Judge Daniel M. Coursey, Jr. is the recipient of this year’s Legal Pioneer Award, presented at the annual Bench and Bar reception.
Born and raised in DeKalb county, Coursey is a graduate of Avondale High School, attended the University of North Carolina, and graduated from Emory University. He earned his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he graduated first in his class and served as class governor.
After university, Coursey served as a captain, trial counsel, and military judge in the Staff Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Air Force. He then moved into private practice, where he specialized as a civil trial attorney with the firms of Powell Goldstein and McLaughlin & Coursey. In 1982, he was elected superior court judge in the Stone Mountain judicial circuit from a field of five candidates. Re-elected eight times, Coursey is the longest-serving superior court judge in the history of the Stone Mountain judicial circuit.