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2017 Bench and Bar Cocktail Reception Recap

Enjoy these images from the 2017 Bench and Bar Reception held in March at the Druid Hills Golf Club. Thank you to our sponsors, and congratulations to this year’s Legal Pioneer Award winners, Judges Jack McLaughlin and Mathew Robins.

More about the award recipients:

Judge Jack McLaughlin

Judge McLaughlin, an Atlanta native, graduated from Georgia Military Academy in College Park in 1952 and attended Emory University and Georgia State between 1952 and 1956. After graduating from Georgia State with his BBA degree in 1956, McLaughlin enlisted in the U.S. Navy. From 1957-1960 he was on active duty with Commander Fleet Air Wing 6 at Iwakuni, Japan. Upon being released from active duty, he returned to Atlanta and remained in the reserve at the naval air station. After more than 30 years of service, McLaughlin transferred to the U.S. Navy Retired Reserve with the rank of Captain. 

In 1963 McLaughlin returned to Emory University and graduated from the law school with a JD degree in 1965. He then worked as an associate with the Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy firm and as sole practitioner, before forming the partnership McLaughlin and Coursey with Daniel M. Coursey, Jr., now a DeKalb superior court judge. In 1985, he was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris to fill the newly created fourth judgeship in the DeKalb State Court and served until his retirement in 2002. He has since served as a senior judge in various courts.

McLaughlin is the father of two daughters and two sons, and has three grandsons.

Judge Mathew Robins

Judge Robins was born and raised in Florida. He moved to Georgia in 1958, and obtained an undergraduate degree and law degree from Emory University in 1964. While still in law school, Robins passed the bar, became an associate with Sheats, Parker and Webb law firm in Atlanta and took the position of assistant Fulton County attorney. In 1966 he was employed by the criminal division of the Georgia Department of Law, which led to Robins becoming an assistant attorney general. In this position, he represented the state in more than 20 counties, and argued cases in all three U.S. District Courts, the U.S 5th (now 11th) Circuit Court of Appeals, the Georgia Court of Appeals and both the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Courts.

Robins came to Decatur in 1971 to begin a law practice with John Hunter and they continued as Hunter and Robins until Hunter’s passing. He then relocated to Century Center to create the firm Appel, Strickland, and Robins. While in private practice in Decatur, Robins sat on the DeKalb Board of Zoning and Appeals and the DeKalb Planning Commission. In 1987, he was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris to the newly created division 5 of the DeKalb State Court. He retired in 2005 and took senior status. Since retirement, he has chaired and sat on various committees of the Council of State Court Judges.

Mathew Robins has been married for 57 years and has three children, one of whom is also a lawyer, and four grandchildren.

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