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Woman named full-time
Gwinnett Magistrate judge

LAWRENCEVILLE - The open position left by the departure of Judge Robert Waller from Gwinnett County Magistrate Court was filled Wednesday.

After a meeting between Superior Court judges and Chief Magistrate George F. Hutchinson III, Kristina Blum, who has served as a part-time magistrate since 2005, was selected from 27 applicants to become the county's newest full-time magistrate.

Hutchinson said he was "tremendously flattered" that so many highly qualified applicants stepped up for consideration and wanted to thank them all for doing so.

"It was a difficult decision to make," Hutchinson said, adding that Blum will bring a "wealth of legal experience" to the bench.

Blum has worked as a law clerk and as a member of Gwinnett County's Law Department. In addition to her duties as a part-time magistrate, she has also heard cases in Superior, State, Juvenile and Recorder's courts.

A lecturer for organizations such as the State Bar and the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education, Blum is also active with the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.

A partner at Williams, Morris and Blum LLP, she will have to give up private practice but said she is thankful and looks forward to the opportunity in front of her.

"I come from a long line of public servants and working in Magistrate's Court is true public service," Blum said. "The opportunities I've had here have been surreal to me."

Hutchinson said he looks forward to working with Blum, who echoed the sentiments.

"The staff ... is second to none and I mean it when I say it's the best group of people I've ever worked with," she said.