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Biography | CV (opens in a new window)
Irwin W. Stolz, Jr., known simply and affectionately as “Judge,” was born at Emory Hospital in Atlanta in 1929 and grew up in Charleston, SC. He served as a First Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, 82nd Airborne Division from 1952 – 1955 and then earned his J.D. from Emory in 1958. Judge practiced in LaFayette, Georgia until 1972 when then Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter, appointed him to the Georgia Court of Appeals. From 1972 – 1977 he authored approximately 750 published opinions, among which are:
- Travis Meat and Seafood Co., Inc. v. Ashworth, 127 Ga.App. 284 (1972), regarded as a leading case in Georgia on discovery and the use of discovery evidence;
- Ford Motor Company v. Handley, 128 Ga.App. 307, 128 Ga. App. 311 (1973), product liability, evidence issues;
- Giordano v. Stubbs, 129 Ga.App. 283, 292 (dissent) (1973), reversed, 231 Ga. 601 (1974), 131 Ga.App. 244 (1974), dissent became the rule in Georgia on certain aspects of appellate procedure;
- Locklear v. Morgan, 129 Ga. App. 763 (1973), opinion restated the bounds for proper oral argument to the jury in tort cases;
- Gould v. The State, 131 Ga.App. 811 (1974), first impression, constitutionality of jury composition, established rule that jury pools must be composed of a truly representative cross-section of the community;
- Warner v. Arnold, 133 Ga. 174 (1974), first impression, apartment owners’ duties to keep premises safe from third party intruders;
- State v. Houston, 134 Ga.App. 36 (1975), state’s affirmative duty to provide counsel at preliminary hearing, reversed, Ga. 721, rule since adopted and implemented;
- Wilhite v. Mays, 140 Ga.App. 816 (1976), first impression, Doctrine of Caveat Emptor does not apply to sale of improved real estate;
Since resigning from the Court of Appeals, Judge has had a general practice in all courts with an emphasis on trial and appellate civil litigation and generally representing plaintiffs.
He has held numerous offices in legal and community organizations and has been an active masters competitive swimmer since 1987. He currently holds or has held over fifty Georgia Masters swimming records and has competed in the FINA World Masters Championship in Germany (2000), New Zealand (2002) and Italy (2004). He has competed in many US Masters National Championships over the years and has won thirteen individual national championships.
In 2004, he was ranked in the top ten in the world in five events and became the U.S. Masters “All American” for the 1500-meter freestyle in his age group. In 2009 Judge won additional championships and ranked in the top 10 in the world in ten events. He was also a Masters All-American in the 400, 800 and 1500 meter freestyle (LCM) and 1500 meter freestyle (SCM).
Judge is married to the former Mary Bell Harrison of Savannah, Georgia. They have four children and eight grandchildren.