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President’s Letter: Standing on the Soapbox for Professionalism

By Darren Summerville
President, DeKalb Bar Association
summervillefirm.com

I had planned to pen my inaugural column – an electronic soapbox of sorts, as the incoming president of the association – about a subject quite dear to me: the need for a renewed emphasis on professionalism within the legal community. Then Charlottesville happened. I suspect that everyone reading this has at least a decent idea what actually occurred, though the warring partisan circles and media filters have not particularly emphasized a fair distillation of events. I’ll see if I can improve upon that showing.

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President’s Letter: Why We Celebrate

by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
litnerlaw.com

As we approach one of our nation’s most solemn holidays, I like to take the time to reflect on the history of Memorial Day, and how we came to recognize it as a national holiday. The name itself seems fairly obvious, but how it came to be is a bit more complicated than I knew.

Memorial Day was initially called Decoration Day. Decoration Day began unofficially soon after the end of the Civil War. It is unclear when the holiday actually came to be, but a traditional day of visiting fallen soldiers’ graves began after the Civil War. Many cities claimed to have originated the holiday, including Macon and Columbus, Georgia, but in 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson officially designated Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day considering that the first official Decoration Day took place in Waterloo on May 5, 1868.

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A Look Back at the Civil War in DeKalb County

by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
litnerlaw.com

As a fifteen year resident of DeKalb County, I often pass by historical markers on my way to and from work on DeKalb Avenue and Memorial Drive. I’ve rarely taken the time to stop and read them but, on a recent walk with my dog, I slowed down and took stock of a number of these markers. I’ve always been interested in the Civil War in Georgia, but I never realized how devastating the war was to the communities of DeKalb County, or that the Battle of Atlanta began in DeKalb County, just down the street from my home.

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Legal Pioneer Austin Thomas and Atlanta

by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
litnerlaw.com

As we all reflect on Black History Month this February, it is hard not to consider the contributions of African Americans from Georgia, and more specifically, the metro Atlanta region. We all know about the more prominent leaders of the civil rights movement, but many, including myself, know very little about African American attorneys who paved the way for others to thrive in the practice of law in Georgia. One such person that I recently discovered is a gentleman by the name of Austin Thomas (A.T.) Thomas. 

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Please Don’t Do This to Me Again Atlanta Falcons

by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
litnerlaw.com

It was a tough, contentious year, in 2016, for all us in Georgia and the rest of this great country. How about we start the year with some levity for a change? Let’s talk about the Atlanta Falcons! We are in the playoffs! For a true Falcons fan, this is a time of year which brings renewed hope, and, all too often, is immediately followed by fits of disappointment, resentment, debilitating sadness, confusion, and utter rage. Oh boy, my emotions are off the charts, and I don’t know how to prepare for the rollercoaster that we have all already hopped onto. Whether you like it or not, we are going to the playoffs.

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Attorneys and Public Service in Georgia

by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
litnerlaw.com

Now that the recent election is behind us, we have all had some time to reflect on the results. To be more accurate, unless you live under a rock, you probably haven’t been able to avoid reflecting on the election, as it has dominated national and local headlines. We’ve all seen those headlines. We know the issues. However, there is one local trend that has not gotten a lot of attention. If you take a close look at the makeup of, for example, the Georgia House of Representatives, you will see that attorney representation has been trending downward dramatically for years.

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