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GACDL: The Most Important Legal Resource

for Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers

We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Seminar in November AND at the NEW Technology in Criminal Law Seminar in December! 

It's time to send in your nominations for the G. Terry Jackson Friend of the Constitution AWARD to the GACDL office before Monday November 28 at 5 PM. Be sure to include the name of your nominee and your reasons for the nomination. Winner to be chosen in December. Thank you! 

The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL)

Opposes Amendment 3 on the 2016 Georgia Ballot 

Proposed Amendment 3 is a threat to the freedoms and constitutional rights of all Georgians.  It would grant the legislature the authority to oversee Judges, thereby destroying the constitutionally enshrined separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary. 

The confusing and misleading language of the ballot question regarding Amendment 3 hides its true purpose, which is to destroy and dismantle the current Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC).  Judges have great and largely unchecked power and authority.  The JQC serves as the only true check to that power.  Amendment 3 would transform the JQC from an effective independent agency that protects Georgians from abusive and improper conduct by Judges into a partisan tool of the legislature filled with political appointments.  Under the new JQC a majority of the seven members would be political appointees.  Further, companion legislation would close all future commission proceedings to the public, making it easier for the legislature to use the JCQ for political purposes.   

The origin of this proposed amendment alone should give all Georgia voters great pause. One of the co-sponsors of this amendment is state representative Johnnie Caldwell of Griffin, a former judge who was forced to resign by the JQC in 2010 due to allegations that he sexually harassed a female attorney.  

The great majority of Georgia Judges treat their position, and those who appear before them, with respect and honor.  However, the people of Georgia need to be protected from the Judges who do not.  For decades the current JQC has ensured the integrity of the judicial system and protected Georgians by reprimanding, disciplining, and removing Judges who:

·         Violated their oath of impartiality by racially discriminating against those who appeared before them;

·         Used their position for personal gain or to retaliate against others against whom they had personal grudges;

·         Did not follow the law thereby violating the rights of those who appeared before them;

·         Betrayed the dignity of their position and the humanity of those who appeared before them by engaging in sexism, sexual discrimination, and sexual harassment;

·         Engaged in favoritism for friends and family;

·         Abused drugs and alcohol;

·         Embezzled and misused Government funds;

·         Engaged in various acts of criminal conduct.

The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission must retain its independence in order to ensure the integrity of the judicial system, hold judges accountable for their misdeeds, and keep abusive judges off the bench.

Vote "NO" on Amendment 3 on November 8th.

GEORGIA TO GEORGIA TRIAL ADVOCACY PROJECT- GACDL President Bob Rubin, President-elect Angie Coggins, Co-Founder Dick Rubin, Past-Presidents Doug Peters and Frank Hogue, Secretary Laura Hogue, and Treasurer Jason Sheffield just spent a week in Tblisi, Georgia for the new "Georgia to Georgia" lawyers project. Our attorneys will be training their attorneys in Trial Advocacy Skills in this new, ongoing project. More information on this coming soon. 

GACDL attorneys in Tblisi, Georgia: Angie Coggins, Doug Peters, Bob Rubin, Laura Hogue, Jason Sheffield, Dick Rubin, and Frank Hogue 

Interesting in Sponsoring a GACDL Event? 

GACDL is the largest member supported state criminal defense association in the country and holds at least 4 seminars per year with 150-300 attendees. Sponsorship is a great way to reach thousands of lawyers both at the event and digitally through our seminar app!

Space fills up quickly! Contact us today about sponsorship opportunities by clicking here!

Upcoming events

04 Nov 2016 12:55 PM (EDT) • Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, GA
02 Dec 2016 (EST) • Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
20 Jan 2017 (EST) • State Bar of Georgia Headquarters
02 Mar 2017 (EST) • State Bar of Georgia Headquarters
27 Apr 2017 (EDT) • Westin, Jekyll Island, GA
04 Oct 2017 (EDT) • UGA Center for Continuing Education
03 Nov 2017 12:55 PM (EDT) • Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, GA
19 Jan 2018 (EST) • State Bar of Georgia Headquarters

"To promote fairness and justice through membership education, services and support, public outreach, and a commitment to quality representation for all.”    

  - GACDL Mission Statement

Robert G. Rubin - GACDL President



Since high school I wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer. That was a long time and a lot of hair ago.  Early on, I knew that my interest in mobsters and madmen was odd.  Certainly, my parents didn’t understand my desire to represent the accused.  Even in law school, I was one of only two students in my class who wanted to practice criminal defense after graduation.  We were the 1 percent.  So are you.

What we do is unique.  We are misunderstood by most and reviled by many; but we know that by standing up for the rights of individuals, even those believed to be guilty, we help make the United States a model for the world.

We are fortunate that the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supports the 1 percent.  For over 40 years, GACDL has been speaking up for us in the media, in the courts, and in the legislature.  We have been especially fortunate to have Sam Dennis serving as our president for an unprecedented two years.  Under his leadership, GACDL has developed its first long range plan, establishing specific goals for making GACDL more valuable to its members.

As incoming president of GACDL, I look forward to implementing some of the measures the Long-Term Planning Committee thought were important.  In 2016, GACDL will provide more mental health support and education for its members.  We will expand social activities and update our motions bank to make it more relevant and useful.  We have a brand new device app for our members and seminar attendees, so that our website and seminar information is now quickly accessible to you via your Smartphone and computer. We will try to move out of Jennifer Mackall’s guest bedroom because we’ve outgrown it. And our Foundation will be more creative with fund-raising in order to continue supporting the organization that supports us.

We are not the 99 percent who want to suspend due process in favor of security.  We are the 1 percent who believe that every individual has the right to a fair trial, and who actually fight day and night to make fair trials possible.  As president of GACDL, I will do my best to support all of you in your fight.

- Robert G. Rubin, GACDL President

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.

End of an Era! 

It is with deep regret that we announce that our beloved editor of this publication Carl Greenberg has now retired from writing and editing “What’s the Decision.” Carl has been GACDL’s longest producing editor of “What’s the Decision,” with a run of 17 years! It is difficult to imagine the amount of time and effort that Carl has given to this project every single month for such a long time. He did it all as a volunteer out of the goodness of his very large heart. Carl is a true believer who succeeded in giving GACDL’s members the best, most accurate information on current opinions, in an enjoyable and readable format. GACDL can never adequately thank Carl enough for this incredible gift. If you would like to thank Carl personally, please do so at: GACDL is pleased to announce that Margaret Heinen will be following in Carl’s footsteps as the next editor of “What’s the Decision.” GACDL’s Executive VP Scott Key will continue to edit the 11th Circuit decisions, working closely with Margaret.

GACDL's new Legislative Liaison, Mazie Lynn Causey 

NEW LEGISLATIVE LIAISON- After a tremendous tenure of advocacy under the Gold Dome, Sandra Michaels will no longer be leading legislative efforts for GACDL. We are indebted to Sandra for her years of ensuring that the perspective of both the criminal defense bar and our clients has had a meaningful voice.

We are pleased to welcome Mazie Lynn Causey as our next legislative advocate. Prior to accepting this position, Mazie Lynn has focused her practice on indigent defense having worked for the Georgia Justice Project, the DeKalb County Public Defender, and the Georgia Capital Defender. Mazie Lynn will continue to build on Sandra’s efforts in her work with the Legislative Committee, the General Assembly, and the Governor’s Council on Criminal Justice Reform.

Please join me in welcoming Mazie Lynn to her new role.

Thank you,

Robert G. Rubin, President, GACDL

Purpose of GACDL

To provide an appropriate state organization representing those lawyers who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases;

  • To resist proposed legislation or rules which would curtail such rights and to promote sound alternatives;
  • To promote educational activities to improve the skills and knowledge of lawyers engaged in the defense of criminal cases;
  • To improve the judicial system and to urge the selection and appointment to the bench of well-qualified and experienced lawyers;
  • To improve the correctional system and to seek more effective rehabilitation opportunities for those convicted of crimes;
  • To promote constant improvement in the administration of criminal justice.

Click here to learn more about GACDL

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