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Eric W. Norris is replacing H. Patrick Haggard as the chief judge of the Superior Court of the Western Judicial Circuit, which consists of Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties.

Eric W. Norris has been named the chief judge of the Superior Court of the Western Judicial Circuit, which consists of Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties, according to an Athens-Clarke County news release.

Norris replaces H. Patrick Haggard as the chief judge effective May 1, according to the release. Haggard, who stepped down effective April 30, will continue as a Superior Court judge.

Norris presides over the Western Judicial Circuit’s Treatment and Accountability Court, a mental health court for people who have been charged with a crime that is informed by their mental illness.

Norris was elected to the Superior Court in 2018. Former Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Norris to the newly-created fourth judgeship in 2016, according to the Oconee Enterprise. Norris started his general law practice in 1996, according to the release.

He has served as chief magistrate judge for Oconee County and as a lieutenant colonel in the Georgia Army National Guard, the release said. He plans to retire from the national guard in June 2020.

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