Lauren A. Watson, a resident of Madison County, was appointed Wednesday by Gov. Nathan Deal as the new Superior Court judge for the Northern Judicial Circuit, succeeding retiring Chief Judge Thomas L. Hodges III of Elberton.
The governor selected Watson over two other finalists recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission, Elbert County State Court Judge John S. “Steve” Jenkins and Elberton Federal Savings & Loan Vice President R. Daniel Graves. The Northern Circuit covers Elbert, Franklin, Hart, Madison and Oglethorpe counties.
Watson has served as staff attorney to Judge Lawton E. Stephens of the Western Judicial Circuit (Clarke and Oconee counties) for the past 12 years. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2006. She and her husband Ken have one child.
Watson will join Judge Jeffery S. Malcom of Hartwell, who will become chief judge upon Judge Hodges’ retirement on July 31, and Judge R. Chris Phelps on the Northern Circuit Superior Court bench. Her appointment will take effect upon her taking the oath of office.