Lawrence J. Fox

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It is an honor to address this distinguished group of lawyers and law students this evening as part of the very first Symposium funded by the duPont Company's generosity by way of Judge Lawson. The issues important themes in the bigger professional responsibility arena, and examining them with this level of care can inform the profession more widely.

It is ironic then that when Professor Pat Longan invited me to give the keynote address, he himself negotiated my appearance in a highly questionable manner. "Would I like to be the keynote speaker at this upcoming Symposium?" Would I? Of course, being so self-absorbed that I never turn down a chance to preach. "Yes," I shot back. "Love to."

But now I am here and I learn that this keynote address is being given, not at the beginning of the Symposium, but when the Symposium is half-way completed, that I am speaking after a delicious dinner, complete with ample quantities of wine, that my speech follows an eloquent address from Frank Cater Jones, the legendary Macon native, Mercer Law School graduate, King & Spalding partner, and former President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and that this weekend features the ACC basketball tournament, which means many in this audience cannot wait to get back to their televisions. The thought did cross my mind that perhaps Pat omitted a few key facts when we "negotiated" my appearance here at Mercer.

I am particularly pleased to be invited to participate in this event in Georgia. I have had a splendid affinity with this state for a long time. Perhaps it is because of the outstanding Commission on Professionalism that the Georgia Supreme Court established years ago. Perhaps it is because I am currently handling a death penalty case on behalf of Tommy Lee Waldrip who is incarcerated in a prison in Jackson just up Route 75. Perhaps it is because of my many friends in the Georgia Bar or because I was lucky enough to steal my wife away from Georgia Legal Aid.