About the District Attorney's Office
The District Attorney is a Constitutional Officer of the State of Georgia, elected by and serving the citizens of the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, comprised of Murray and Whitfield Counties. The Conasauga Judicial Circuit is one of forty-nine judicial circuits in the State of Georgia.
The District Attorney, along with his assistants and staff, prosecute all felony and misdemeanor cases in the Superior Courts of Murray and Whitfield Counties and represent the State in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Georgia when convictions are appealed. Additionally, the District Attorney prosecutes charges of delinquency in both Murray and Whitfield Juvenile Courts and initiates civil cases involving drug and other crime-related asset forfeiture proceedings.
The District Attorney acts as legal advisor to the Grand Juries of both Murray and Whitfield Counties and also advises local law enforcement agencies on legal questions that arise during their investigations.
The office of the District Attorney in Georgia has its roots in the colonial office of Attorney General. It is the only local prosecutor's position in the United States whose origins can be traced directly to that English common law office. When the colony of Georgia was established in 1732, there were no lawyers and in 1739 the practice of law for hire was itself declared unlawful. Any person involved in a legal dispute was required to plead his own case. That rule proved impractical for the handling of criminal prosecutions so in 1754 the office of Attorney General was established. The first lawyer in Georgia was a prosecutor.
From 1754 until well after the Civil War, the Attorney General prosecuted criminal cases and represented the State of Georgia in litigation. As the population grew, the state was divided into judicial circuits and in 1789 the duties of the Attorney General were divided between the office of the Attorney General and the Solicitors-General who handled criminal prosecutions at the local level, one in each judicial circuit. As the population continued to grow, more circuits were created and more solicitors appointed to handle the criminal caseload.
The Conasauga Judicial Circuit was created in 1963 by splitting the Cherokee Judicial Circuit, which had previously included Murray and Whitfield Counties as well as Bartow and Gordon Counties. In 1968, the title of Solicitor-General was changed to District Attorney and the office became a full-time position whose incumbent could not engage in the private practice of law. Our last Solicitor-General, Robert Vining (1963-1968), while legally authorized to do so during his final year in office, never referred to himself as the District Attorney. Our first elected District Attorney, and the first to use the title, was Robert Adams, who recently retired as a Superior Court Judge.
The following individuals have served as District Attorney for the Conasauga Judicial Circuit: