Michael Parham, former Circuit Public Defender for the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, announces his candidacy for chief magistrate of Gilmer County.
He and Margaret have lived in Gilmer County since 1984. After graduating from law school while serving as an assistant minister at an Atlanta area church, he was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1979. Since that time, he has alternated between those roles; serving as a pastor for over 20 years and actively practicing law for more than 20 years.
During the early years of his law practice, he practiced primarily in federal courts and among other matters, was sole or lead counsel in criminal jury trials in federal district courts including Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Ft. Worth. He has been admitted to the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Appeals for seven of the 12 regional circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
During the years devoted primarily to ministry, in addition to serving as a pastor, he was actively involved in foreign missions. Sometimes teaching mission and ministry staff and at other times leading teams of young people, he has ministered in over two dozen countries and currently serves on the board of two mission-related 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Locally, he was a founding participant in Covenant Community of Ellijay.
Returning to the practice of law locally in 2002, he was the Circuit (chief) Public Defender for the Appalachian Judicial Circuit from July 2004 until August 2018, leading a diverse staff of 15 with offices in each of the three counties of the circuit (Gilmer, Pickens, and Fannin) representing the indigent criminally accused.
That office routinely handles well over 80 percent of all adult criminal cases in the circuit, as well as a majority of juvenile delinquency matters. As chief public defender, he was part of the Accountability Court Team and was directly responsible for the representation of participants in the Accountability Courts (Veterans Court, Drug Court, HELP Court).His wide range of legal experience with many aspects of criminal and civil law, combined with his ministry experience, will allow him to make educated, compassionate and unbiased decisions that best serve the great residents of our local community.
He is the charter president of the Gilmer County Optimist Club. He and Margaret have two adult sons, four adult grandchildren, and two (very young) wonderful great-granddaughters.
See mgparham.com or email parhamformagistrate
@mgparham.com for updates or more information.