Tim Curtin, Kenya Johnson and Diane Weinberg are battling for the Fulton County Probate Court judge seat being vacated by the retiring Pinkie Toomer in the June 9 nonpartisan primary election. All three are running for office for the first time.
Curtin, who lives in Buckhead, is an estate planning and probate attorney with his own practice, Curtin Law Firm PC.
“I am the best choice (for) judge because of my proven track record of experience and commitment,” he said. “In 2019 I was elected by my peers to serve as chair of the estate planning and probate section of the Atlanta Bar Association. I have served as a court appointed attorney and guardian ad litem for the Fulton Probate Court for nearly 20 years, representing hundreds of adults and children who do not have the ability to hire their own lawyer. I have owned my law firm for 17 years, which has given me the experience to effectively manage employees and budgets.
Johnson, who lives in the city of South Fulton, has spent 15 years as a public servant with the Fulton government and currently is the chief deputy solicitor in the county’s solicitor general’s office.
She said her experience – Johnson was elected by her peers as the Southeast regional director of a national prosecution association from 2015-2019 and held leadership positions under Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard and Solicitor General Keith Gammage – sets her apart.
“I am the only candidate with a dedicated career in government service and experience managing a multimillion dollar county budget and staff of over 100 county employees,” she said. “I have a long history as a community advocate and I will bring the life-improving services of Fulton’s probate office into the neighborhoods and communities that we serve.
“I am a seasoned trial attorney and former practicing probate attorney. My combination of experience in probate matters, government management and courtroom expertise best position me as a Probate (Court) judge that can excel both inside of the courtroom and efficiently operate a county department.”
Weinberg, who lives in Sandy Springs, serves as of counsel for the Morgan and DiSalvo PC law firm, specializing in elder law and special needs planning.
She said she’s also designated as a U.S. Veterans Administration accredited attorney and has been honored by three publications and websites: getting an AV Preeminent rating (the highest possible) from Martindale Hubbell, being named a Georgia Super Lawyer (which goes to only 5% of the state’s attorneys) and getting a 10 out of 10 from AVVO.com (a website in which attorneys provide guidance to the public and are rated by their peers and clients).
“I have the right experience, compassion and knowledge to be an effective and fair judge,” Weinberg said. “Having practiced in Probate Courts throughout the state of Georgia, I understand the function of the Probate Court and the complex areas of law that intersect with Probate Court matters.
“I have a reputation for handling the most complex cases with compassion, tenacity and legal expertise. I’m honored by the level of support I’ve received from my colleagues and the appreciation from my clients who respect the fact that I listen and treat them with dignity and respect.”
All three candidates said Probate Court is an overlooked but important part of the justice system.
“Of all the courts in Fulton County, the Probate Court is the court that most of us are likely to encounter,” Curtin said. “The Probate Court handles the administration of estates of our loved ones who have passed away, the appointment of guardians for people who are unable to care for themselves, the issuance of marriage licenses and the issuance of weapons carry licenses. It is vital that the court run efficiently and continue its customer service-oriented approach to the citizens of Fulton County.”