Presiding Justice David E. Nahmias (pronounced “NAH-mee-iss”) was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia in August 2009 by Governor Sonny Perdue. In November 2010, after a statewide campaign against two opponents, Presiding Justice Nahmias was elected to a full six-year term on the Court. In 2016, he was re-elected to another six-year term without opposition.
The son of immigrants from Egypt and Germany, Presiding Justice Nahmias was born in Atlanta on September 11, 1964. He attended Briarcliff High School in DeKalb County and was the state’s STAR student in 1982. He attended Duke University, where he graduated second in his class and summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a classmate of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and an editor of the Harvard Law Review along with former President Barack Obama. Presiding Justice Nahmias then served as a law clerk for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court
After practicing with a large law firm in Washington, D.C., in 1995 Presiding Justice Nahmias joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta. As a federal prosecutor, he worked extensively on the investigation of the Centennial Olympic Park and subsequent bombings committed by Eric Robert Rudolph. He also worked on a number of major fraud and public corruption cases, including the successful prosecutions of a Georgia state senator and numerous City of Atlanta and Fulton County public officials and contractors.
Shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Presiding Justice Nahmias returned to Washington and became one of the Justice Department’s leading terrorism prosecutors, coordinating the investigation and prosecution of terrorist activity across the country and internationally and assisting in counter-terrorism policymaking. After being promoted to Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Presiding Justice Nahmias supervised the Fraud Section, the Appellate Section, and the Capital Case Unit, in addition to the Counterterrorism Section.
On December 1, 2004, after being nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Presiding Justice Nahmias returned home as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia – the chief federal law enforcement officer for the judicial district encompassing 46 counties in Northwest Georgia, including metro Atlanta. He served as U.S. Attorney for almost five years before his appointment to the bench, overseeing many major cases including the successful prosecutions of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, the three Atlanta Police narcotics officers who conspired to violate civil rights by falsifying search warrants, resulting in the police shooting death of 92-year old Kathryn Johnston, and the first Georgians convicted of providing material support to international terrorism.
Presiding Justice Nahmias has received numerous local, state, and national awards and honors for his public service. He has served on several committees and boards related to improving the legal system and the community. His wife, Catherine O’Neil, was a partner at King & Spalding and also a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official. She passed away in 2017. Presiding Justice Nahmias has two teenage sons.