John J. Ellington, 1999- Date
Chief Judge: 2011- Nov 13, 2011/Jan 17, 2012 - June 30, 2013
Presiding Judge John J. Ellington from Soperton, Treutlen County, Georgia, was sworn in as the 66th Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals by Governor Roy Barnes on July 12, 1999. He was elected statewide to a full six-year term in 2000 and re-elected in 2006 and 2012.
Judge Ellington graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in Accounting in 1982, and from the University of Georgia Law School with a J.D. in 1985. He graduated from Treutlen County High School in Soperton, Georgia, in 1978. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and graduated with degrees in Business and Political Science. At ABAC, Judge Ellington served as President of the Student Government Association, and he received the George P. Donaldson Award as the outstanding graduate in the Class of 1980.
In 1991, Judge Ellington became one of the youngest Trial Court Judges in Georgia when he was appointed State Court Judge of Treutlen County, Georgia. Judge Ellington was re-elected State Court Judge in 1992 and 1996. In addition to serving as State Court Judge in Treutlen County - for over six years - Judge Ellington served as a Superior Court Judge by designation in five circuits - 29 counties - throughout South Georgia. He also served as Municipal Court Judge in Soperton, Lyons, Reidsville, Glenwood, Mt. Vernon, and Uvalda, Georgia.
Judge Ellington was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1985. Before going on the Bench, he had a general trial practice and was a partner in Andrew, Threlkeld, & Ellington in Vidalia, Ga.
Judge Ellington has served in many capacities in business, professional, civic, and religious organizations in south Georgia and metro Atlanta. An Eagle Scout, Judge Ellington served as Eagle Scout Alumni Chairman for Troop #56, BSA. He is a past President of the Vidalia Rotary Club, and he is a Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian. He is former Chairman of Four Rivers Ducks Unlimited, past President of the Soperton Lions Club, and former President of the Treutlen County Sportman's Club. He served as a Director of Swainsboro Technical College. Judge Ellington is a member of the Atlanta Lawyer's Club, and a Fellow of the Lawyers' Foundation of Georgia.
In 2000 Judge Ellington was named to Georgia Trend's 40-Under-40, recognizing 40 leaders throughout Georgia under 40 who have made significant contributions to the state. He was a member of the 2001 Class of Leadership Georgia.
In 2001, 2006, and again in 2007, Judge Ellington was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Judicial Service Award by the Younger Lawyers Division of the State Bar recognizing his outstanding service on the Bench and commitment to improving the practice of law. In 2016, Judge Ellington received the Robert Benham Award for Community Service from the State Bar of Georgia.
Judge Ellington was named the Outstanding Young Alumnus at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1994. He is a member of the Presidents' Club at ABAC and serves on the ABAC Foundation. Judge Ellington is a member of the First Baptist Church in Soperton, where he has taught Sunday School and is a former Chairman of the Board of Deacons.
Judge Ellington was born in Vidalia, Toombs County, Georgia, on October 26, 1960, the son of the late Charles E. Ellington, Sr. from Laurens County, Georgia, and Nan Davis Ellington from Johnson County, Georgia.
Judge Ellington and his wife, Sandra Kate, live on a family farm in Treutlen County, Georgia.