R. Lanier Anderson III
|Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
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|
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|
July 13, 1979 – October 1, 1981
|Appointed by||Jimmy Carter|
|Preceded by||Seat established|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
|Born|| November 12, 1936
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale 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.
Early life and education
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.  Robert Sampson Lanier, was the father of noted poet and musician Sidney Lanier. 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.
A fourth-generation, Macon, Georgia lawyer, Anderson began private practice in his hometown of Macon, Georgia in 1961. 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. He practiced at the family firm of Anderson Walker & Reichert, concentrating most of his efforts on tax and estate planning. Among other civic activities he served on the Bibb County Board of Education from 1968-74.
Federal judicial service
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.
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.
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. 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."
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."
- 11th circuit directory. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
- James Barfield, Historic Macon, An Illustrated History, Historic Publishing Network,Lammert Incorporated, San Antonio, TX, 2007, pp.72-3>
|New seat||Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
|Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit