Kelley looks forward to second term

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2010

Judge Jeff Kelley will be serving his second term as judge in the 12th Circuit of Alabama.

“I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to serve the last six years,” Kelley said.

And with no opponents vying for his seat, Kelley is obliged to serve another six.

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“This is what I enjoy doing,” he said.

“I enjoy serving and having the opportunity to serve.”

Prior to donning his black robes, Kelley ran a private practice in Elba for 14 years and he spent another 13 years litigating for an insurance company.

Kelley earned his Undergraduate degree from Troy State University before getting a Juris Doctorate at Faulkner’s Jones School of Law.

Kelley said certain virtues are essential in being a fair judge.

“I think a judge has to be patient. You have to be compassionate and caring…but also at times you have to be firm,” he said.

Kelley said he always strives to ensure justice.

“I think the most important thing is that whoever comes before the court, that they feel like justice is being served,” he said.

Kelley explained that finding fairness depends on the public too though.

“I tell jurors the system we have depends on them,” he said. “They are the judges, not me…it’s the people’s court system.”

And Kelley said he is pleased when the system hits on all cylinders.

“When you sit through a case, and the evidence is presented and you see justice is served, it’s rewarding to see it work,” he said.

Judge Kelley is a member of the Circuit Judges Association, the Pike and Coffee County Bar Associations, the State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

He is also active with the Coffee County Habitat for Humanity.