Published Sunday, October 07, 2012
(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Next Chapter, newsletter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia and is republished with permission.)
On Sept. 7, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, together with several special guests, celebrated a remarkable achievement with the Honorable W. Homer Drake Jr. – 50 years of federal service.
Joining Judge Drake, who is a Newnan resident, for the recognition were his wife, Ruth, and sons, Walter and Taylor.
To mark this milestone, Clerk of Court Regina Thomas contacted all of Judge Drake’s former law clerks and invited them to share remembrances about their time with the judge, as well thoughts on how the relationship shaped their lives and careers. This same opportunity was given to current and former employees of the court. The response was overÂwhelming.
Ms. Thomas read excerpts from some of the emails received, which highlighted the impact Judge Drake had, and continues to have, on all those with whom he comes in contact. Here is a sampling of the comments:
“You were always patient in court, always temperate, always thoughtful, clear and decisive, and always prepared. Your knowlÂedge of the law and ability to apply it in a reasoned, practical manner, have stayed with me throughout, and as one would expect, every judge before whom I appear is measured against the extraordinarily high standard set in your court room.” – Grant Stein
“He has a way of making you feel important and needed. He is always quick with a smile that is genuine. He is simply a great person, a great man.” – Joe Cook
“I suspect Judge Drake was born a judge, so shouldn’t we be celebrating more than 50 years?” – Michael Duclos
“I wouldn’t know much about this place I call home, or how to pronounce our county, were it not for the times he took the staff to lunch – always Tuesday, always Sprayberry’s, always 11:15 and always his car!” – Sue Reece
“My association with Judge Drake also affected aspects of my personal life – you just wanted to be the best you could be because of who he was and your association with him!” – Barbara Clements
Special guests included former Chief Judge Joyce Bihary, former Chief Deputy Clerk Gary Drake and Judge Drake’s former law clerks – Rick Herzog, Grant Stein, Jim Dilz, Jay Wilson, Jonathan Adams. Karen Visser, and Michael Duclos.
Judge Drake’s longtime Judicial AsÂsistant, and “right hand” person, Barbara Clements, also attended the ceremony.