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Dax Lopez,State Court Judge, DeKalb County

Dax Lopez is a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1981, at the age of 6, he moved to Augusta, Georgia where he first learned to speak English. Over the next several years, Dax and his family would move throughout the United States, and particularly throughout the South, where Dax was often the only Hispanic in many of the schools he attended.

In 1988, Dax and his family returned to Georgia, and specifically to Cobb County. Dax attended McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, where he graduated fourth in a class of close to five hundred students.

In 1994, Dax enrolled at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he majored in political science and focused on French. While at Vanderbilt, Dax served in several university wide leadership positions, including as president of the Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students.

After graduating in 1998, Dax remained in Nashville to obtain his legal degree at the Vanderbilt Law School. While there, Dax served as President of the Vanderbilt Bar Association and as an editor on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. Prior to graduating, Dax’s research note was chosen for publication by his peers in the Journal of Transnational Law.

After graduating cum laude from law school in 2001, Dax accepted a position that would lead him back to Puerto Rico to serve as the law clerk for federal judge Hector M. Laffitte in the Federal District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. As part of his duties, Dax advised the judge on all aspects of cases involving civil rights, product liability, business disputes, constitutional issues, discrimination, and sexual harassment.

At the end of 2002, Dax returned to Atlanta to commence his legal practice at the international law firm of Holland & Knight LLP. In his three years there, Dax focused on complex civil litigation matters, specifically in the areas of product liability and employment law. In 2005, Dax joined the litigation team of Ashe, Rafuse & Hill, LLP, a prominent litigation boutique, where he continued to handle large, complex civil matters and employment class actions in New Jersey and Illinois. In 2008, Dax joined Foltz Martin LLC in Buckhead. While there, Dax helped community banks and real estate developers throughout Georgia deal with many of the legal issues that arose as a result of the economic downturn.

Throughout his legal career, Dax has received numerous recognitions. Dax has been named as one of the Top Fifty Industry Leaders by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, as among Georgia’s Legal Elite by Georgia Trend magazine, and as a Rising Star in 2009 and 2010 by the SuperLawyer Magazine. In 2010, Mundo Hispanico named Dax to be the Funcionario Destacado del Aňo. Dax was also selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and as a Barrister in the Lamar Inn of Court.

Dax has served on the Board of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials since 2004, and as President of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association from 2006-2008.

On August 11, 2010, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dax to serve as a judge on the State Court of DeKalb County. Dax took his oath of office at a ceremony in Governor Perdue’s office on September 23, 2010. Dax was the second Latino in the history of Georgia appointed to serve on a Georgia trial court, and is currently the only Latino trial court judge in the state.

Dax is married to attorney Zulma Lopez. Together they are the proud parents of three children: Roberto Carlos, age 12; Sebastian, age 10; and Elisa, 11 months old. Dax and his family are members of The Temple in midtown.

Short Bio

Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Dax Lopez moved to Georgia at the age of six. Constantly on the move, Dax lived in six states, mostly in the South, throughout his childhood. Dax attended Vanderbilt University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Dax remained in Nashville and obtained his legal degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where he served as president of the Vanderbilt Bar Association and as an editor on the Vanderbilt Journal Transnational Law.

After graduation, Dax served as the law clerk for the Hon. Hector M. Laffitte in the Federal District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. Dax returned to Atlanta in 2002 to commence his career as an attorney at Holland & Knight, LLP, where he practiced in the complex civil litigation group for three years. In 2005, Dax joined the litigation group at Ashe, Rafuse & Hill, where he handled class actions, employment matters, and product liability cases. In 2008, Dax furthered his commercial litigation experience by joining the litigation group at Foltz & Martin LLC.

Dax is a past president of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. Dax remains active in and committed to several other civic and community organizations.

On August 10, 2010, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dax to the State Court of Dekalb County.

(Updated: March 28, 2011)

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