Veteran Brooks attorney named to vacant magistrate’s post

A Brooks attorney who has been practicing law for 42 years has been selected as Fayette County’s new magistrate judge.

Loyd Hall Black Jr. was appointed to the post by Fayette County Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards. Black will fill the position left vacant when newly-elected magistrate Jason B. Thompson was appointed to be the county’s newest State Court judge.

One of the most significant duties of a magistrate judge is to rule on arrest warrant petitions filed by both law enforcement and the general public, along with the authority to set bond for a criminal defendant.

Magistrates also hear civil cases involving claims of less than $15,000.

Black is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and was sworn into the bar in 1971. He practiced briefly in New York City before joining an Atlanta law firm in 1972 and opening his own firm in Atlanta in 1978. Black has continued in private practice since that time, moving his practice to Fayette County in 1994.

Recently, Black has specialized in regulatory matters of the equine industry on a regional and national basis.

Judge Edwards noted that Black has experience in appearing before state and federal courts across the country.

“I am confident he will apply his talents and abilities to serve the people of Fayette County well and will fit comfortably with the other members of the court,” Edwards said.

Black will join the rotation of Fayette’s four part-time magistrate judges which includes Chief Magistrate Robert A. Ruppenthal and magistrates James White and Kathy Brown Valencia, who were consulted during the appointment process and “are in accord” with the decision, Edwards said.

“My roots in Fayette County go back a long way,” Black said. “I am proud to have the opportunity to serve the people of Fayette County as one of their magistrate judges. It is also humbling to me to recognize the personal responsibilities entrusted to me in this position. I am looking forward to doing all I can to discharge the responsibilities and work with the other members of the court.”