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Episode 1 Overview

EPISODE SUMMARY

Episode # 1 discusses the proposed juvenile legislation encompassing HB 440, HB 439 and HB 438. Judge Amber N. Patterson, who is currently serving as chair of the task force assigned to this legislation by the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, informs us on what each bill is seeking to change, and how if passed, would effect current juvenile procedures.

FEATURED GUEST

Presiding Judge Amber N. Patterson

Amber N. Patterson joined the Cobb County Juvenile Court Bench in 2016 with a multitude of experience in Juvenile Law. In 2002, she began serving as a Guardian ad Litem for children involved in the foster care system. Patterson became a legal extern with the CASA Program in 2004, and then staff attorney for the Chief Judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court in 2005. In 2007, Patterson became a child advocate attorney in the Fulton County Juvenile Court.

In 2010, Patterson joined the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services as a Special Assistant Attorney General Associate. In 2011, she began serving as a Guardian ad Litem Attorney in Cobb County where she represented and counseled children in all manners of dependency and custody hearings. She was the designated Guardian ad Litem Attorney for the Cobb County Family Dependency Court.

In 2016, Patterson was appointed as a Cobb County Juvenile Court Judge. Throughout the years, she has received hundreds of hours of training in child advocacy. She is a frequent speaker on juvenile law and child advocacy in various schools, organizations, and associations, and continuing legal education courses. She serves on the board of directors for the Cobb County Boys and Girls Club and is a sustainer with the Junior League of Cobb/Marietta. She is a member of the Cobb Chamber and is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Cobb.

Patterson also co-chairs the state CAPTA panel, and is Cobb's lead judge for the state's Court Improvement Initiative Program. Additionally, she presides over the county’s Juvenile Drug Court and started the court’s program for Children in Need of Services, which includes truancy and education neglect. She also started the Baby and Toddler Initiative in Cobb County, ensuring that children starting out in foster care get the best possible medical care. She is currently the Chief Judge of the Cobb County Juvenile Court and serves as a District Representative for the Council of Juvenile Court Judges. She serves as Chair of the HB 472 and SB 167 Implementation Committee and is a member of the Dependency Committee, Education/Certification Committee, and the Legislative Committee for the Council of Juvenile Court Judges.

Patterson received her undergraduate degree in Education from Valdosta State University. She then attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she graduated with honors, and earned her Juris Doctorate. Patterson resides in Marietta with her husband and two children.

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