Jana Russel Garner appointed to serve on Court of Judiciary

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

Local attorney Jana Russell Garner has been appointed to serve on the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

Garner was chosen for the position by the Alabama State Bar, and said that she was honored that her peers chose her to represent them at that level.

“It is flattering and an honor to think that your peers among the lawyers in the state of Alabama feel that you have the qualifications, both with education and experience in law and wisdom, to be a productive member of that court,” Garner said. “That’s a compliment and I appreciate it.”

The court is made up of a judge appointed by the Supreme Court, two judges of the circuit court, one district judge, two members of the state bar, two persons that are not lawyers that are appointed by the Governor and one person appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

The Court of the Judiciary is the only body that can discipline a judge in an administrator sense.

If there is a complaint that a judge has violated the judicial canons of ethics, a complaint is logged with the Judicial Inquiry Commission. The commission will decide whether or not to move forward with the complaint. If they do choose to move forward, the complaint will go to the Court of the Judiciary.

The Court of the Judiciary is then charged with whether or not a judge has violated the code of ethics, and if so, what their discipline will be.

“I’m very flattered to be selected because this is a state-wide position and I do think it’s important that wisdom and common sense are exercised when someone is decided whether a judge has violated a canon of judicial ethics or other conduct requirements of their position,” Garner said.

“I think it’s a very weighty role to play. I think that you have to take that with great consideration and care.”

Garner will begin her role immediately, and will fill the vacancy that was created by the resignation of John Denson of Opelika.

Garner is a 1994 graduate of Judson College and a 1997 graduate of Cumberland School of Law.

She was also admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1997.

Garner was elected to the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners for the 4th Judicial Circuit in 2012 and was re-elected in 2015.

She’s a member of the bar’s Disciplinary Commission, the Pro Bono Celebration Task Force and the Membership Relations Task Force.

She is also chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section and vice chair of the Dispute Resolution Section.

Garner said she is happy to serve at a state level and represent her circuit.

“It’s important to me to serve my community in my profession, and this is a role where I can serve not only my local community, but the state at large, and I appreciate being able to do that. That’s rewarding to me to do,” Garner said.

“Our area of the state needs as many voices of the state that it can have. It’s another opportunity, in my opinion, to have someone from the Black Belt doing something within the state.”