Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court is celebrating a milestone with the appointment of its newest judge.

The county’s State Court bench has picked Norcross resident Mihae Park to join the Recorder’s Court bench, making her the first Asian-American woman to serve as a Recorder’s Court judge. She is also the second judge of Korean descent to sit on the bench, following in the steps of Judge Ramón Alvarado, who was of Korean and Puerto Rican descent and who died last summer.

Park — who is set to be sworn in May 28 — will fill out the unexpired term of retired Judge Michael Greene, who stepped down April 30 to enter retirement. Her term lasts through Dec. 31, 2023.

Park is a native of Seoul, South Korea who become a U.S. citizen when she was 19. She is also a University of Florida law school graduate who previously worked in the Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office for more than a decade after college, starting in 1988. During her time in that office, she handled motions, appeals and more than 60 hearings. Those hearings included jury and bench trials.

More recently, she has worked as an attorney at Taylor Lee and Associates, where she handled DUI cases, and served as a solicitor in Suwanee Municipal Court.

“Park is certified to argue before the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia,” county officials said. “As a member of the Gwinnett County Bar Association, she served for many years as the co-chair for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

“She was a board member of the Korean American Scholarship Fund and continues to be a liaison between the Korean community and the Gwinnett Judicial System. She is a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.”

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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(3) comments

MissDaisy

Unfortunately this is a prime example of hyphenated, identity politics. She is a very nice person but was not the most qualified nor experienced for this job. I don't blame her for taking advantage of the pervasive identity politics in the county at this time; especially among the State Court Bench. That bench is easily intimated by factions in the county that might mount a challenge to their incumbency. Their fear of loosing the next election is greater than their integrity. Whatever the level, no judge is every appointed because they are the most qualified, they are always appointed for political reasons; from the US Supreme Court to the municipal court of Ludowici. If the most qualified person happens to be appointed, it is incidental to the political reasons.

MarvinGardens

You write: "Unfortunately this is a prime example of hyphenated, identity politics. She is a very nice person but was not the most qualified nor experienced for this job."

Then later you write: "Whatever the level, no judge is every appointed because they are the most qualified, they are always appointed for political reasons...."

So if judges are never appointed on merit according to you, then why comment on this woman since she was allegedly appointed for some non-merit based reason like all the others. Will you leave this same comment for every judicial appointment, since according to you they are never merit based?

And since all appointments are political in your estimation, how do you know she was appointed for hyphenated-identity politics? Perhaps it was some other political reason. Do you have some inside information on the motive of the appointing judge?

MissDaisy

I suppose I get to comment for the same inane reasons you are continually commenting on so many posts. Half of the article is about her being Asian-American or Korean. Yes, I have some inside information on the process and have been in that Gwinnett system for years. There were 25 applicants for the job, then 5 called in for an interview and then a choice made by majority vote of the State Court judges. Surely you agree that justices to the US Supreme Court are appointed for political reasons by whoever the current President is? It is the same for each judicial position that is appointed not elected. When a judicial vacancy occurs in Georgia that the governor appoints, he is inundated with political allies and donors with recommendations. I have been made aware in the past who was going to get an upcoming opening before it was even announced. Every person seeking a judicial appointment gets all their political ducks lined up for recommendations.

I know most of the 25 attorneys that applied for the job. Again, she is a very nice person but was not the most qualified based upon the totality of her legal experience.

The problem is with the appointing authority, in this case the State Court bench. The same inside information reveals that those judges make decisions for political reasons and are easily intimidated to do so.

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