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On February 11, 2021, the Supreme Court of Georgia approved Uniform Superior Court Rule 43.62 (Rule) relating to mandatory continuing education requirements for assisting superior court judges. The amended rule provides:

A judge appointed as an assisting superior court judge from another class of court pursuant to OCGA § 15-1-9.1 and who sits as a superior court judge for more than 15 days during a calendar year, or handles a final hearing or bench or jury trial as a superior court judge, shall attend superior court specific judicial education programs or training (the “training”) totaling a minimum of 12 hours per calendar year. ...

Uniform Superior Court Rule 43.6 presents a hurdle for superior court judges seeking judicial assistance, and for senior judges—retired judges with at least ten years of experience on the bench—being able to assist them. Heretofore, there have been no continuing education requirements for senior judges. There still is not by statute, only by court rules. Although this Article addresses the application of this new Rule to senior judges, some of the reasoning would apply to assistance by active judges from other classes of courts.

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