Becoming a judge is an admirable feat within itself, but the Honorable Glenda A. Hatchett wanted to accomplish more than just acquire a lofty title After decades of delivering justice and running a phenomenal daytime TV show, she continues to venture into uncharted territory and make history. In addition to her many projects, Judge Hatchett is treating rolling out readers to a new column dedicated to legal advice.
Before Judge Hatchett became a household name, she was a senior attorney and public relations manager at Delta Air Lines and was the company’s first African American woman in a high-ranking position. She then left Delta and was appointed the Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court, becoming Georgia’s first African American chief presiding judge of a state court.
In 2000, the seasoned legal professional was given the opportunity to try cases on television for her own show, “Judge Hatchett.” The show ran for eight seasons and is currently in syndication on WE tv.
Now, the judge is ready to return to the small screen with “The Verdict with Judge Hatchett.” She’s also eager to revisit her duties as an attorney, and, of course, she’ll be busy offering her knowledge of law to the public through her new column and upcoming community legal seminars.
Judge Hatchett gave us the scoop on her anticipated projects.
You have a new show coming out in fall 2016?
Yes, it’s going to be “The Verdict with Judge Hatchett,” a new court show. I’m really excited about that.
Is there anything that will be different about it from “Judge Hatchett?”
It’ll pretty much be the same thing, that’s what people want again. So, i’m excited to be back. We’ll start production in the summer and it will begin early in the fall.
Can you tell us a little about what we can expect from your new column for rolling out?
Yes, I’m going to be dealing with issues that affect our community [and] responding to questions that people want to know. So often, we see these horrible tragedies as we watch them unfold, and people say, “Judge, how do we respond if we get stopped by the police? What do I tell my teenage son if they encounter the police?” A lot of parents are concerned after having seen the videotape of a child being slung across the room in Columbia. So, [the column] will be responding to whatever the issue is for that moment.
I’m going to be doing legal clinics periodically. It will be open and free to the public. The first one will be Saturday, Nov. 21 at the main campus of Elizabeth Baptist Church on Cascade road at 1:30 p.m. And the special guest — he’s doing me a wonderful favor and he’s a good friend — Joe Jackson, who’s a legal commentator on CNN. We’ll have general sessions and we’ll have breakout sessions on catastrophic injury, wrongful death, workers’ compensation, wills (because so often people don’t understand why they need to have a will), family law, prenuptial agreements, child custody and things that are important to families. Then, we’ll have one on criminal law. My goal is to have it quarterly. Inside the first quarter in 2016, we’re going to have it in Albany, Georgia. We’ll be back in Atlanta in the second quarter.
Do you have any other news for us?
I’ve established a national law firm here in Atlanta, The Hatchett Firm PC. I’m so excited about this. After doing some serious soul searching, I decided that I need to be on the other side of the bench again because of all the things we’re seeing in this nation — from Trayvon Martin, to Eric Garner, to Texas, to Charleston. I just feel that at this time, I should advocate for justice. And so, I am specializing in wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. I can be of service to people all over the country. And I’m excited to be on this journey. I am told that I am the only Black woman to have established a national law firm. We saw the amazing things that Johnny Cochran did. But as far as I’ve researched, there’s never been a Black woman to establish a national law firm before. So I’m grateful for this opportunity.
For updates on “The Verdict with Judge Hatchett” and more information on the community legal seminars, visit glendahatchett.com. Meet the judge at the First Read Expo at the Stonecrest Mall on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.