MARIETTA, Ga. - Two people have been appointed to serve as full-time magistrate judges in Georgia’s Cobb County.
Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan F. Murphy selected Judge Michael E. McLaughlin and attorney Sonja N. Brown to serve and the Cobb Superior Court judges unanimously confirmed the appointments effective Jan. 1.
“Both Mike and Sonja have the keen intellect, heart, and work ethic needed to thrive on the fast-paced Magistrate Court bench,” Murphy said in a news release. “Their demeanor and character will ensure that people are truly heard and respected when it’s time for their day in court.”
McLaughlin is the dean of the Cobb County Magistrate Court bench and has run a successful law firm for over 35 years.
“To be able to serve as a full-time judge is truly the pinnacle of my legal career,” McLaughlin said. “I so appreciate Judge Murphy’s confidence in allowing me to serve in this capacity.”
Brown serves as deputy chief assistant district attorney and as the director of Community Affairs at the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. There, she built and leads the Crime Strategies and Community Partnerships Unit.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to join this dynamic team,” Brown said. “I thank Chief Judge Murphy for entrusting me with this opportunity to serve my Cobb County neighbors.”
McLaughlin and Brown will fill vacancies created by Judge Kellie S. Hill’s recent election to the Superior Court bench and Judge Gerald Moore’s decision to leave the bench at the end of the year to pursue another opportunity.
The Magistrate Court operates 24 hours a day over the course of a year and has a heavy criminal and civil caseload.