Keith R. Blackwell, 2010-2012
Judge Keith R. Blackwell was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue as a judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia on November 1, 2010. Judge Blackwell is a native of Cherokee County and now lives in Cobb County with his wife, Angela, and their three daughters.
The son of a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force and a history teacher, Judge Blackwell was raised in Ball Ground. After graduating as valedictorian from Cherokee High School in Canton, Judge Blackwell was awarded a University of Georgia Foundation Fellowship. He attended the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, where he was enrolled in the Honors Program and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated summa cum laude from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996 with a degree in political science and as a First Honor Graduate, having the highest grade-point average in his graduating class. Judge Blackwell then attended the School of Law at the University of Georgia, where he served as Senior Editor of the Georgia Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated summa cum laude from the School of Law in 1999, again as First Honor Graduate.
Following his graduation from law school, Judge Blackwell served as a law clerk to Judge J.L. Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Blackwell then practiced law as an associate at Alston & Bird, LLP, where he represented clients in criminal and regulatory investigations, consumer class actions and other complex commercial litigation. Beginning in early 2003, Judge Blackwell served as an Assistant District Attorney in Cobb County, where he represented the State of Georgia in several hundred felony prosecutions, including prosecutions for murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, drug trafficking and financial crimes. In late 2005, Judge Blackwell joined Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, LLP, in Atlanta as an associate and three years later, he was elected as a partner of the firm. At Parker, Hudson, Judge Blackwell focused his practice on complex commercial litigation, including contract, real estate, insurance and business-tort cases. His practice also included the representation of crime victims in connection with criminal investigations and prosecutions, the representation of brokerage firms in securities arbitration and litigation and the representation of businesses and non-profit organizations in connection with issues concerning trade secrets, computer crimes, the privacy of nonpublic personal information and other data security matters. In 2010, Judge Blackwell was appointed as Deputy Special Attorney General to represent the State of Georgia in litigation challenging the constitutionality of federal healthcare reform legislation.
Judge Blackwell has been active in a number of professional and legal policy organizations. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Atlanta Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and he previously served as the Chapter president for three years and as a member of its Executive Board. Judge Blackwell is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and its Appellate Practice Section, where he has served on the Committee on State Practice and Legislation. In addition, Judge Blackwell is a member of the Cobb Bar Association and the Atlanta Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is also a Master of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court. He previously has served as an advisor to the House Judiciary Committee in hearings on the revision of the state evidence code and as a member of the Governor's Judicial Nominating Commission.
In July 2012, Judge Blackwell was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal as a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.