Hon. Benjamin W. Studdard III
Ben W. Studdard was Chief Judge of the State Court of Henry County, Georgia, from its inception in 1999 until his retirement in August, 2021. He is a frequent lecturer at judges’ seminars on criminal law and other subjects. He is the author of Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Law Practice, Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Evidence, and Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Law Practice Forms, the standard reference books on Georgia criminal law published annually by Thomson Reuters West.
Judge Studdard is a former President of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia and has chaired numerous committees and projects designed to improve court processes in the state, including use of trial juries (State Bar of Georgia, Court Futures Committee, 1997-2003); a study of judicial selection (State Bar of Georgia, Court Futures Committee, 2003-2005); jury composition (Supreme Court of Georgia, Jury Composition Committee, 2003-2012); strategic planning (Council of State Court Judges, 2006-2007); and improvements to judicial education (Next Generation Courts Commission and Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, 2011-2014). In 2002, he helped organize the Georgia Jury Summit, where state leaders and national experts met to discuss improvements to the Georgia system. Judge Studdard’s efforts were instrumental in passage of the Jury Composition Reform Act of 2011, which created the first comprehensive, state-wide, computerized, and inclusive process for creation of jury lists in Georgia.
Since 2017, Judge Studdard has helped to lead a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State wherein judges from the State of Georgia are providing training to judges from the nation of Georgia on judging and court processes, especially the implementation of criminal jury trials.
Prior to his election as judge, Judge Studdard had a general law practice in McDonough for over 14 years. He is a five-time finalist for positions on the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.