Who is Judge Carla?
A native Georgian, Judge Carla McMillian became the second State Court Judge in Fayette County history after being appointed to the bench by then-Governor Sonny Perdue. In this role, she oversees one of the busiest state courts in Georgia, handling approximately 7,000 cases a year, consisting of civil matters, criminal misdemeanors, traffic violations, and ordinance code citations. As the only State Court Judge in Fayette County, she also manages the administrative operations of Fayette County State Court, which includes setting and managing the budget and supervising court personnel.
Judge Carla married fellow attorney Lance McMillian in 1997. The couple lives in Tyrone with their two young children.
Excellence As A Lawyer
Prior to coming to Fayette County State Court, Judge Carla served as a partner in the litigation group of the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. Her practice centered on complex business litigation and included the unique experience of arguing cases before the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Louisiana Court of Appeals. She also litigated in state and federal trial courts around Georgia and the rest of the country.
Judge Carla began her career as a federal law clerk for the Honorable William C. O’Kelley of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star
For her work as a trial attorney, her peers in the legal profession twice honored Judge Carla as a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Active Involvement In the Community
A commitment to community service runs strong in Judge Carla’s family. She and her husband have been members of Dogwood Church (formerly Braelinn Church) since 1998. While at Dogwood, the McMillians have played an active leadership role in the Church. Judge Carla has been a small group leader for adult, women’s, and children’s small groups for well over a decade. Lance has served as Chairman of the Church’s Elder Board and on the Board of Directors for the Real Life Center, a non-profit organization started by Dogwood that provides financial, emotional, and spiritual aid to residents of Fayette County. Judge Carla and Lance have consistently supported missionaries in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Judge Carla has also devoted her time to advancing the cause of battered women by serving on the Board of Directors for the Partnership Against Domestic Violence. The PADV is the largest non-profit domestic violence organization in Georgia whose mission includes operating shelters for battered women and their children, helping domestic violence survivors regain control of their lives, and public education.
Maintaining Trust in the Legal Profession
Judge Carla believes that lawyers have a special duty to model and promote the highest ideals of the legal profession. She has accepted invitations to speak at events such as the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism and the Annual Women’s Law Panel at the UGA School of Law to mentor lawyers and law students on important professionalism issues. She also educates Fayette County’s next generation by speaking at local school events, hosting student groups who visit the courthouse, and serving as a judge for high school and law school mock trial competitions.
Because of her interest in promoting the rule of law, Judge Carla presently serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.
A Commitment to Education
Judge Carla attended law school as a Woodruff Scholar at the University of Georgia School of Law, where she graduated third in her class with highest honors and served as President of the Christian Legal Society. She also graduated with high honors from Duke University, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and Economics. In 2010, Judge Carla received the “Distinguished Alumna” award from Westminster Schools of Augusta.