Family Law Firm of the Year (USA) - awarded by Lawyer Monthly

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Daphne M. Walker

Attorney

  • Spelman College

    Spelman College

    Atlanta, Georgia

    Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Economics

  • Emory University School of Law

    Emory University School of Law

    Atlanta, Georgia

    Juris Doctor

BACKGROUND

Daphne M. Walker, Esq, joined the Meriwether & Tharp, LLC  team in 2018, bringing with her more than twenty-years of trial and litigation experience as a practicing attorney, retired judge and non-profit executive for the largest domestic violence agency in the state of Georgia.  Daphne graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Economics and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Emory University School of Law. 

Prior to being elected to her judgeship, Daphne served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Houston County District Attorney’s Office and a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office’s Crimes Against Women and Children Unit and its Trial Division.  While serving as a prosecutor, she gained extensive jury trial and litigation experience prosecuting cases involving the physical and sexual abuse of women and children and other felony offenses.  Daphne later established her own law firm where she practiced in the areas of general civil law, family law and criminal law in both state and federal courts where she represented clients in an array of family law cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, equitable division, family violence, contempt, and legitimation matters. 

In 2004, Daphne was elected to serve as the Chief Magistrate Judge in Clayton County, Georgia, making her the first African American to be elected to sit as a judge in the county.  During her judicial tenure, Daphne also sat by designation as a Superior Court Judge and regularly heard criminal, civil and family law matters impacting women, children and families and operated one of the first integrated domestic violence dockets in the state of Georgia.  She was re-elected twice without opposition and retired from her judgeship in 2013 when she accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV).  At PADV, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the state of Georgia’s largest domestic violence shelters located in Fulton and Gwinnett Counties where she provide shelter, support and legal services to survivors of domestic violence.  Immediately prior to joining Meriwether and Tharp, LLC, Daphne served as the Chief Deputy General Counsel for the Georgia Department of Human Services where she managed a team of lawyers providing legal advice and support to the Divisions of Family and Children Services, Child Support Services and Aging Services.  Her expansive legal expertise in the area of family law, domestic violence, child abuse and child support matters makes her an invaluable member of the Meriwether &Tharp LLC team.

Additionally, for nearly ten (10) years, Daphne served as an adjunct professor at Clayton State University where she taught Criminal Litigation and she has also served as a facilitator and an instructor teaching courses to judges, family law attorneys, prosecutors and law enforcement officers regarding domestic violence and temporary protective orders with the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.  Additionally, she chaired the state-wide Taskforce on Domestic Violence Courts through the Administrative Office of the Courts of Georgia for three (3) years working to develop best practices and standards for domestic violence courts in Georgia and to obtain funding for the implementation of pilot domestic violence courts.  Daphne’s prior experience as a trial attorney, adjunct professor and judge has allowed her to bring extraordinary trial and litigation experience to the firm from both sides of the bench. 

In her spare time, when she is not zealously representing our clients, Daphne enjoys volunteering with local non-profit organizations, traveling abroad, watching movies and cooking shows, attending sporting events and spending time with her daughter and family.

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