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Former Judge N. Kent Lawrence to Have Portrait Unveiled

Online Athens

A former Athens judge is being honored Friday morning. Athens-Clarke County State Court Judges Ethelyn Simpson and Charles Auslander will host a portrait unveiling ceremony in honor of former State Court Chief Judge N. Kent Lawrence at 11:00 o’ clock. The portrait was commissioned by the Western Circuit Bar Association and painted by Suzanne Royal. It will hang in the State Court Courtroom in the ACC Courthouse.

Judge Lawrence presided over State Court from 1985 until his retirement in 2011 and was the founder of the DUI/Drug Court, which was the first DUI Court in the state of Georgia and one of the first nationwide. In the Athens DUI/Drug Court program, participants are held strictly accountable for their behavior. The participants are on intensive probation supervision, take frequent drug and alcohol screens, and participate in intense substance abuse treatment. Participants typically spend 14 to 20 months in the program.

In 1985, Lawrence was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris as State Court Judge of Clarke County where he served for 26 years.