Herbert E. Phipps, 1999 - Date
Chief Judge: July 1, 2013 - Date
Chief Judge Herbert E. Phipps was born to J.W. Phipps and Marion Gadson Phipps in Baker County, Georgia. He and his wife, Connie Curry Phipps, have a son, Herbert E. Phipps, Jr., a daughter, India K. Epps, a son-in-law, Will J. Epps, and a granddaughter, Zoë Olivia Epps.
Chief Judge Phipps earned a B.A. degree, with a major in Political Science, in 1964 from Morehouse College. He has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and taught English at Thammasatt University and private schools in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1971, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as an editor of the Law Review. Chief Judge Phipps was awarded a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.
Chief Judge Phipps returned to Albany, Georgia in 1971 to join the general law practice of C.B. King. The firm emphasized civil rights litigation, including school desegregation, voting rights, jury discrimination, student rights, police brutality and discriminatory employment practices. From 1983 to 1995 Presiding Judge Phipps engaged in the solo practice of law.
In 1980, Chief Judge Phipps was appointed part-time Magistrate and Associate Judge of the Dougherty County State Court, where he served eight years. In 1988, he was appointed to the Dougherty Circuit Juvenile Court, where he served as judge for seven years. Governor Zell Miller appointed him Judge of the Dougherty Circuit Superior Court in 1995, and he was elected to a four-year term in 1996. Governor Roy Barnes appointed him to the Court of Appeals of Georgia on July 12, 1999, and he was elected statewide to serve six-year terms in November 2000, 2006, and 2012. In April 2010 he became a Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals. On July 1, 2013 he became the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
In 2006, the State Bar of Georgia recognized him with the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. In 2007 he was inducted into the Society of Benchers of Case Western Reserve School of Law. Chief Judge Phipps's Commencement Address to the Class of 2007 of Case Western Reserve School of Law, "Lawyers - the Guardians of Truth and Justice," is published at 58 Case Western Reserve Law Review 483 (2008).
Chief Judge Phipps is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of SB&T Bank of Albany and Americus. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. He is a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia and serves as Chair of the Council's Committee on Court Reporting Matters. He is a Past President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He is a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Albany, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Delta Delta Boule', The Inquiry Club, and the Old War Horse Lawyers Club.
Chief Judge Phipps has served on Georgia's Judicial Nominating Commission, the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Bias, and the Georgia Indigent Defense Council Advisory Committee. He is a former member of the State Bar Board of Governors and past President of the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association. He has served as President of the Albany Association for Retarded Citizens, the Albany Sickle Cell Foundation, the Faith Fund Foundation and The Criterion Club. He has served on the Albany Technical Institute Board of Directors, the Albany/Dougherty Chamber of Commerce, and the Southwest Georgia Home for Convalescent and Aging Persons.