After retiring from 25 years as an attorney and 14 years as a governor-appointed judge, George Peagler has begun a new way of sharing his knowledge of the law with others. He is providing information sessions for peers on understanding the law and the court system. The session will combine law history and processes with modern-day courtroom advice.
Before his first 45-minute session began, Judge Peagler rapped on the desk with his judge’s gavel.
“That kind of respect and attention is appreciated,” he said to the attentive group. “I am glad to be with you, and I have some good friends in this room. I have tried to be fair as you have come into my court. Since my retirement, I only want to help people in life and work to prevent illegal activity.
With a carefully prepared power point presentation, Judge Peagler reminded the assembled that law began some 4,000 years ago, according to the Bible’s Old Testament.
“God send us the law as to what we were supposed to do,” he explained. “The law has changed, but we must realize that God began the law, and we must obey the law.”
Judge Peagler also advised his audience, “Do what your conscience tells you to.”
“I want to help you navigate through the court system,” Judge Peagler said, as he launched into an explanation of court appearances. Beginning with proper courtroom etiquette, he noted, “I want to help you navigate through the court system. Know the correct date of your court appearance and be on time. Too many people are spending their time and being paid to have to wait.”
He continued, “No cell phones are permitted, unless you want to lose your phone and return to pay a fine. And please, men, PULL UP YOUR PANTS. The courtroom is no place to do things that you should not do. These people and the judge are gathered to help you.
“You cannot carry anything in the courtroom that is dangerous. If the alarm goes off, you will be searched, with possible charges. Warn your family and other spectators that their appearance can help, but they need to follow the laws like you do.”
Judge Peagler reflected on his own court habits and the important of having a well-regulated courtroom. “I tried to break for lunch at 12 and finish the day at 5 p.m.,” he recalled. “If people had to visit the restroom, I gave a five minute break in the action. My courtroom understood the needs of others, whether as a visitor or court representative.”
“The courts are fair, but you must do your part for your day in court,” Judge Peagler said. He further shared information about the official placement of all aspects of the courtroom, the jury process, and defendant rights in the court.
Judge Peagler concluded by taking questions from the group and sharing his plans for his next group session.
“When I return in two weeks, I will begin to address any issues that you want to know,” the retired judge promised. “I am here only to help you. I hope our session will keep you out of a legal appearance in any courtroom.”
Thanks, Judge George Peagler, for such a candid and informative session!