Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 14, NO. 7, Pg. 26.
State Bar Active in 2009 General Assembly
GSB JournalVol. 14, NO. 7June 2009State Bar Active in 2009 General AssemblyBy Mark MiddletonThe State Bar was extremely active in the 2009 General Assembly. Each year, the State Bar brings a legislative agenda that is initiated by its various sections. This year, in addition to the typical improvements to the law initiated by the Fiduciary Law, Business Law and other sections, the State Bar took positions on several matters that arose outside the ACL process.
Prior to the session, the State Bar's Advisory Committee on Legislation (ACL) met to review the work of the sections and committees that had formulated legislation for consideration. The ACL recommended, and the Board of Governors approved, initiatives to modernize the evidence code, revise the limited liability code, rewrite the trust code and support appropriations for domestic violence representation and the Resource Center.
The State Bar also reviewed and adopted positions on several matters that were raised by the Legislature. Many of the issues were raised in the context of the appropriations process, which was one of the toughest in years. For example, the State Bar took a position in favor of HB 283 that removed the state's responsibility for collecting and appropriating the fee charged to take the bar exam. This allows the court to set the fee and administer the test without the need for a state appropriation.
Attorneys and other supporters in the legislature supported the State Bar's initiatives. In the Senate, Sen. Preston Smith (R-Rome) again served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and provided leadership and support on a number of State Bar positions, including HB 283, the bar exam fee issue. Smith also served as the Senate Appropriations subcommittee chair, and worked diligently on the judicial budget.
Sen. John Wiles (R-Marietta) served as the chairman of the Senate Special Judiciary Committee. Sen. Bill Cowsert, (R-Athens), now a Floor Leader for Gov. Sonny Perdue, carried the business law section bill in the Senate. Sen. Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton) sponsored the successful passage of the fiduciary law section's trust code revision through the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Dun-woody) and Rep. Rich Golick...