April 1, 2021
By Dawn M. Jones
The Summerville News
To the Editor:
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I am writing to extend condolences to the family, colleagues and many friends of the legendary attorney Bobby Lee Cook of Cook & Connelly LLC in Summerville after his passing on Feb. 19 at the age of 94.
A member of the Georgia Bar since 1949, Mr. Cook was one of America’s best-known trial lawyers, with a record of success in the courtroom that attracted clients from throughout Georgia and high-profile out-of-state and international cases as well. His career of more than seven decades is believed to have inspired the television show “Matlock,” and one of his more colorful cases, which took place in Savannah, is chronicled in the book and motion picture “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
As a professional leader, Mr. Cook chaired the Georgia Criminal Justice Committee of the State Bar of Georgia, served as vice president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and was a professor of criminal law with the National College of Criminal Defense. He was recognized with lifetime achievement awards by both the National and Georgia Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, received the Georgia State University College of Law School's 2017 Ben F. Johnson Jr. Public Service Award, GreenLaw's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Small Town Lawyer Made Good Award presented by the State Bar of Washington and was inducted into the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame, among numerous other honors. He also served his northwest Georgia neighbors as a member of the General Assembly and his country as a Navy veteran of World War II.
Bobby Lee Cook will be missed and fondly remembered by generations of his fellow members of the legal community. For many years, I was privileged to work with Mr. Cook as a fellow member of the Georgia State University College of Law Board of Visitors. We all appreciate his dedication and the many contributions he made during his career through his exemplary service to the public and justice system.
Dawn M. Jones
President, State Bar of Georgia