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Fulton County (Atlanta) judge rudely tells law school graduate: ‘Do something about it’

Judge sparks immediate call to action (audio)
Fulton County (Atlanta) judge rudely tells law school graduate: 'Do something about it'
Law school graduate Taos Wynn (Photo credit: Reginald Duncan)

Despite every intention of earning a law degree to zealously advocate for others, I never imagined that after a four-year stint of legal education, my first pursuit of justice upon graduating would result from a devaluing experience of humiliation and disrespect by the very judicial system I was seeking to one day become a part of. Irony at its best, and perhaps disappointment at its worse, it is in the decree of doing what’s right that now compels me to request that the judicial standard of behavior be upheld by sharing my experience with Judge Alexandra Manning of Fulton County Superior Court, in hopes that the likelihood of others experiencing similar flaws in the system, might be diminished.

With that said, it is also of the utmost importance to emphasize that I am not insinuating that this individual account of judicial misconduct is indicative or representative of all Fulton County Superior Court Judges, because to do so would be unfair and completely inaccurate. However, this is exactly why it is even more pressing to address this instance of judicial misconduct to secure and preserve the integrity of all other Fulton County Superior Court Judges and maintain public confidence in the judicial system at large.

As any infrequent visitor can attest, the experience of a court hearing can be intimidating. The formality, tone, and sense that matters resulting are of great magnitude and importance can give pause to even the most hardened of hearts upon the commencement of proceedings. And although, it is rather typical for the outcomes of such proceedings to be challenged on both their merit and final result, neither underline the basis of the experience and issue at hand. Although, it is difficult to believe that based on the judicial manner in which my hearing was conducted that the outcome could have met the expected standards of fairness and impartiality intended by the courts, the greater issue and flaw in the process of my hearing was the inappropriate judicial conduct exhibited throughout the hearing itself that fell greatly beneath the required standard of the court — and which must now be addressed.

In what should have been a routine hearing of facts, allegations, and issues in dispute, turned out to be an exhaustive and unexpected series of put-downs, condescending actions, inappropriate statements, and behavior. From recurrent interruptions and not being given an adequate opportunity to speak or address questions at times, to enduring condescending actions, such as the judge clapping her hands and asking me if I was seeing what she was doing (to highlight her knowingly facetious actions), then having the judge question my law school and internship experience, only to lead up to the ultimate question of my career choice and whether or not I intended to become a litigator. It was apparent that the standard of conduct exhibited by this judge was depleting and gracefully sinking by the minute.

When I replied, “No ma’am,” her response was, “GOOD” — as though I lacked the mental capacity or functional capability to do so. I remind you that all this behavior was taking place in front of other individuals in the hearing.

To say the least, this sequence of undeserved and irrelevant questioning only heightened at the conclusion of the hearing when in the midst of dismissing and concluding the process, the Judge asked if my fiancé was pregnant. I was floored. I began to wonder what possibly empowered the judge to feel so comfortable to ask such an inappropriate question and would she have repeated such bold actions if a different individual sat in my place and for all purposes, looked differently than I did? I couldn’t help but wonder, “What emboldened her to think asking such a question was okay?” It wasn’t.

Nonetheless, the words that rang the loudest were spoken by the judge after taunting and making light of my legislative experience. And although unfortunate and meant perhaps without the best of intention, it was her very words that resonated as an immediate call to action. The judge instructed me as follows:

“And the things that you don’t like that happens and stuff like that. If you’re over there with all the big boys that think they’re smarter than the rest of us under the Gold Dome [The State Capitol] – Do something about it.”

Such baiting rarely deserves a proficient response. However, it is in the spirit of now answering that very call to action that I transparently share this account to not only “do something about it,” but also request that the Judicial Qualifications Commission for the State of Georgia investigate and take action to adequately address the judicial misconduct exemplified in the experience of this courtroom hearing.

Measures must be set in place to prevent such bias and inappropriate behavior from finding refuge in the Georgia Judicial System. For if I was treated in such a disrespectful, condescending and inappropriate manner by a judge that was fully aware of the fact that I at least had some knowledge of the law and legal profession, I can only imagine how many more individuals without such understandings are at greater risk of being even further mistreated. — Taos Wynn

12 Responses

  1. Sounds like you got in front of Judge Manning and the very first thing you did was let her know you had an undergrad in Criminal Justice. She doesn’t care. You’re there for a criminal proceeding. Following procedures and respect The Court.

    Appears you listened to one thing she said. Do something.

    Wrote a whiny article and filed a complaint.

    Good luck in your future endeavors in the legal field. I have a feeling you’ll be asking for many, many, many supervisors.

  2. The judge should be removed as her behavior is abhorrent with no regard for judicial proceedings. She appears to be in a perpetual bad mood and appears to hate everything about family court proceedings.

    1. I’ve felt the same way about Judge Manning since I first saw her on YouTube at the start of the pandemic. She likes to belittle people for her own enjoyment or for the YouTube audience- I’m still trying to figure that out. IMO she’s rude, insensitive and thinks pretty highly of herself and her perceived power.

      1. No she doesn’t & no she isn’t , she’s well versed in the law, has an extensive background & experience to back it up & is fantastic at her job.

    2. That is hilarious. You have no idea what you are talking about. This is the real world, not the world of feelings and imaginary oppression.

  3. Lmao what a whining, bratty, arrogant complaint of an article. This is literally an under educated person attempting to shame a stellar legal kind because your feelings were hurt. This generation thinks their feelings are #1. That their intention, however misguided, is right despite evidence. It’s a scary and sad outlook for the country.

  4. So you’re saying you can’t take the heat? Interesting seeing the career path you’ve chosen. This article is nothing short of ridiculous. If Judge Manning is hard on you, she has good reason to be. How about you pull up your big boy pants, toughen up your skin, stop being so sensitive, and take a stand for the things in life that actually matter. Imagine putting your energy and time into something that had a positive impact on society instead of writing a useless, whiny, toddler-ish article slamming one of the hardest working people in our US judiciary. Give me a break. (extreme eye-roll!)

  5. Good lord. Grow a pair. And either tougher skin or get a different job. Welcome to the real world, the courtroom isn’t the place for dainty flowers.

  6. She has a history of it. She’s demeaning to combat veterans and their issues too because she thinks she’s better than them even though she was in the military in a noncombat role during peacetime. Absolute disgrace to justice and Fulton County.

  7. Is this a woke spoof? I thought I was reading an adolescent temper tantrum. I guess law school for some is a belief that you are immune from the real world. Grow some grit.

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