The honorable D. Jay Stewart, Superior Court Judge of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, has been elected by the Superior Court Judges of the First District to serve a two year term as Administrative Judge for the First Judicial District.
The judges of each of the ten judicial administrative districts select an administrative judge who is responsible for executing the district’s administrative duties. These tasks include the duty to assign judges to specific cases, to obtain information from the other courts of record within the district, to authorize judges from other courts to assist within the district when needed, and to develop personnel and budgetary policies.
The ten administrative judges also represent their districts as members of the executive committee of the council of superior court judges and as a member of the judicial council, a separate organization composed of members of all classes of court and chaired by the chief justice of the supreme court.
While many responsibilities of the administrative judge are focused on managing the individual districts, the scope of their administrative duties extends to activities affecting the judicial branch not specifically assigned to another agency. An administrative judge serves as a spokesperson and as such may be expected to testify before committees, make speeches, and undertake decisions of district or statewide importance.
The First District includes the Atlantic, Brunswick, Eastern, Ogeechee, and Waycross Circuits.
Judge Stewart was elected Judge of Superior Court of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit on November 7, 2006.
He was born in Savannah and raised in Pembroke and Claxton. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Georgia Southern University in 1986 and received his Juris Doctor from the Walter F. Georgia School of Law, Mercer University in 1991.
Upon completing law school, Judge Stewart entered into private practice in Claxton, maintaining a general practice of criminal defense, personal injury, and divorce/family law.
From January 2000 through May 2001, he was an assistant district attorney in the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, where he prosecuted felony crimes. From May 2001 through December 2006, Judge Stewart was a partner in the law firm of Brown, Rountree, and Stewart, P.C. in Statesboro.
Judge Stewart is a graduate of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. During his time in office, he has served on the Pattern Jury Instruction Committee of the Council of Superior Court Judges. He has implemented the first Accountability Court in the history of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit by establishing the Drug Court Division of the Superior Courts of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, which began operating in January 2009.
Since that time, numerous individuals charged with felonies have completed this two year program which consists of intensive drug treatment for non-violent offenders. He has completed nationally certified training as a drug court judge.
Judge Stewart has been asked to speak at numerous continuing legal education seminars in the area of divorce/family law. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Atlantic Judicial Circuit Bar Association (past resident), Council of Superior Court Judges, and has previously served on the Board of Governors, State Bar of Georgia.
Judge Stewart and his wife, Teresa, reside in Claxton. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.