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State Bar of Georgia Honors Attorney William John Camp for Work with Military Legal Assistance Program

January 16, 2014
Contact: Sarah I. Coole or sarahc@gabar.org

Atlanta – Georgia native William John Camp was honored with the Marshall-Tuttle Award, presented by the State Bar of Georgia during its Midyear Meeting on Jan. 11. Camp, who practices law in Macon and Warner Robins, was cited for providing legal expertise in working with military service members and veterans and for his unwavering support of the Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program.

Camp is a partner in the firm of Westmoreland Patterson Moseley & Hinson and has 38 years’ experience as an attorney, including 22 years of service in the Air Force as a staff judge advocate. Over the years he has handled many cases involving federal benefits, child support, complex custody and visitation and related family law matters. He is admitted to practice in Georgia and in Florida and the bars of the Supreme Courts of Georgia and Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Appeals of Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Camp graduated magna cum laude from Auburn University in 1971 and was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate into the Regular Air Force. In 1974, he graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and was then designated as an Air Force Judge Advocate. His diversity in practice while in the Air Force included serving as a Special Assistant U.S. attorney; trial and defense counsel in more than 700 courts-martial; chief military counsel, National Security Agency; and, as deputy staff judge advocate to U.S. Central Command, where he was the principal legal architect in drafting many special operational orders, including the Rules of Engagement and legal annexes for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Of significance was his General Order No. 1, which allowed for more than a half million U.S. military personnel to enter the Middle East Area of Combat Operations. More than two decades later, that Order remains in place in the United States Central Command Area of Combat Operations. In a report to Congress on “Lessons Learned from the 1990-1991 Conflict,” military and international legal experts credited General Order No. 1 as instrumental to integrating the armed forces of the United States with allies from Muslim countries.

Camp also was recognized for his humanitarian efforts for displaced civilians and prisoners of war. In 1991, the International Committee of the Red Cross recognized Camp for his service as the legal adviser to the United States and Coalition Forces Delegation to Geneva for negotiations with Iraq leading to the repatriation of more than 90,000 enemy prisoners of war and displaced civilians.

Since 1996, Camp has devoted himself to the developing area of military family law. He is a recognized national expert in the area of military health care, pension division, survivor benefits and custody disputes involving military families. He is often called upon as an expert witness in family law cases that concern military benefits and children’s issues. His 2010 American Bar Association Family Law Quarterly Article on “Health Care Options for Former Military Spouses” is a principal reference for family law attorneys around the nation.

The Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia recognized Camp for his extraordinary legal services in three notable pieces of Georgia legislation, including Military Compensation issues in the Child Support Guidelines (OGCA sect 19-6-15); the Military Parents Rights Act (SB 112); and the currently pending Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (HB 685). On these and related matters, he is a respected speaker, author and advocate on such issues as health care options for former military spouses, access to TRICARE and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program, to cite only a few.

Camp and his wife, Dr. Teresa Luhrs, live in Macon. Camp’s son, Corbin, is a senior computer systems analyst in Birmingham, Ala., and his daughter, Lauren, is a full-time mother and homemaker in Mobile, Ala.

Presenting the Marshall-Tuttle Award, Norman Zoller, director of the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, said, “John Camp is one of the exemplary lawyers handling military family law and related cases in our state, if not in the nation. He brings unique skills, steadiness, and confidence to his clients and is a credit to our State Bar’s legal assistance program.” Camp inspires other attorneys with his “Follow Me!” leadership in assisting the Georgia military community.

The Marshall-Tuttle Award was named in honor and memory of Army Cpl. Evan Andrew Marshall, a soldier from Athens, Ga., who was killed in action in Iraq in 2008, and in honor and memory of U.S. Circuit Judge Elbert Parr Tuttle. Tuttle was in the Army for 30 years, was a founding partner of the Atlanta law firm of Sutherland Asbill and served as a federal judge for 43 years. He also provided pro bono legal services to many people, including John Johnson, a young Marine. In 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Johnson v. Zerbst that counsel must be provided for all defendants in federal criminal trials who cannot afford to hire their own attorneys. The State Bar determined that these two men, Evan Marshall and Elbert Tuttle, each contributed mightily to the state of Georgia and the nation and to the ideal of service and sacrifice for the public good.

Since the Military Legal Assistance Program began, help has been provided to more than 1,100 military service members and veterans throughout Georgia. Through its Continuing Legal Education programs, the Bar has also provided training for more than 600 lawyers seeking accreditation to practice before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently in Georgia, more than 115,000 men and women are on active duty or serve in the National Guard or Reserves, and more than 774,500 veterans have chosen to live in Georgia.

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