Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit has been designated to serve in place of Justice David Nahmias in the appeal of Morrison Homes Inc. v. HDI-Gerling America Insurance Co., the court announced Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of Georgia will hear arguments in the case Monday during its 10 a.m. session. The case involves a home builder who is appealing a federal district court ruling that was in favor of an insurance company, which denied the builder coverage.
The federal appeals court has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to answer two questions about Georgia law before it makes a final ruling. In addition to hearing arguments, McElyea will participate in the court’s decision.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to serve in this way, and am excited about the opportunity. I think it will be extremely interesting to see how the Supreme Court works ‘on the inside,’ and hopefully the experience will help me be a better trial judge,” McElyea said.
McElyea was appointed by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue as Superior Court judge and took office in January 2007, and was elected without opposition in 2008 and 2012.
At the time of her appointment, McElyea was serving as presiding judge of the Cherokee County Juvenile Court, a position she had held since 2000. While a juvenile court judge, she sat as a judicial advisor to the State Board of the Department of Juvenile Justice and also served on legislative study commissions regarding the Georgia Child Support Guidelines and the state’s Juvenile Code.
Before becoming a juvenile court judge, McElyea served as associate judge in the City of Canton Municipal Court.
She practiced law in Cherokee County for 15 years, focusing on family law. She served as attorney for the Department of Family and Children Services in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit for five years, and was a domestic relations mediator in the 9th Judicial District as well as in Cobb County.
McElyea is the first presiding judge of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Drug Accountability Court, which began accepting participants this year.
The court’s mission is to make the community safer by intervening in the lives of felony offenders dependent on drugs and holding them accountable.
McElyea is active in the community as a member of the Reinhardt University Board of Trustees and a board member of CASA for Children, Inc.
She is married to Canton attorney Bobby Dyer, and they have two sons who are in college. Judge McElyea and her family attend Canton First United Methodist Church.