May 31, 2017
By Patrick T. O'Connor
Savannah Morning News
To the Editor:
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I wish to extend condolences to the family, colleagues and many friends of longtime Savannah attorney and community leader Paul W. Painter Jr. on his recent and untimely passing.
During his distinguished career of more than four decades in the legal profession, Mr. Painter was a partner with Ellis Painter Ratterree & Adams LLP and was an exceptional civil trial lawyer in business litigation and matters involving finance, professional liability, product liability and class actions. In 1992, he became a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers and served as its Georgia state chairman from 2002 through 2004.
A leader among his peers at the local, state and national levels, Mr. Painter served his profession as president of the Savannah Bar Association and the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association; chair of the State Bar's General Practice & Trial Law Section and Insurance Law Section; a member of the State Disciplinary Board Review Panel, and Georgia Board of Bar Examiners; and a Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation, among other capacities.
He earned numerous professional awards, including the Tradition of Excellence Award and Chief Justice Thomas O. Marshall Professionalism Award, both presented by the State Bar of Georgia; the Distinguished Service Scroll Award, presented by the University of Georgia School of Law; and the Savannah Bar Association Professionalism Award. The Southeast Georgia Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates established the Paul W. Painter Jr. Award for Civility and Professionalism in his honor in 2013.
Mr. Painter also served his community as a founding board member of Georgia Appleseed Inc., as president of the Savannah Arthritis Foundation and as a board member of the Georgia Arthritis Foundation and the Royce Learning Center. He also served his country as an officer in the Navy on the USS Independence from 1968 through 1971.
All members of the State Bar of Georgia can be inspired by the lifetime of service of Paul Painter Jr. We appreciate his many contributions toward strengthening the foundations of our justice system, which protects the rights and liberties of all Americans.
Patrick T. O'Connor
President, State Bar of Georgia