CLE Hours: 6 including 6 General, 0 Specialty Credits TBD
The Hon. Pandora E. Palmer was sworn into the Henry County Superior Court by Governor Brian Kemp on October 21, 2020. Prior to joining the Henry County Superior Court, Judge Palmer was appointed by former Governor Nathan Deal to the Henry County State Court on January 7, 2019 as the first female to join the bench. She has presided over the Henry County Veterans Treatment Court since May of 2020.
Judge Palmer was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1994, the Hawaii State Bar in 2001 and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. She completed a J.D. at Georgia State University College of Law in 1994 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia in 1988. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s Program for Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada in Reno.
Prior to her appointment, Judge Palmer was in private practice in Jonesboro, Georgia until she moved to Maui, Hawaii in 1999. In 2001, she became licensed in Hawaii and served as the supervising attorney for the Maui branch of the nonprofit organization, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline. Judge Palmer returned to Georgia in October of 2001 to open her private practice. In 2004, she joined the firm, Smith, Welch, Webb & White, LLC formerly known as Smith, Welch & Brittain, LLP where she later became a Manager. In October of 2012, she left the firm to open her own practice in McDonough specializing in the areas of family law, criminal defense, juvenile law, and personal injury until her appointment to the Henry County State Court. She is the author of Divorce Proceedings in Georgia: What you Need to Know.
Judge Palmer’s memberships include serving on the board of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, the Boys and Girls Club of Henry County, the Hands of Hope Board of Directors where she formerly served as Secretary, the Henry County Bar Association where she formerly served as President in 2016, the Atlanta Lawyers Club, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and the Kiwanis Club of Henry County.
She is a recipient of the Top 50 Southern Crescent Women of Influence Award (2023), the Alex Crumbley Distinctive Service Award from the Henry County Bar Association (2022) and the National Women’s History Month Award from the City of Stockbridge (2019).
Jessica Rock is the State Animal Crimes Resource Prosecutor with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council and a Special Assistant United States Attorney handling federal animal fighting cases in the Southern District of Georgia. She provides statewide animal cruelty and animal fighting case assistance for law enforcement and prosecutors. She also provides statewide and national training to law enforcement, animal control officers, prosecutors, judges and veterinarians on a variety of topics including animal abuse and animal fighting cases from the crime scene to the courtroom and the link between human violence, organized crime and animal crimes.
Former Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit in DeKalb County, Jessica graduated with Honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Jessica received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Emory University School of Law in 2003. After clerking for a superior court judge and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, in 2004, she became Georgia’s first dedicated animal cruelty prosecutor, creating Georgia's first animal cruelty task force with law enforcement. As a former special victims prosecutor, Jessica has successfully prosecuted thousands of special victims cases involving homicide, RICO, gangs, domestic violence, elder abuse and child victim cases. Prior to training professionals on the link between human violence and animal crimes, she saw this undeniable link with many of the cases she prosecuted.
In addition to her speaking engagements, she also works diligently drafting laws in Georgia on both the state and local levels. She is the past Chair of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and on the executive board of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program and an Affiliate Faculty member of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.
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