Piedmont Trustee Rickman to be next chief appeals court judge
Vice Chief Judge Brian M. Rickman ’98 will be sworn in as the next Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals on June 24 in the Court of Appeals courtroom in the Nathan Deal Judicial Building.
The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals is responsible for the administration of the court and serves as the court’s spokesperson, and traditionally goes to the most senior judge on the court who has not previously served in the position. The Vice Chief Judge serves in the Chief Judge’s absence and undertakes a variety of duties at the court.
Outgoing Chief Judge Christopher J. McFadden said, “I look forward to Vice Chief Judge Rickman’s able leadership during the next two years, as the court continues to serve all citizens of Georgia.”
“I am honored that my colleagues at the Court of Appeals have elected me to serve as Chief Judge. I did not expect to serve in this role so soon after I came to the bench, but the court has undergone tremendous turnover since I have been here,” Rickman said. “Chief Judge Christopher J. McFadden steered us through a historic move, followed almost immediately by the pandemic that required us to drastically alter our way of doing business, and I appreciate his dedication to the court.”
Rickman serves on the Piedmont University Board of Trustees, which is responsible for providing guidance and acting upon matters of strategic importance to the university’s well-being and successful achievement of its mission and goals.
Thirteen judges were seated on the Court of Appeals between the time Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Rickman to the bench, four of whom subsequently moved on to the Supreme Court of Georgia or a federal district court. A fifth judge, Stephen S. Goss, died in office.
Vice Chief Judge Rickman worked as a jailer in the Rabun County Detention Center before attending Piedmont College and then the University of Georgia School of Law. After his admission to the Bar, Judge Rickman served as an Assistant District Attorney, practiced in his private firm, and then served as the District Attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit before Gov. Deal appointed him to the Court of Appeals bench, where he took office in January 2016.
Judge Rickman was elected by his peers earlier this year to serve a two-year term, which will become effective on July 1.
The investiture will take place at 10 a.m. in the Court of Appeals courtroom. While a limited number of people will attend in person, the event will be live-streamed from a link on the court website, gaappeals.us.