May 19, 2017
By Patrick T. O'Connor
The Times, Gainesville
To the Editor:
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I wish to extend congratulations to retired Gainesville Police Department and Gainesville-Hall County Gang Task Force officer Joe Amerling on receiving the 2017 Liberty Bell Award, presented by the Gainesville-Northeastern Judicial Circuit Bar Association during its recent Law Day observance. The award recognizes a citizen who serves others and encourages greater respect for the law and the courts.
We also salute John H. Smith of Smith Gilliam Williams & Miles P.A. in Gainesville, recipient of the A.R. Kenyon Award, the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar’s award presented to a member of the legal profession each Law Day. Mr. Smith has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia for more than 55 years.
The national theme for this year’s celebration of Law Day is “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy,” which commemorates the amendment’s citizenship, due process and equal protection clauses in our Constitution, thus advancing the rights of all Americans.
Our colleagues in Gainesville and the Northeastern Circuit are to be commended for their leadership and participation in this successful observance of Law Day, which helps raise public awareness of the importance and value of our justice system.
Patrick T. O’Connor
President, State Bar of Georgia