Dedicated Georgia Attorneys

The Difference Between The Supreme Court And Appellate Courts In GA

The internal functioning of the Court of Appeals is materially different from the Supreme Court of Georgia because of three differences in the nature of the two courts. First, the Court of Appeals is composed of five panels, as opposed to the single panel of the Supreme Court. This creates a number of administrative issues. Second, the Court of Appeals has a much more limited jurisdiction. It does not oversee the practice of law, or executions. It lacks a certiorari function, and has a much more limited role in overseeing interlocutory injunctions. The appellate court largely just decides merit appeals as the appellate court of first resort. Third, the Court of Appeals has a much heavier caseload per judge. It is subject to the same two-term rules as is the Supreme Court. The combination of these three factors forces the Court of Appeals and its clerks office to function in a highly efficient and focused manner, moving cases expeditiously and in a very organized fashion. Unlike many states the divisions are not geographical. Each division serves the state as a whole and sits in Atlanta. The divisions are not based upon subject matter, as there is no criminal division or civil division. Each division handles all of the subject matters and case categories assigned to the Court of Appeals by the Constitution. The four divisions change composition every year. The composition of the divisions is determined by the chief judge. The chief judge takes into consideration the experience of the judges and makes assignments so that each judge serves on panels with different colleagues over time.