The News Leader spoke with retired Judge A. Lee McGratty, who defends the methods he used to move cases along when he was on the bench.
McGratty, who presided in both the Staunton and Augusta County general district courts, said his blunt demeanor in the courtroom was necessary. Due to an overwhelming caseload – sometimes 700 cases in a single day – he had to push things along or the courts would get bogged down. Ultimately, it was the caseload, along with health issues, that prompted the judge to step down after nearly 13 years on the bench.
Now, nearly five months off the job, McGratty spends his days organizing a furniture workshop in the basement of his Waynesboro home.