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The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers proudly honors the life of Bobby Lee Cook—a charter member of our organization in 1974 and an icon in the legal profession. There was no one else like Bobby Lee Cook. For decades, he was an ambassador for our cause “to protect and insure by rule of law those individual rights guaranteed by the Georgia and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases and to resist the efforts which are constantly being made to curtail such rights.” The many stories of Bobby Lee Cook showcase his larger than life personality, charisma, creativity, and mastery. He clearly had it all—and gave his all for the human being he’d promise to defend.

I want to share with you a story from esteemed GACDL member, Don Samuel. “The first time I ever saw (or even heard about) Bobby Lee Cook was when I was a law clerk 40 years ago. There was a civil case being tried—a relatively boring case involving a carpet company and some dispute over money between the owners. The judge suggested that I come into court and watch Mr. Cook’s cross-examination of one of the parties. It was shocking, brutal, merciless. I did not think the witness would survive the onslaught. I had never imagined this could actually happen in a real courtroom that was not simply a television stage. I went home that night and told my wife that I had reprioritized all of my fears and phobias: Whatever else I might be afraid of, nothing would rival my fear that someday that man would cross-examine me.”

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