Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 15, NO. 1, Pg. 30.
End of the Year Report
GSB JournalVol. 15, NO. 1August 2009End of the Year Reportby Jeffrey O. BramlettGBJ Feature
The 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 2008-09 President Jeffrey O. Bramlett on his year, delivered June 19 at the State Bar's Annual Meeting.
Let me start by saying I am grateful to each one of you for the opportunity I have had this past year. It has certainly been the highlight of my working life. I am grateful to all the lawyers around the state who have extended to me encouragement and hospitality, who have counseled me when I was heading down the wrong path. It has been an extraordinary learning experience for me.
I have learned a great deal about the state of Georgia. As my friend and predecessor, Gerald Edenfield, pointed out to me, "Jeff, you know Georgia is a really big state." Sometimes those of us in metropolitan Atlanta lose sight of that fact. It has been a great reality check this past year to have traveled all over the state and really appreciate what a wonderful place this is. The experience has taught me much about the great lawyers, the good people, the fascinating communities and the natural beauty of this great state. I shall never take any of them for granted again.
I'm also grateful for the opportunity to have worked with what I believe to be, based on my interactions with my colleagues in other states around the country, the very best Bar staff on the planet. When we succeed, it is almost always because they have thoughtfully prepared your officers and your Board. When we make mistakes, it's because we have not listened closely enough to them.
I also want to point to the one essential ingredient that-year in and year out - sustains the strength and success of our Bar. It's not the president, it's not the Bar leadership, and it's probably not even the Board of Governors. It is all those lawyers who devote all that volunteer effort across the state in local bars, Bar committees and Bar sections. When you take a 20,000-foot view of it and you think about what lawyers do every day for the bar in their communities to keep the rule of law in place and strong, in the face of all the challenges that our legislators, judicial officers and Attorney General Baker have talked about this morning, it is an incredible resource to our society. I'm very proud to have stood in the midst of our profession's ongoing magnificent contribution to the well-being of Georgia.
I'd also like to express gratitude to Nancy and our family for putting up with my enduring and persistent absenteeism over the past year. Because when I came into office last year, one of my law partners coined the phrase "the soon to be scandal-tainted Bramlett administration" I want to defuse some rumors about our recent family vacation. It is true that I was out of the country for about three weeks. It is also true that I was traveling with my family in Italy, Greece and Turkey. It's not true this was on the Bar's tab. But as I reflect on the State Bar's aggressive geographical outreach to lawyers around the state - we've opened an office in Tifton, and now the Coastal office in Savannah is open-it occurred to me on this recreational trip that it may be time to expand...