Bell to run for Grady’s State Court

Published 2:56 pm Friday, July 9, 2010

Attorney Josh Bell of Whigham recently qualified to run for judge of the Grady County State Court.

Bell will oppose incumbent Judge Bill Bass Sr., who has also qualified, in November’s non-partisan election.

Bell is the judge of several cities’ municipal courts, including Cairo, Bainbridge, Climax, Donalsonville and Whigham.

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“I feel like this is an opportunity to serve the citizens of Grady County in an expanded capacity,” Bell said.

As a municipal court judge, Bell has implemented pre-trial diversion programs, especially for younger offenders who are charged with traffic offenses for the first time.

“I feel like if there’s a way for them to learn their lesson and not have it negatively affect their driver’s license, the community can be better served,” Bell said.

Bell also looks to improve the use of technology in the courts he works in, for example, by enabling people to pay for misdemeanor traffic offenses online.

In the courtroom, Bell has also worked with each of the cities’ employees to make the process quicker for both defendants and law enforcement officers who have to be present, while respecting defendants’ constitutional rights to a fair trial.

Bell earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1993 and went on to obtain a Master’s in Public Administration from UGA in 1995 before entering law school at UGA and earning a Juris Doctorate in 1998. He has been a member of the Georgia State Bar since 1998.

He began his law career with Judge Kevin Chason and Claire Chason in 1998 and practiced in Cairo until 2001, when he moved to Bainbridge to practice with the firm of Kirbo and Kendrick. The firm became Kirbo, Kendrick and Bell in 2003.

Bell is very active in the Georgia Bar and is the past president of the Young Lawyers Division of the state bar. In summer 2009, Bell was one of 38 nominees considered for an open spot on the Georgia Supreme Court. He is also the past president of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society.