Former Assistant District Attorney and municipal Judge Martha Hall says she will focus on protecting families and serving the community should she be elected as Bulloch County Superior Court judge.
On Monday, current Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. "Robbie" Turner announced that he will not seek re-election.
Hall announced Tuesday her candidacy for the seat as judge for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Superior Court, which is comprised of four counties — Bulloch, Effingham, Jenkins and Screven — and handles felonies, domestic relations cases and other civil matters.
Hall, a partner with Hall Law Group, P.C., in Statesboro and Springfield, has more than 21 years of experience as a prosecutor and private practice attorney. She served as assistant district attorney with the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit for six years, was elected state court solicitor for Screven County and has served as a municipal court judge in Oliver and Newington.
In private practice for the past 16 years, she has "worked in the criminal defense area and in the domestic relations areas of divorce, child custody and child support," she said in a statement provided Tuesday to the Statesboro Herald.
She said she is an active supporter of Safe Haven and a volunteer for the Effingham Victims Witness and Assistance program, and she "passionately advocates for children's rights and fairness to all parties."
Children and family matters are of utmost importance to her, she said.
"The desire to serve the everyday working citizens of our area is something that has been instilled in me my entire life," Hall said.
Her father, a retired Navy senior chief petty officer, "was and will always be my hero," she said.
Hall said her parents raised her and her five siblings "in church, to be hardworking, to be family oriented and to make their own way in this world.
"My parents stressed the importance of helping whenever able," she said. "I respect the rights afforded everyone under the Constitution and have a strong conviction to insure the law is followed impartially, but with an understanding of the effects of both the crime and punishment."
Hall said she believes in fairness and that her "strong calling" to protect families, children and victims of crime, paired with her background in Superior Court matters, qualify her for the position she seeks.
"I can bring a down-to-earth and practical perspective to each case," she said.
If elected, Hall would be the first female Ogeechee Judicial Circuit judge since the retirement of Judge Faye Sanders Martin in 2000.
"Consequently, I feel I would bring diversity and equality to the bench at a time when it is important to have everyone represented," she said.
Hall believes her willingness to work hard, dedication to clients, support of law enforcement and attention to detail in case preparation, as well as her love for children and community, make her the best choice to fill the position as Superior Court judge.
"The Ogeechee Circuit is the best place to live, work and raise a family, but we need hardworking, efficient and impartial courts to maintain this way of life," she said. "I would sincerely hope that if elected, I would be as competent and fair as my predecessor, Judge Turner.
"My primary campaign platform is one of insuring the protection of children in domestic turmoil and helping young teens to reject the criminal elements in our society," she said.
Hall received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Georgia Southern University in 1991 and decided to remain in the area.
"My experience at Georgia Southern is part of what made me fall in love with Statesboro and neighboring areas," she said. "To me, Georgia Southern University was the ultimate college experience," she said, adding that she is a "dyed-in-the-wool Georgia Southern Eagle."
After earning her bachelor's degree, Hall obtained a law degree from the University of Memphis in 1994.
She is a certified general domestic and juvenile mediator and a certified parent coordinator. She is married to Mike Hall, who practices with her at Hall Law Group, P.C., and the couple lives in Screven County. She has eight children and stepchildren, one son-in-law and two grandchildren.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.