R. Lanier Anderson III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lanier Anderson
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
May 14, 1999 – May 31, 2002
Preceded by Joseph Hatchett
Succeeded by James Edmondson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
October 1, 1981 – January 31, 2009
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Beverly Martin
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
July 13, 1979 – October 1, 1981
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-11-12) November 12, 1936 (age 78)
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Alma mater Yale University
Harvard University

Robert Lanier Anderson III (born November 12, 1936) is a senior U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born on November 12, 1936 in Macon, Georgia, Robert Lanier Anderson III was named for his father and grandfather; his grandfather had been named for Robert Sampson Lanier, the brother-in-law and longtime law partner of his great grandfather, Clifford Anderson. Robert Lanier and Clifford Anderson started the firm with which all four generations practiced and which, dating from the 1840s and having gone through several iterations, is the second oldest continuous practice in the state of Georgia. [3] Robert Sampson Lanier, was the father of noted poet and musician Sidney Lanier.[4] After graduating from Bibb County public schools Anderson earned an A.B. degree from Yale University in 1958, and an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1961.[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

A fourth-generation, Macon, Georgia lawyer, Anderson began private practice in his hometown of Macon, Georgia in 1961.[4] He fulfilled his military obligation as a lieutenant in the United States Army from 1961 until 1963, stationed on a Nike Site in Denbigh, VA, being discharged as a Captain in the reserves in 1965. Anderson had by then returned to private legal practice in Macon, where he worked from 1963 until 1979.[5] He practiced at the family firm of Anderson Walker & Reichert, concentrating most of his efforts on tax and estate planning.[4] Among other civic activities he served on the Bibb County Board of Education from 1968-74.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On April 18, 1979, President Jimmy Carter nominated Anderson to a newly created seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The United States Senate confirmed Anderson on July 12, 1979, and he received his commission on July 13, 1979.[1]

On October 1, 1981, the federal government created the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Anderson was one of a group of judges reassigned to the new circuit.

In 1986, Anderson became the subject of an impeachment drive after a three-judge panel on which he sat ordered retrials for several convicted murderers because, they ruled, pretrial publicity had unfairly tainted their trials.[4]

In 1999, Anderson penned a noted ruling in favor of the estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. in a copyright fight with CBS over King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.[4]

Anderson became a chief judge of the Eleventh Circuit on May 17, 1999, serving in that capacity until May 31, 2002.[5][6]

In July 2008, Anderson told President George W. Bush of his intention to take senior status effective January 31, 2009. However, word did not become public of his decision until November 2008.[4] Anderson told a local newspaper that he still planned to work "almost full-time" but that he hoped to take more vacation time—probably four to six weeks a year—to visit grandchildren in New York and Connecticut. And while Anderson could have taken senior status in November 2001, he chose not to do so, he told the paper, because "I was having so much fun, I didn't want to."[4]

In 2008, Anderson described himself as a judicial "moderate," and added that he "would like to be thought of as a judge who had no particular agenda and who took each case on the facts and applied the law that the Supreme Court laid down," regardless of his own personal view on it. "And I think that’s what I attempt to do, and I think every judge on our court does."[4]

References[edit]

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
1979–1981
Seat abolished
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
1981–2009
Succeeded by
Beverly Martin
Preceded by
Joseph Hatchett
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
1999–2002
Succeeded by
James Edmondson