective,” addressed a wide variety of topics related to Administrative Law.  Outstanding speakers addressed such topics as Ethics, Judicial Independence and Accountability, Bias/Judicial Temperament, Administrative Review and Preserving the Record, Special Education, Motion Practice, Judges and Social Networking, Judicial Writing, and Evidence.  At the banquet held Wednesday evening, Judge Kennedy was recognized for her contribution as a Board Member for the past two years.

Judge Charles Beaudrot, Chief Judge for the Georgia Tax Tribunal, scheduled to speak at various events in the Southeast.

Judge Charles Beaudrot and Governor Deal

On October 29, Judge Beaudrot will be on a panel discussing “Burden of Proof in State Tax Litigation” at the annual Hartman State and Local Tax Institute held in Nashville, Tennessee.    On November 1, he will join Senior Assistant Attorney General Warren Calvert for a presentation to The Institute for Professionals in Taxation to be held at the Westin Atlanta, Perimeter North, on the topic of “Georgia’s New Tax Tribunal: Early Lessons After Ten Months.”    Finally, the Georgia Society of CPAs as part of its annual Tax Forums will be treated to two presentations on the topic of the Georgia Tax Tribunal, the first on November 6 in Atlanta, and the second on December 6 in Savannah.

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