Bobby Lee Cook Symposium

John Marshall proudly presents its Sixth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium on Friday, March 28th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This event, which was established to honor Mr. Cook, Georgia’s renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, will feature prominent members of the legal community. A long-time friend of the Law School, Mr. Cook will lead the panel. Adam Malone, Alumni Association President and experienced personal injury litigator, will moderate. This year’s program will feature members of the judiciary who will share their experiences with future lawyers by providing unique perspectives from the bench. The panelists include: Judge James G. Bodiford; Judge Duncan D. Wheale; and Judge Kristina Cook Connelly. Bobby Lee Cook, principal of Cook & Connelly in Summerville, GA, has earned fame for his career as a criminal defense attorney and representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. He is believed by many to have inspired the character of “Matlock” in the television series. Mr. Cook’s influence extends beyond Georgia, as he has also represented national and international figures. Early in his career, Mr. Cook served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate before becoming a State Court Judge. Mr. Cook’s achievements were recognized by the Georgia Bar in 1994, when it named him Trial Lawyer of the Year. Judge James G. Bodiford has served as a Superior Court Judge for Cobb County since 1994, prior to which he served as Cobb County’s Chief Magistrate Judge (1985 – 1994). He is well known for conducting Georgia’s first drug court and eliminating a backlog by completing over 500 felony cases. He was the trial judge for the two month death penalty trial of ex-lawyer Fred Tokars and the month long murder trial of Lynn Turner, the anti-freeze murderer. Judge Bodiford also presided over and successfully completed the internationally covered Tri-State Crematory case. Most recently, he has been appointed to preside over the notorious Brian Nichols case in Fulton County. Judge Duncan D. Wheale has served as a Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit since 1999. In that time, he has become known for his strict yet compassionate approach in presiding over domestic cases involving divorce, child custody and child abuse. In 2001, in response to four cases involving allegations of serious child abuse, Judge Wheale held a public hearing for the local Department of Family and Children Services, and then assembled a volunteer task force to evaluate how to ensure protection of such children. After ten years of service, Judge Wheale plans to retire from the bench in January of next year. Judge Kristina Cook Connelly has served as Walker County Superior Court Judge since her appointment by Governor Zell Miller in 1992. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Connelly practiced law with her father, Bobby Lee Cook, and husband, Branch Connelly. This event is free and open to the public. We encourage law students, members of the bar, and interested parties to join us for this unique opportunity to benefit from the experience of three members of the judiciary and the “dean” of Georgia’s criminal defense attorneys.

Bobby Lee Cook Symposium

John Marshall proudly presents its Sixth Annual Bobby Lee Cook Practical Legal Symposium on Friday, March 28th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This event, which was established to honor Mr. Cook, Georgia’s renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, will feature prominent members of the legal community. A long-time friend of the Law School, Mr. Cook will lead the panel. Adam Malone, Alumni Association President and experienced personal injury litigator, will moderate. This year’s program will feature members of the judiciary who will share their experiences with future lawyers by providing unique perspectives from the bench. The panelists include: Judge James G. Bodiford; Judge Duncan D. Wheale; and Judge Kristina Cook Connelly.

Bobby Lee Cook, principal of Cook & Connelly in Summerville, GA, has earned fame for his career as a criminal defense attorney and representation in some of the most controversial criminal trials in the state. He is believed by many to have inspired the character of “Matlock” in the television series. Mr. Cook’s influence extends beyond Georgia, as he has also represented national and international figures. Early in his career, Mr. Cook served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate before becoming a State Court Judge. Mr. Cook’s achievements were recognized by the Georgia Bar in 1994, when it named him Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Judge James G. Bodiford has served as a Superior Court Judge for Cobb County since 1994, prior to which he served as Cobb County’s Chief Magistrate Judge (1985 – 1994). He is well known for conducting Georgia’s first drug court and eliminating a backlog by completing over 500 felony cases. He was the trial judge for the two month death penalty trial of ex-lawyer Fred Tokars and the month long murder trial of Lynn Turner, the anti-freeze murderer. Judge Bodiford also presided over and successfully completed the internationally covered Tri-State Crematory case. Most recently, he has been appointed to preside over the notorious Brian Nichols case in Fulton County.

Judge Duncan D. Wheale has served as a Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit since 1999. In that time, he has become known for his strict yet compassionate approach in presiding over domestic cases involving divorce, child custody and child abuse. In 2001, in response to four cases involving allegations of serious child abuse, Judge Wheale held a public hearing for the local Department of Family and Children Services, and then assembled a volunteer task force to evaluate how to ensure protection of such children. After ten years of service, Judge Wheale plans to retire from the bench in January of next year.

Judge Kristina Cook Connelly has served as Walker County Superior Court Judge since her appointment by Governor Zell Miller in 1992. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Connelly practiced law with her father, Bobby Lee Cook, and husband, Branch Connelly.

This event is free and open to the public. We encourage law students, members of the bar, and interested parties to join us for this unique opportunity to benefit from the experience of three members of the judiciary and the “dean” of Georgia’s criminal defense attorneys.

John Marshall Day

The Georgia House of Representatives proclaimed John Marshall Day on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. This proclamation was sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (2008) and Billy Maddox (2006), and was attended by Dean Richardson Lynn, Associate Dean Kathleen Burch, and John Marshall students and faculty. The event recognized the growth and achievements of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, including a record increase in faculty, growth of student body, and success in achieving provisional ABA approval. The Law School will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in this Fall.

Youth and the Law Summit

On Saturday, March 1st, a group of students from Atlanta’s Coan Middle School joined John Marshall faculty and students for their inaugural Youth and the Law Summit. The Summit, sponsored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in partnership with the Gate City Bar Association, is designed to give minority students the opportunity to think critically about ethical and practical implications of the law. This year’s Summit, organized by Profs. Renata Turner and Kamina Pinder, and Darrick McDuffie of King and Spalding, focused on topics that have a direct and present impact on students’ lives. For instance, breakout sessions conducted by JMLS students Corey Martin, Mark Calhoun, Tiffany Simmons, Quisha Riche and Nicole Page, analyzed recent saggy pants and anti-gang legislation. Shareef Cousins, an innocent man sentenced to death at the age of 16, engaged the students in an interactive lecture in the afternoon. After the lecture, graduates from Gate City’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp conducted a mock trial based on the facts that led to Mr. Cousin’s wrongful conviction. Students gave brilliant opening and closing arguments, demonstrating their potential to become tomorrow’s great legal minds. The students’ enthusiasm for the Summit continued after they returned to Coan. Their teacher, Mr. Charles Hawk, reports that students who previously wanted to become athletes or singers are now talking about becoming lawyers. They completed a bulletin board to commemorate their experience and expressed their desire to participate in the program next year. Two students will get that opportunity as they will be selected to participate in the upcoming 2008 Justice Benham Law Camp. John Marshall looks forward to continuing and expanding the Summit next year to reach even more future lawyers.

John Marshall Day

The Georgia House of Representatives proclaimed John Marshall Day on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. This proclamation was sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (2008) and Billy Maddox (2006), and was attended by Dean Richardson Lynn, Associate Dean Kathleen Burch, and John Marshall students and faculty. The event recognized the growth and achievements of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, including a record increase in faculty, growth of student body, and success in achieving provisional ABA approval. The Law School will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in this Fall.

Youth and the Law Summit

On Saturday, March 1st, a group of students from Atlanta’s Coan Middle School joined John Marshall faculty and students for their inaugural Youth and the Law Summit. The Summit, sponsored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in partnership with the Gate City Bar Association, is designed to give minority students the opportunity to think critically about ethical and practical implications of the law. This year’s Summit, organized by Profs. Renata Turner and Kamina Pinder, and Darrick McDuffie of King and Spalding, focused on topics that have a direct and present impact on students’ lives. For instance, breakout sessions conducted by JMLS students Corey Martin, Mark Calhoun, Tiffany Simmons, Quisha Riche and Nicole Page, analyzed recent saggy pants and anti-gang legislation.

Shareef Cousins, an innocent man sentenced to death at the age of 16, engaged the students in an interactive lecture in the afternoon. After the lecture, graduates from Gate City’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp conducted a mock trial based on the facts that led to Mr. Cousin’s wrongful conviction. Students gave brilliant opening and closing arguments, demonstrating their potential to become tomorrow’s great legal minds.

The students’ enthusiasm for the Summit continued after they returned to Coan. Their teacher, Mr. Charles Hawk, reports that students who previously wanted to become athletes or singers are now talking about becoming lawyers. They completed a bulletin board to commemorate their experience and expressed their desire to participate in the program next year. Two students will get that opportunity as they will be selected to participate in the upcoming 2008 Justice Benham Law Camp. John Marshall looks forward to continuing and expanding the Summit next year to reach even more future lawyers.