Christopher J. McFadden was elected to the Georgia Court of Appeals in November 2010 for a term beginning January 1, 2011 and reelected in 2016. He is a son of the late Isabel McFadden and the late Judge Donald B. McFadden, who served for twenty years as a trial court judge in Akron, Ohio.
Presiding Judge McFadden graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1980 and from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1985. He opened his own law office in 1988 and remained a sole practitioner until he joined the Court of Appeals. For most of that time, he practiced in Decatur and focused on appellate litigation. Before joining the Court of Appeals as its 74th judge, he appeared as appellate counsel before 26 of the judges who preceded him.
In 1996, along with the late Professor Edward C. Brewer and attorney Charles R. Sheppard, he published Georgia Appellate Practice through the Harrison Company of Norcross, Georgia. With Mr. Sheppard and attorneys Charles M. Cork, III, David A. Webster, Kelly A Weathers, and formerly with the late attorney George W.K. Snyder, Jr., Judge McFadden continues to update it for West, which now publishes it in annual editions.
With attorney Laurie Webb Daniel, he is a founding past Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia. For twelve years, Judge McFadden served as an officer or director of the Atlanta Bar Association. He is a past chair of its Sole Practitioner/Small Firm and Judicial Sections and is a recipient of the its Distinguished Service and Charles E. Watkins, Jr. Awards.
Judge McFadden has served as a volunteer attorney for the Innocence Project and the Election Protection Project. In addition to the Atlanta Bar Association, he is a member of the DeKalb Bar Association, Fayette County Bar Association, Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Old Warhorse Lawyers Club, Federalist Society, American Constitution Society, Saint Thomas More Society and of Oglethorpe University's Stormy Petrel Bar Association. He served for more than six years on the State Bar of Georgia's Committee on the Judiciary. He is a member of the appellate practice committees of the Litigation and Tort and Insurance Practice Sections of the American Bar Association. He presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association and chaired its 2018 Appellate Judges Education Institute, which was held in Atlanta. As a representative of the Court of Appeals, he chairs the Court Reporting Matters Committee of the Judicial Council of Georgia.
He is a parishioner at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur, Georgia and has served as a lector since 1988. Judge McFadden is married to Dr. Linda Hyde, Professor of Biology at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia. They have a son.