Gordon County Juvenile Court Judge J. Lane Bearden was elected as the President of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia on Monday, April 28. His term of office will begin on May 1.
Judge Bearden has served as the Gordon County Juvenile Court Judge since June of 1990. He was re-appointed by the four Cherokee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judges for another four-year term in September of 2012. Bearden presides over all child abuse and neglect cases, and delinquency, unruly and traffic cases involving juveniles under 17 years old.
Over a thousand juvenile cases are filed in Gordon County every year. The Juvenile Court position in Gordon County is a part-time position, and when he is not acting as judge, Bearden practices law with his sister, Lynn, in the Bearden Law Firm, in Calhoun.
The Council of Juvenile Court Judges is composed of all judges of the courts exercising jurisdiction over juveniles. Council membership for fiscal year 2013 includes 148 members: 53 Full-Time Juvenile Courts Judges, 40 Part-Time Juvenile Court Judges; Associate Juvenile Court Judges, Superior Court Judges exercising Juvenile Court Jurisdiction; Pro Tempore Judges, and Senior Judges.
The CJCJ represents Georgia’s juvenile judges in executive agencies and legislative hearings, considers and comments on all proposed statutes and administrative rules concerning Georgia’s children, sponsors continuing education for judges, administers the state’s citizen review panels, provides computer and staff support services for the judges.
In addition to his membership with the Council for over 24 years, Judge Bearden has served on the Executive Committee for four years, has chaired and co-chaired committees including Legislative, Bench-Book, Technology and Guardian Ad Litem, and is a frequent lecturer on juvenile issues.
He serves on the Supreme Court’s J4C (Justice for Children) Committee, the Judicial Council of Georgia, and the Juvenile Justice Reform Implementation Subcommittee. He was appointed by the Governor as a judicial liaison to the Department of Juvenile Justice in 2000. He is the Chair of the Gordon County Child Abuse Protocol Committee, and serves on the Gordon County Child School Attendance Committee.