Aug 1, 2019

SGR Partner and Former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears to be Featured in Atlanta History Center Exhibit Any Great Change: The Centennial of the 19th Amendment

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ATLANTA (August 1, 2019) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Partner Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.) will be featured in the upcoming Any Great Change: The Centennial of the 19th Amendment exhibit at the Atlanta History Center. Opening August 16, the exhibit documents how women gained the right to vote and the ways they have used political power over the last century. Many Georgia women were among those who made a significant impact subsequent to gaining the vote, both as elected officials and organizers.

The exhibition explores the decades-long struggle for women’s suffrage as well as the key groups, their strategies, and their leaders, including Georgian Emily C. MacDougald and her daughter, Emily Inman, owner of Swan House. Ms. MacDougald was president of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia, and Ms. Inman participated in Atlanta suffrage parades. Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, the first woman elected statewide in a contested election in Georgia, will also be featured through a display of several pieces of her memorabilia, including her judicial robe.

“I am honored to be included among the women who impacted Georgia through my service as an elected jurist,” said Justice Leah Ward Sears.

Justice Sears was the first woman and youngest person to sit on Georgia’s Supreme Court when she was appointed in 1992. She was also the first woman to hold a position on the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia. Justice Sears was twice on the President’s shortlist for appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

Justice Sears is a Partner in SGR’s Litigation Practice. As a retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, she takes an active public role in the discussions regarding the dynamics of the legal profession as well as legal issues facing the state. Justice Sears is regularly called upon to serve in leadership roles, comment on trending topics, and speak at various functions. Recently, she was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to chair the City of Atlanta Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust. Among her many roles, Justice Sears is an appellate lawyer, oral advocate and strategist, in addition to often serving as a neutral in arbitration proceedings and mediations. Due to her distinguished career and continued service to the community, Justice Sears is frequently honored with awards within the legal profession and from local organizations. She retired from the bench in 2005 and returned to private practice in 2009. She has been with SGR since 2016 and serves on the firm’s executive committee.

For more information regarding the Any Great Change: The Centennial of the 19th Amendment exhibit, click here.

About the Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center was founded on the big ideas and relentless fascination of 14 Atlantans who were emphatic about our city’s historical relevance in society. In a sense, the organization was created by Atlanta’s biggest fans. In 1926, these founding members introduced the Atlanta Historical Society into the world with one mission: to help preserve Atlanta’s history. In 1990, after decades of collecting, researching, publishing and celebrating the early stories of our great Southern community, the Atlanta Historical Society and all of its holdings officially became the Atlanta History Center. For more information, visit www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 250 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, construction, employment law, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.


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