Prospective North Georgia judges say current system inefficient, unfair

Gavel and scales

No matter who becomes Northwest Georgia's newest judge, he says he will make cases run faster and more fair.

In the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which consists of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties, civil cases and pretrial hearings for criminal cases do not have assigned judges. That means it's often unclear who will make the important legal rulings for or against you.

But when five local attorneys applied to replace Chief Judge Jon "Bo" Wood, each said the current setup can make for long, wasteful days. If you don't have a specific judge hearing your case, you might be one of 30 people trying to approach the bench in a given day. You can wait for hours, only to be told sometimes that you have to come back the next month.