Hube Talks Vision As He Preps to Become Ogeechee Circuit’s Newest Judge

Statesboro attorney Matt Hube says he’d considered the possibility of becoming a Superior Court Judge a few times over the last few years, though timing was always a factor. But when he qualified without opposition last month, the consideration quickly became a reality. 

Since he won’t be pounding the pavement on the campaign trail, Hube chatted with TheGeorgiaVirtue.com to share a little more about himself and his perspective on joining three other Superior Court Judges in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit. When he takes the bench, he’ll serve Bulloch, Effingham, Jenkins, and Screven counties.

Legal Background 

Hube’s time in the legal realm dates back to his first year of law school at Mercer when he wanted to clerk for a judge. He landed with Judge F. Gates Peed who was serving as the state court judge in Bulloch County. The court was only part-time, so Peed had a private law practice as well, which is where Hube worked during the summer following his second year of law school. When Peed announced that he would be running for Superior Court Judge in 2000, Peed told him that if he lost the race, he would hire Hube to work for him and if he won, Hube could take over his practice. 

“So he won and I was naive enough to think, ‘Well, yeah. I can figure out how to do this;” Hube said. 

The following year, he partnered with law school classmate Josh Tucker. In that capacity, he handled criminal and domestic work, specifically divorces, along with some residential real estate. The two worked together until 2014 when they each split off to start their own practices. In 2019, Hube stopped handling divorces and narrowed his focus to mainly criminal defense with some personal injury, probate, and Social Security disability work as well.

Over the course of his career, he’s handled cases primarily in the Atlantic, Middle, and Ogeechee circuits as well as some Chatham County and August circuit work. His office, however, has always been based in Statesboro. 

On Becoming a Judge 

Becoming a judge wasn’t on Hube’s radar until five or six years ago. “I had people say to me ‘When are you going to be a judge?’ or ‘You really ought to consider being a judge’ and those interactions really planted the seed,” he said. 

But challenging an incumbent wasn’t on his radar either. No one has challenged a Superior Court Judge in the Ogeechee Circuit since at least 1998. Historically, that is the case in most judicial circuits as challenging a judge you practice in front of is not a terribly popular quest. When Judge Peed announced that he would be retiring at the end of 2024, Hube said he knew it was the right time to throw his hat into the ring.

Hube says he’s looking forward to a different quality of life. For years, the criminal defense side of his practice has required 60+ hours a week for quite some time. “Dealing with clients can be difficult,” he said. “They’re in a bad place with difficult circumstances.”

On Judge Peed as a predecessor, who he’s known for the entirety of his own legal career, Hube said, “I think he’s been really good for the circuit in terms of the way he runs his court. He forces cases to keep moving so he’s been great in that way. In my mind, one of the most important functions of our judges is to make sure these cases get resolved one way or another.”

Hube also opined on his appreciation of Peed’s consistency. 

“You could sit down and tell a client, ‘This is what I think this judge is going to do under these circumstances.’ Whether you agreed with the sentences or not, there was a lot of value in the consistency.”

On the Job of a Superior Court Judge

As far as the job itself goes, Hube sees the duty to move cases as an important one under the umbrella of access to the courts. 

“Not just in criminal cases where you’ve got people languishing in jail and they need the case to be resolved, but also on the civil side. People may need a child support order or visitation or whatever the case may be. We need to be able to have hearings and give people access to the court.”

Additionally, Hube says one of his priorities will be to listen to people and make sure all parties feel heard. “I’ve been in front of very patient judges and I hope to be able to model their behavior of listening, being fair and impartial, and judging the case on the merits of that case.”

Oftentimes, particularly in the legal community, there are criticisms of people becoming judges when they’ve only ever worked as a defense attorney or only ever worked as a prosecutor. When asked how he could still take a well-rounded approach not having worked as a prosecutor, Hube said the answer is simple: empathy.

“If you’re a good defense attorney, you have to see both sides of it and you have to consider there is a victim here in a lot of these cases. There’s a living, breathing person that went through something bad and there’s another side of the coin. That, and just listening to both sides of the case and the facts to make impartial decisions,” he said.

Hube said he’ll only be able to control his own court calendar, but he plans to continue the momentum of moving cases, prioritizing jail cases, scheduling bond hearings, and emphasizing, on the domestic and civil side, the importance of specially-setting matters when possible. He also said, to the extent possible, he’d like more open communication between Superior Court and Magistrate Court to encourage them to set bonds when allowed.

Leaving behind a legacy of his career as a criminal defense attorney is bittersweet and life changing. “Not being in the position to do that type of work for people and achieve those types of results that really are life changing, in a good way, will be different,” he shared. 

Hube said it’s almost like starting a new career. “Obviously it’s very related to what I do and have done my entire career, it’s from a very different perspective so I know there’s going to be a pretty large learning curve, but I’m excited for that.”

In his free time, Hube enjoys traveling with his wife, Linda, and riding motorcycles.

He will be sworn into office in January 2025. 

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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