For Bobby Christine, saying goodbye is a hard thing to do.
Assistant District Attorney Bobby Christine will be serving as an associate magistrate under Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"It's tough," he said.
For the past 10 years, Christine has served as an assistant district attorney in Augusta, working closely with his mentor, District Attorney Danny Craig. From late-night researching to prosecuting Columbia County cases for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, Christine has spent countless hours with his colleagues - a close-knit group he considers to be an extended family.
On Dec. 23, though, Christine said goodbye to his associates, serving his last day as an assistant district attorney. Christine opened a general-practice law office, located at 4024 Washington Road in Martinez, on Saturday and will now also serve part-time as associate magistrate under the leadership of Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett.
"The law says I can't be in the district attorney's office and a part-time judge," Christine said, acknowledging that he sought guidance from Craig after Padgett asked him to be his assistant magistrate. "I prayed about it with Danny, and he said, 'Bobby, I hate to lose you, but if you were my son I would tell you, you can't let an opportunity like this pass you by.'"
In the end, Christine decided it was time for him to move on.
"I never thought I would be as lucky to be a judge," he said with a smile. "I love prosecution so very much. But I couldn't pass up this opportunity. There's a lot of law that goes on and clients need representation. I hope to make myself available to them."
With Christine now gone, Craig said the responsibility of filling the vacant position of assistant district attorney is in progress.
"I couldn't actually give you a single name of a person, but we are hiring a lawyer,'' he said. "But that wouldn't be fair to that lawyer for me to say that he's actually going to be assuming what Bobby's duties (were)," he said. "Sometimes on a rotation cycle we just reassign responsibilities.''
Craig said Christine was an integral part of his staff.
"We were very fortunate to have him as long as we had him, and I know he'll do extremely well in private practice," Craig said.
Unlike most attorneys who practice privately in downtown Augusta, Christine said convenience was the deciding factor that helped him in opening an office in Martinez.
"(My office) is convenient to the courthouse and it's within proximity to my house," he said, adding that he also anticipates practicing law downtown. "This is where the growth is. For my business this was a good decision. This is the future, and this is my home."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.