an image

John W. Sognier

John W. Sognier, 1980-1992
Chief Judge: 1991-1992

JOHN WOODWARD SOGNIER is a native of Savannah, Ga. He was born December 17, 1919, to Joseph W. Sognier and Viola Trott Sognier, both also natives of Savannah. Judge Sognier was educated in the public schools and graduated from Savannah High School. He attended Columbus University Law School in Washington, D. C. (now Catholic University).

Judge Sognier entered the armed forces in January 1942 and was commissioned in the Infantry. Transferring to the Air Force, he became a fighter pilot flying 59 missions in the European Theater and later commanding a fighter squadron, India-Burma. Judge Sognier served on recall in the Air Force during the Korean War. He is the recipient of several Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After World War II, Judge Sognier was admitted to the Georgia Bar January 1, 1946, and began practice with the Savannah firm of Kennedy, Jenkins and Oliver. The firm later became Kennedy and Sognier, and Judge Sognier remained with the firm until 1980, when he was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Judge Sognier served in the General Assembly of Georgia 1955-56, was Chatham County Registrar 1957-60 and Chatham County Attorney 1960-68. A trial lawyer, Judge Sognier is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, served on the Board of Bar Examiners 1974-79 and the Fitness Committee 1978-80.

In 1980 Judge Sognier was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor George Busbee. Elected to a six-year term in 1981, Judge Sognier was reelected in 1986 for a second six-year term.