Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 13, NO. 1, Pg. 52.
Edenfield Plans for New Bar Year
GSB JournalVol. 13, NO. 1August 2007Edenfield Plans for New Bar YearGerald M. EdenfieldThe following is excerpted from Gerald M. Edenfield's presidential speech at the 2007 Annual Meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
I want to thank all of you for being here tonight and sharing this momentous occasion with me. This will not be a lengthy speech, I promise. But I do want to take the opportunity to thank you once again for this tremendous honor and responsibility-and, before we leave this beautiful setting, to tell you a little about myself and leave you with a few thoughts about our mission for the upcoming year.
As many of you know, I grew up in rural Bulloch County in South Georgia, a child at the beginning of the baby boom. I was reared on a tobacco farm, and so was my wife, who rode to school on a school bus driven by her father, while we were both in elementary school. My parents did not graduate from high school-they were a product of the depression-but education was a major part of my upbringing.
I was told by my parents, as many of you were told by yours, that I could be anything and do anything that I put my mind to as long as I worked hard, persevered, was competent and demonstrated character and manners.
Thanks to this encouragement given not only to me, but to my brother and sister as well, two of the three of us went on to attend college and law school.
In fact, since 1970, I have had the honor and privilege of practicing law in the great state of Georgia. Being a lawyer and practicing law in the county where I was reared is a dream come true for me.
Indeed, this fulfillment must have manifested itself in my children. Two of the three are lawyers, and the other has yet to select what path to pursue. I would not choose any other life's pursuit for myself, and I hope all of you feel the same.
Much has changed in the practice of law through the years since I began practicing. Many of the changes have been good, including modernization brought on by computers and the Internet. Another positive change is the number of women in the profession. Both of my daughters are practicing attorneys.
There have also been some unfortunate changes. Perhaps the worst is a trend that has gotten some press lately and is something that we talk a lot...