Kimberly A. Dymecki- PRESIDENT, GACDL
Thirty years ago, when I was admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia, I had no desire to represent individuals charged with crimes. My best friend became a public defender and that allowed me to really see the justice system and the integral role that the defense attorney holds. A few years later, I was lured to the Fulton County Courthouse and the call of defending those charged with crimes.
In those years Fulton County had a public defender program, but it appointed lawyers for all conflicts as well as other cases due to the sheer volume of cases. The appointed lawyers became a close group with the older ones helping to mentor the younger, teaching us how to practice law and how to protect the rights of the clients entrusted to us. I soon came to realize that I loved criminal defense. Why? Because it is all about the Constitution and protecting the rights of All of Us through the representation of One.
Throughout the years I have been asked many times how I can represent those “people” and how can you sleep at night knowing that you have gotten someone off that is guilty? Easy I say—it is called the Constitution of the United States of America and it is what our country was founded on. The American system of justice is grounded in British Common Law which errs on the side of protecting innocence. William Blackstone wrote “[B]etter that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.” These same people who asked the question, were the first ones to call me when their children, spouse, or someone they loved was charged with a crime.
I do not even remember how I became a member of GACDL, it seems that it just was. I began attending seminars for the education that they provided. I soon realized that was only a small part of this organization. The friendship, support, knowledge, and overall camaraderie of the members is truly what kept me coming back. GACDL members are the best, always ready to answer a question and provide assistance in any way they can. Throughout the years I have experienced that support up close and personal.
Several years back I was asked to step into a vacancy created on the Board when one of our members became a Judge. The person that asked shall remain unnamed, but I had such respect for them and was so honored in their trust of me that I could not say no. GACDL is driven by its members volunteering their time and talents, so get involved! Speak at a seminar- chair a committee-mentor a young lawyer-become a VP- be a lawyer of the week – Just Do It.
During this next year I want ensure that the work that GACDL has accomplished at the legislature continues. Our voice is being heard, and that can only help our clients and our mission, which is “To promote fairness and justice through member education, services and support, public outreach, and a commitment to quality representation for all.”
2020 was a tough year and 2021 is shaping up to continue creating obstacles and hurdles to the practice of law. Rest assured that GACDL is here to support each of you and I hope that you will support GACDL with your generosity of time, talent, and money. I am truly honored and humbled to be your President this year and will do my best to honor those that have proceeded me. I look to all of you to help me succeed this year.
Kimberly Dymecki – President, GACDL