GSB Vol. 14, NO. 1, Pg. 38. End of Year Report.

Author:Gerald M. Edenfield

Georgia Bar Journal

Volume 14.

GSB Vol. 14, NO. 1, Pg. 38.

End of Year Report

GSB JournalVol. 14, NO. 1August 2008End of Year ReportGerald M. EdenfieldThe bylaws of the State Bar of Georgia specify the duties of the president. One of the responsibilities is to "deliver a report at the Annual Meeting of the members of the activities of the State Bar during his or her term of office and furnish a copy of the report to the Supreme Court of Georgia." Following is the report from 2007-08President Gerald M. Edenfield on his year, delivered June 6, at the State Bar's Annual Meeting.

Thanks primarily to the dedicated efforts of our tremendous Board of Governors, Cliff Brashier and every member of our outstanding staff and the 40,000 Georgia lawyers and judges who believe in our profession and our justice system, the State Bar of Georgia has just concluded a year of accomplishment.

As the 45th president of this great organization, I was fortunate to have had a front-row seat from which to witness the expertise and commitment to excellence that exists among our membership across this state. I am more proud than ever to serve along with you.

For the purpose of reviewing the 2007-08 Bar program, I would like to summarize the past year under three main headings: Building relationships Raising awareness Serving the public

Building Relationships

For too long, the legal profession and justice system have been under attack from many directions . . . the business community complaining about "junk lawsuits" . . . politicians in the executive and legislative branches who feel threatened by "activist judges" . . . and, of course, the joke tellers for whom lawyers are such an easy target . . . just to name a few.

Well, we might not ever win over the comedians, but going it alone against these attacks has not worked in the court of public opinion. This year, we made a major effort to establish new working relationships and strengthen existing ones-not only to neutralize the opposition but to enlist the support of these groups to enhance the Bar's position on issues of policy and judicial independence.

For example, during the legislative session, the State Bar hosted a luncheon for Superior Court and State Court Judges and members of the Georgia General Assembly. This luncheon followed Chief Justice Leah Sears' State of the Judiciary Address to a joint session of the Legislature. Nearly 300 judges and legislators were in attendance, certainly the most successful event of its kind ever hosted by the State Bar. Although many groups lobby their legislators on behalf of their policy agenda, this was a unique opportunity for Georgia judges.

The value of a gathering where members of separate branches of state government can communicate on a personal level is so great that we plan to make this an annual event. The House members and Senators were very pleased to see "their" local judges at...

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