Hon. Kenneth Bryant Hodges III
Georgia Court of Appeals
Kenneth (Ken) Bryant Hodges, III was elected to the Court of Appeals by the citizens of Georgia in 2018, winning every county in the state with wide bipartisan support in a contested election for a rare open seat on the Court. Judge Hodges took office on Jan. 1, 2019. With deep experience in diverse practice areas, Judge Hodges has served as a prosecutor, defended criminal cases, and been on both sides of a dispute in civil matters. He has been a court appointed receiver and a mediator. Judge Hodges is applying this experience on the bench to uphold the rule of law and ensure justice for all.
Judge Hodges was born and raised in Albany, GA. He graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, and earned his B.A. from Emory University in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in English in 1988. While at the University of Georgia Law School, he participated in a clinical program with a public defender and was sworn in under the Third Year Student Practice Act to try cases. He earned his J.D. from UGA Law in 1991 and set out to become a litigator. After working with a litigation firm in Atlanta, he returned to Albany as an Assistant District Attorney.
Judge Hodges was elected District Attorney of the Dougherty Judicial Circuit in 1996 at the age of 30. Within the first two years, he cleared out a backlog of eight death penalty cases and took them to trial. He formed trial teams which effectively ended unnecessary delays in moving cases forward, and focused on laws and programs to better protect children in the county. This included a child prosecution unit, a child advocacy center, a truancy program to target unauthorized school absences, and he also established a sexual assault unit. In his second term, he was named District Attorney of the Year for the State of Georgia. During his 12 years as District Attorney, Ken was committed to managing an efficient office, which operated under budget every year. He was elected President of the DA’s Association and also served as Chairman of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council; he was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes as Chairman of the Legal Loan Forgiveness Task Force and as a member of the Certainty in Sentencing Commission.
In 2008, he returned to private practice, working in transactional law and then litigation. In 2015, Ken started his own law firm, Ken Hodges Law, based in Albany and Atlanta with a focus on commercial litigation. Judge Hodges was elected President of the State Bar of Georgia (2018-2019), the first judge to lead the organization in its history. He currently serves on the State Bar’s Office of General Counsel Oversight Committee, is Chairman of the Advisory Board for Truist-Albany, and is Vice-Chairman of the Albany-Dougherty Airport Commission. Ken also serves on the Board of Advisors of University of Georgia’s State Botanical Garden and the Board of Directors of the Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center, a non-profit that works to improve access to justice for low-income people in the region. Ken is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club, the Emory Board of Visitors, and is a member and past-President of the Dougherty County Bar Association.
Judge Hodges has published articles in various legal and main stream media outlets, he has been a legal commentator on local and national television and radio programs, and has lectured at every law school in Georgia. He is a frequent presenter at legal education courses for practicing attorneys, and teaches classes for law enforcement personnel across the state. He has been named a Legal Elite, a Super Lawyer, and has earned the highest possible rankings with AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell, the preeminent attorney rating organization. He is a past Trustee and graduate of Leadership Georgia, a graduate of Leadership Albany, past Secretary and board member of The Urban League of Greater Atlanta, past President of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, former member of the Albany Rotary Club, past Chairman of the Easter Seals of Southwest Georgia, past Chairman of the Southwest Georgia Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, past board member of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the boards of the American Heart Association and the Albany Civil Rights Institute. Ken was named a “40 under 40” by Georgia Trend.
As an attorney, he was admitted to practice with the United States Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern and Middle Federal District Courts of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Georgia Court of Appeals. He is a Master with the Bleckly Inn of Court and the W. Louis Sands American Inn of Court, and is a Fellow with the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. Judge Hodges has been widely recognized for his legal and civic accomplishments during his more than 27 years as a practicing attorney, including as the recipient of the State Bar’s Commitment to Equality Award, the Justice Benham Award for Community Service, and The Eagle Award from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for his work on behalf of crime victims.
Ken and his wife, Melissa, married in 2004 and have two children, Margaret and Jack, and a field spaniel, Buzzy. They are parishioners at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Albany and remain active in their community. The family cherishes time together and enjoy being active, whether it’s time spent in the beautiful southwest Georgia outdoors or exploring the state, visiting friends and family. An avid pilot, Judge Hodges is commerical, instrument, and multi-engine rated and enjoys being up in the air, like his father and grandfather, a Naval aviator, before him.