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Fayette judge picked for appeals court seat

Fayette County State Court Judge Carla Wong McMillian has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals by Gov. Nathan Deal.

McMillian, a Tyrone resident, was appointed to the state court judgeship in August 2010 to replace then-judge Fletcher W. Sams, who was promoted to a Superior Court post. McMillian won her first election to office in July, winning 66 percent of the vote over challenger Stephen Ott, Peachtree City’s municipal court judge.

The state court position was McMillian’s first judicial experience, building on her background as a corporate business attorney with nearly three quarters of her litigation being in federal court. As a private attorney prior to her appointment, McMillian was employed with the Atlanta law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan.

In his announcement Wednesday, Gov. Deal did not name a replacement for McMillian and it is not immediately known when that will take place. Historically the governor announces that he will seek applications for a given judicial vacancy, and the top candidates for the seat are selected by a committee before the governor makes a final decision.

McMillian has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her law degree from the University of Georgia. She has been recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the “2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women” in Georgia.

McMillian’s victory in July made her the first Asian-American woman elected to a judgeship in georgia. She also has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” for 2012 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

McMillian and her husband, Lance, have two children.

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