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M. Yvette Miller

M. Yvette Miller

Presiding Judge M. Yvette Miller was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals on July 12, 1999, and became the 65th Judge on the court. She is the first African-American woman to serve on the Court as well as the first African-American woman to serve as the Court’s Chief Judge. As Chief Judge, Judge Miller implemented the e-filing initiative, which has improved access to the appellate court for attorneys and parties throughout the state of Georgia. Throughout her tenure she has successfully run unopposed state-wide for re-election to the Court.

Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Miller worked as one of the first female Assistant District Attorneys to prosecute cases in the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. She went on to represent the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority as senior in-house counsel. Later, she moved to Jesup, Georgia, where she served as general manager and general counsel of the family business. While in Jesup, Judge Miller became one of the first African-American women to practice law throughout the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. In transitioning back to Atlanta, in 1992, Judge Miller was appointed by Governor Miller as the Director/Judge of the Appellate Division on the State Board of Worker's Compensation, becoming the first woman, first African American and the youngest person to hold this position in Georgia. Immediately prior to her appointment, Judge Miller briefly served as an Administrative Law Judge on that court. In 1996, Judge Miller was appointed to the State Court of Fulton County, and she was re-elected as a State Court Judge without opposition.

Judge Miller has received many awards for her service and contributions to the community. In 2019, Judge Miller was honored with the unveiling of her portrait at Mercer Law School. In 2018, Judge Miller was awarded the Tony Baldwin Trailblazer Award from Mercer University’s Black Law Student Association, and she was awarded the Romae Turner Powell Judicial Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association. In 2017, Judge Miller was selected by Emory University School of Law as one of the “Emory Law 100,” which is for Emory graduates who have made extraordinary contributions. She was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association in 2016, received The Justice Robert A. Benham Legacy Award in 2016, and the Law and Justice Woman of the Year Award from the Women Works Media Group in 2016. In 2014, Judge Miller was named Jurist of the Year by the National Bar Association's Women Lawyers Division. She received the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys' Founders Award for Distinction, and the 2013 Women of Excellence Award presented by the Atlanta Daily World. In 2011, Judge Miller received the Tradition of Excellence Award from the Georgia Bar Practice and Trial Section. She also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in 2010.

In addition to these prestigious accolades, Judge Miller was inducted into the "Academy of Women Achievers" by the YWCA in 2011 and the "Hall of Fame" by the Gate City Bar Association in 2008. Additionally, the Georgia Informer designated Judge Miller as one of "Georgia's Top 50 Influential Black Women" from 1991 to 2015.

Judge Miller is a member of the American Bar Association, Atlanta Bar Association, Gate City Bar Association, Georgia Association of Black Women Lawyers, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, and the National Association of Women Judges. In addition, Judge Miller is a member of several civic associations, including the Azalea Chapter of The Links and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She also formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Mercer University and formerly served as a Board Member of Leadership Georgia.

Judge Miller attended Mercer University where she earned her B.A., cum laude, and received her Juris Doctorate from Mercer's Walter F. George School of Law. She later received her LL.M. in litigation from Emory University School of Law and an LL.M. in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law. In January 2019, Judge Miller established an endowed scholarship at the Mercer University School of Law to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. This scholarship will assist law students with financial need, particularly active members of the Law School's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) chapter.

Judge Miller is a native of Macon, Georgia, and a former "Miss Macon." She is the daughter of Conrad and Patricia J. Miller and has one sibling, Conrad N. Miller, Jr., M.D., who resides in Macon with his family. Judge Miller is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, and a life-long member of Steward Chapel AME Church in Macon.