A. Harris Adams, 2002- 2012
Judge A. Harris Adams is a native of Toombs County, Georgia, and is the son of Harris Leon Adams and Addie Mann Adams. He was educated in the Vidalia Public School System and entered Mercer University in 1965. He was a member of the Mercer University debate team and a member of Kappa Alpha Order. He received his B. A. degree with a major in Law from Mercer University in 1970. He received his J. D. degree from Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, in 1971. Judge Adams was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1971 and began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Cobb Judicial Circuit where he served until 1973. He left this position to enter private practice with the firm of Sams, Glover, Gentry and Adams and practiced law in Marietta for 14 years before becoming a judge. During his practice, he tried cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts in Georgia including the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the United States Supreme Court. From 1980 until 1983 he served as Chief Judge of the Municipal Court of Marietta.
On January 4, 1985, he was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris to the State Court of Cobb County and was re-elected to the Court in 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002. He was elected by his fellow Judges as Chief Judge and served in that capacity for six years, leaving this position after being appointed by Governor Roy E. Barnes to the Court of Appeals of Georgia on December 30, 2002.
Judge Adams studied Constitutional Law and American Legal History at Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia for general jurisdiction trial judges and completed the General Jurisdiction Course at the National Judicial College, University of Nevada. He received a diploma from the American Academy of Judicial Education in 1992, and received a Certificate of Local Government Management from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia in 1998.
Judge Adams is a member of the Cobb County Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He served as President of the Younger Lawyers Section of the Cobb County Bar Association and Director of the Trial Lawyers Section of that Bar. He previously served as a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice’s Commission on Indigent Defense, as a member of the Advisory Board of the Georgia Indigent Defense Council, and as the Chairman of the Law-Related Education Consortium at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.
Judge Adams was a founding member of the Georgia Society of Hospital Attorneys, serving as its Secretary-Treasurer and Director. As a member of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, Judge Adams was a graduate of Leadership Cobb and Program Chairman. He was the recipient of the 1986 Ernest Barrett Leadership Award and a 2007 recipient of the Council of State Court Judges Ogden Doremus Award. He served as Director of the Cobb County Symposium, Inc., the Cobb County Youth Museum Board, the Cobb-Kennestone Hospital Guild, the United Way and the Burns Club of Atlanta. He is a member of Gridiron Secret Society, the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club and is a Past-President of the Advocates Club. He previously served on the Foundation Board of Southern Polytechnic University where he delivered the commencement address at the 81st Commencement Ceremony. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Burns Cottage, Inc. He was a Master of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory University. He served on the Georgia Courts Automation Commission. He is an organizer and Director of the Vinings Bank. Judge Adams and his staff have participated in the externship programs at Georgia State University College of Law and Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, and the Court’s own internship program, providing hands-on experience in the appellate process to 26 law students.
Judge Adams is married to the former Claudia Hamrick. They have three children, Lanier Adams Ivester, Elizabeth Adams Jones and Zachary Adams. Judge and Mrs. Adams are members of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta.