The Summer 2021 issue of Verdict, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s magazine, featured an interview of Judge Diane Bessen written by Matt Kahn. Kahn is an attorney with Butler Kahn, an Atlanta-based personal injury practice.
The interview was the first installment of “View from the Bench.” The series is a new feature of the GTLA’s Verdict magazine that spotlights trial and appellate judges from across Georgia.
In his Q&A with Judge Bessen, Kahn posed a series of cordial questions to the Fulton County State Court Judge. The interview focused on Judge Bessen’s background as a lawyer and judge, as well as her personal interests and her advice to practicing attorneys.
The interview revealed how Judge Bessen found her way onto the bench without a “master plan” to do so. When Kahn asked her what advice she would give to her younger self, she said, “I would say expect the unexpected. I never imagined I would end up as a judge, but when opportunities present themselves, be open to paths you never could have imagined.”
On a personal note, Judge Bessen’s love of cooking became evident during the exchange. When Kahn asked her what she would do if she weren’t in the legal profession, she replied, “Even today, my husband and I joke about retiring to some Caribbean island and opening a beach bar. I would work the kitchen and he’d schmooze with the clientele. It wouldn’t be profitable, but we would each be in our element.”