Fulton judicial attorneys win ruling on pay

An arbitrator has determined that about two dozen Fulton County judicial staff attorneys were wrongfully denied pay supplements in a case that could cost the county an estimated $3 million, a lawyer said.

Arbitrator Robert Dokson recently determined the judicial attorneys should have received equal pay as attorneys in the Fulton County Attorney's Office. Lee Parks, who represents the judicial attorneys, estimated the the final award will be more than $3 million, including $1 million in interest, and said his firm will seek $550,000 in attorneys' fees.

"These lawyers are integral to the operation of the Fulton County judicial system," Parks said in a statement released Monday. "They are career employees. For the county to pay a 15-year judicial staff attorney who is critical to the judicial system $25,000 less per year than a brand-new lawyer hired by the County Attorney was wrong."

The judicial attorneys filed a formal group grievance through the county's civil service system in October 2006. The arbitration is the final step in the grievance process.