Judge Gregory Sapp

Judge Gregory Sapp

South turned the tables on Judge Gregory Sapp. His interrogation revealed  his hobbies, his secrets and the quickest way to get thrown into jail. 

You might know Judge Gregory Sapp as that history and poli sci guru from his undergrad days at UGA. Or maybe he represented you in that nasty dispute between you and your former business partner. Perhaps Judge Sapp presided over your DUI trial. Better yet, maybe you know him as one of Savannah’s Celebrity Men Who Cook. Born and raised in the Hostess City, for 25 years Judge Sapp practiced law in Savannah before donning the robe and stepping up to the bench in 2011. From both sides, he knows the law; the good, bad, nitty-gritty and great, and especially what law’s like in Savannah.


I got started in law early, in junior high. I liked the idea of being a lawyer and the impact lawyers could have helping people. I studied hard in high school, and when I got to college—the first one in my family to go—I double majored in history and political science at University of Georgia.


I had always thought about being an architect or a lawyer. But I really wanted law and graduated from University of Georgia Law School in 1986.


I love the impact I have on people’s lives as a judge. It’s important in my job to be a referee and not an advocate for either side. It’s my job to ensure that everyone gets a fair shake.


I’m not a fan of judges who develop “robe-itis.” When that black robe goes on, it’s as if they’re more important than the people seeking justice in the courtroom.


My most memorable case as a lawyer was representing descendants of Solomon Shad, one of the first landowners of the Georgia colony. I used a map from the 1700s to determine that two islands in the Savannah River were one piece of land and proved that the descendants had title and could get compensation from Georgia Department of Transportation. It was a wild ride of a history lesson.


True story: I designed courtroom 1A, the newest facility in the courthouse. It has wireless tech abilities and great audio.


The quickest way to go straight to jail is to drop an f-bomb on the Judge in the courtroom. Don’t test me.


My favorite courtroom words to live by are “don’t bang the gavel if you don’t have to.”



To read more about our interview with Judge Gregory Sapp, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine.