Harris Hines was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia on July 26, 1995, by Governor Zell Miller to succeed Willis B. Hunt, Jr., former Chief Justice. He was sworn in as Chief Justice on January 6, 2017 by Governor Nathan Deal. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Hines served as a Superior Court judge and a State Court judge in the Cobb Judicial Circuit.
An Atlanta native, Chief Justice Hines graduated from Henry W. Grady High School in 1961. He graduated from Emory University in 1965 and received his Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law in 1968. In 2017, he was made a member of Emory Law 100, which is for Emory graduates who have made extraordinary contributions.
Chief Justice Hines was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1968. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Cobb Judicial Circuit Bar Association. He is President of the Old War Horse Lawyers Club, an Emeritus Master of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court, which is associated with the University of Georgia School of Law, a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia School of Law, and a fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College.
After graduation from law school, Chief Justice Hines clerked for Judge E. A. Wright, Senior Judge of the Civil Court of Fulton County, for one year. He then joined the firm of Edwards, Bentley, Awtrey & Parker of Marietta, Georgia as an associate and later became a partner. Chief Justice Hines was appointed to the State Court of Cobb County by Governor Jimmy Carter and was later elected to the Superior Court of the Cobb Judicial Circuit.
Today, as Chief Justice, he chairs the Judicial Council, which is the policy-making body for Georgia’s judicial branch and is made up of all classes of courts. Prior to becoming Chief Justice, he served 16 years as Chair of the Supreme Court’s Justice for Children Committee. He is the Court’s liaison to the General Assembly, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and the Office of Bar Admissions. He was appointed in 2015 as a member of the Judicial, District Attorney, and Circuit Public Defender Compensation Commission.
Chief Justice Hines is a former Trustee of the Kennesaw State University Foundation, a member and Past Distinguished President of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta and a Past Distinguished Lt. Governor of the Georgia District of Kiwanis International. He served on the inaugural Board of Directors of the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club and is a Past President of the Cobb County YMCA. He has participated in the Leadership Georgia and Leadership Atlanta programs and was selected as Cobb County’s Most Admired Community Leader in 1993. In 2016, he was named Cobb County Citizen of the Year. He received the Big Voice for Children Award from Voices for Georgia’s Children in 2015, and in 2016 and 2017, Georgia Trend Magazine named him as “One of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.”
Born in 1943, Chief Justice Hines is the son of James Reuben Hines, a native of Leslie, Georgia, and Edith Hawkins Hines, a native of Gray, Georgia. Chief Justice Hines is married to the former Helen Holmes Hill of Talladega, Alabama. They reside in Marietta and have two children and four grandchildren. Chief Justice Hines is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta and has served as Clerk of Session. He is an Eagle Scout.