“To promote fairness and justice through membership education, services and support, public outreach, and a commitment to quality representation for all.”
- GACDL Mission Statement
This year GACDL celebrates its 40th Anniversary! The group was created in 1974 by Bill Daniel and Rees Smith after the GTLA turned down their proposal to create a criminal law section within the GTLA. Bill Daniel was the first President of the GACDL, and Rees Smith was the first Secretary/Treasurer. Al Horn was the first Vice President.
Bill and Rees ran the Association out of their offices. Eventually it became too large to manage and practice law, so Colonel Jack Schacter was hired as the first Executive Director. "The Colonel" served the association for 13.5 years and was followed by Joan Martin who also served GACDL for 13.5 years. Joan retired and was followed by current executive director Jennifer Koehler Mackall.
GACDL's Trial Advocacy Program is named after founder Bill Daniel. GACDL has the Rees Smith Award given only very occasionally for lifetime achievement in criminal defense, and commitment to GACDL. The Al Horn Scholarship sends GACDL members to train at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon GA.
GACDL kicked off its 40th year with a cocktail party at the State BarHeadquarters in
on January 24th.
Highland Bakery made a giant cake in the shape of a 40 for the celebration. Past-President Marcia Shein and President Sam Dennis cut the cake after all of the party attendees sang "Happy Birthday to GACDL." GACDL has grown from six attorneys to over 1,800 in the past 40 years. Congratulations and thank you for your support.
Largest Member Only Supported Statewide Criminal Defense Association in the United States
Since 1974, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) has been the most important organization for lawyers involved in the defense of the accused in the State of Georgia. In fact, GACDL is the largest member supported statewide criminal defense association in the United States.
Over 1800 Members Safeguarding the Constitution
GACDL is comprised of criminal defense lawyers, law school students, and full time criminal defense investigators who stand together in the commitment to safeguard the constitutional guarantees of fairness in the criminal justice process.
GACDL makes its voice for fair and effective criminal justice heard in the courts, the legislature, and the community.