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South Georgia lawyer leads State Bar

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February 27, 2003

Tifton-- As head of the state association of lawyers, Rob Reinhardt joins a heated debate.

Rob Reinhardt knows what it means to be Georgia's incoming state bar president. Just as he was joining the state bar 23 years ago, his dad was taking over as president.

The job description is basically to oversee disciplinary measures for the state's 33,000 lawyers and to work on legislative issues.

It's the latter that's quickly evolving into a full time job. "We have some hot button issues," Reinhardt says.

One of those a proposal to cap jury awards in an effort to reduce professional liability premiums, most notably in cases of medical malpractice. "Lawyers as a group want to eliminate frivolous lawsuits, but lawyers will not support changes that rob victims of their access to courts."

Reinhardt also wants to make sure at courthouses all over the state people get the chance for good representation, regardless of their ability to pay. "That's whether you live in urban or rural area, state board pushing hard for uniform effective representation."

Unlike tort reform, lawyers and politicians might be on the same page in the case of indigent defense, only problem finding room for it in the budget. "We need to recognize indigent defense requires funding by state, counties are unable to support."

Those the key issues the president elect will be taking a swing at, while continuing to go to bat for his clients in Tifton.

Rob Reinhardt is also Tift County's attorney. His term as state bar president will last until June of 2006.

posted at 4:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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