Miller Sworn In As New Chief Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals

First African American Woman to head Georgia's Court of Appeals

The Honorable Gary B. Andrews, Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, administered the oath of office to The Honorable M. Yvette Miller.
The Honorable Gary B. Andrews, Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, administered the oath of office to The Honorable M. Yvette Miller.

Atlanta, GA – The Honorable M. Yvette Miller was sworn in as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Georgia State Capitol. She is the first African American woman to hold this position. Judge Miller joins Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears as these two African American women lead Georgia’s State Appellate Courts. The Honorable Gary B. Andrews, Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, administered the oath of office before a packed audience of members of the judiciary, Georgia State officials, attorneys, family and friends of Chief Judge Miller.

First appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1999 by Governor Roy Barnes, Judge Miller has been re-elected statewide for two six-year terms. She will be responsible for the administration on the Court and will act as the head of the Court for ceremonial purposes and for all communications.

Yvette Miller was born and raised in middle Georgia, and calls Macon her home. With the help of her family, she integrated the public schools of Bibb County was the first African- American student to attend 7th grade at Walter P. Jones School. She received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Mercer University and her J.D. degree from Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law. Judge Miller also earned an LL.M. degree in litigation from Emory University School of Law and an LL.M. degree in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.

The professional career of Judge Miller is impressive as are the notable experiences she brings to her position. She served as an attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was a law clerk for Fulton County State Court Judge William Alexander, and later joined the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office as one of its first female prosecutors. As a prosecutor, Judge Miller primarily handled serious felony rape and murder cases. She went on to represent the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) as senior in-house litigation counsel and was responsible for handling onethird of the agency’s civil litigation in the courts.

Judge Miller was coowner, general manager and general counsel of the first minority-owned new Ford Lincoln-Mercury automobile dealership in Jesup, Georgia – it one of the first such minority-owned dealerships in the state. While managing the dealership, Judge Miller developed a private legal practice and became the first female attorney to practice in Jesup and throughout the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.

The judicial career of Judge Miller began through her service as a part-time judge in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County in the late 1980’s. Judge Miller also served as an Administrative Law Judge with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. When Governor Zell Miller appointed her Director and Judge of the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in 1992, Judge Miller became the first woman, first African-American, and youngest person ever to hold that position. Four years later, Governor Miller appointed her to the State Court of Fulton County, and she was re-elected as a State Court judge without opposition. She was appointed to the Georgia Count of Appeals in 1999 by Governor Roy Barnes; and she has been re-elected statewide for two six-year terms.

Judge Miller has received many awards and special recognitions for her professional achievements and public service. She was recognized for her accomplishments in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta.

Judge Miller is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad N. Miller of Macon, Georgia, and she has one sibling, Conrad N. Miller, Jr., M.D., also of Macon. She is also a lifelong member of Steward Chapel AME Church in Macon.

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