Last week, there was a lot going on for those of us that practice federal criminal law here in Atlanta. First, on Friday, over at the federal courthouse, Justin Anand was sworn in as a federal magistrate judge. Judge Anand is a former federal prosecutor and most recently served as a supervisor in the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit. Not surprisingly, his investiture ceremony was well attended. Those that could make it to the ceremony agreed that one of the highlights of the ceremony was when Jake Waldrop spoke. Jake is a federal criminal lawyer over at the Federal Defender Office and we, of course, are bias. Paul and I both worked with Jake at the Federal Defender Office and Jake is a great friend. By all accounts, Jake’s comments were very well received. He spoke from the heart, injected a healthy dose of humor, and entertained the crowd in a way that could only be pulled off by Mr. Waldrop himself. Great job Jake!
The day after Judge Anand’s investiture, current and former lawyers from the Federal Defender Office here in Atlanta gathered to celebrate nearly 40 years of great lawyering. In 1964, Congress passed the Criminal Justice Act, which provided the authority for this and other federal districts to establish Federal Defender Offices. And in 1973, pursuant to that federal statute, the Northern District of Georgia established the Federal Defender Office here in Atlanta. Over the years, the office has grown substantially but its core mission has remained the same: to represent people who are charged with federal criminal offenses in the Northern District of Georgia who cannot afford to hire counsel. The lawyers at the Defender Office do an outstanding job and the reunion on Saturday night was a huge success. Here’s to nearly forty years of great lawyering in federal court!