Tilman E. Self III comes from what my North Georgia kinfolks call "good stock."
His grandfather, Tilman E. Self, enjoyed a thriving Macon law practice before becoming Probate Judge of Bibb County. As an attorney, he handled a variety of cases and sometimes served as a counselor for partners in a troubled marriage.
One of the partners would come to Self's office to file divorce papers. Pop, as his family and friends called him, didn't favor divorce, So before he would initiate formal divorce proceedings, he'd bring the disgruntled couple together to discuss the situation and determine if they could resolve the problems and stay together.
As a divorce counselor, Pop's success rate was high.
One of Pop's sons, Tilman E. Self Jr., became a middle Georgia businessman, delving in real estate and property rentals. Another son, William "Bill" Self, an attorney himself, succeeded his father as Probate Judge. Self won the election to serve the remainder of his father's term and held the office until his retirement.
Now comes the grandson, Tilman E. Self III.
This Self graduated from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. After graduation, her served as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. After leaving the Army, Self attended law school at the University of
Georgia, where he graduated in 1997.
Self returned to Macon and practiced law until 2006 when he ran for a Superior Court judge seat in the Macon Judicial Circuit. He won the election. He served as a Superior Court judge until November 2016 when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Two years ago, Self was instrumental in creating the Macon Judicial Circuit Veteran's Treatment Court. It was created to help veterans fight substance abuse and mental health problems. That courts helps veterans stay out of jail and keep their families together.
Last summer, President Trump nominated Self for a federal judgeship in the Middle District of Georgia. The position became open when federal Judge Ashley Royal took a senior judge position.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held confirmation hearings Wednesday for Self and four other federal judge nominees.
At one point during the hearings, Self, responding to a question, told the senators that creating the veterans court was one of his greatest achievements while serving as a Superior Court judge.
The committee didn't vote on the nominees after today's hearing. Self said he expects a committee vote in about three weeks. If approved, which is expected to happen, the nominations will go to the full Senate for debate and confirmation. Self said he hopes the vote and confirmation will come before Christmas.
It would be a good Christmas present for Self, his family and the federal court in the Middle District of Georgia.
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