Georgia Supreme Court’s retiring chief justice to join big law firm

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton, who earlier this year announced his retirement from the court, is joining law firm Troutman Pepper. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
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Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton, who earlier this year announced his retirement from the court, is joining law firm Troutman Pepper. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

The Georgia Supreme Court’s retiring chief justice, Harold Melton, is joining Troutman Pepper, a national law firm with deep ties in Atlanta.

Melton, 54, will start as a partner in the firm July 19, days after leaving the state’s high court where he has served for 16 years. He will handle business litigation cases.

Steve Lewis, who chairs the 1,200-plus attorney firm, said in a press release that Melton’s clients “will benefit from his experience and expertise, particularly in appellate litigation and state attorneys general matters.”

Melton, a former assistant attorney general in the Georgia Department of Law, was executive counsel to Gov. Sonny Perdue. Perdue named him to the state Supreme Court, where he became chief justice in 2018.

In February, Melton announced his retirement, effective July 1. David Nahmias was later elected by the justices to succeed Melton as chief justice.

Troutman Pepper is one of the 50 largest law firms in the nation, by revenue, following last year’s merger between Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton. The firm’s largest office is in Atlanta, with 214 attorneys.

Earlier this year, Charlie Peeler, former United States attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, joined the firm.