R. Lanier Anderson III

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R. Lanier Anderson III
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Assumed office
January 31, 2009
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
May 14, 1999 – May 31, 2002
Preceded byJoseph W. Hatchett
Succeeded byJames Larry Edmondson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
October 1, 1981 – January 31, 2009
Appointed byoperation of law
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byBeverly B. Martin
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
July 13, 1979 – October 1, 1981
Appointed byJimmy Carter
Preceded bySeat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
BornRobert Lanier Anderson III
(1936-11-12) November 12, 1936 (age 82)
Macon, Georgia
EducationYale University (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.B.)

Robert Lanier Anderson III (born November 12, 1936) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of 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. After graduating from Bibb County, Georgia public schools Anderson earned an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Yale University in 1958, and a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1961.[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

A fourth-generation Macon lawyer, Anderson began private practice in his hometown 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, Virginia, 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.[1] 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 to 1974.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Anderson was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on April 18, 1979, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 12, 1979, and received his commission on July 13, 1979. His service terminated on October 1, 1981, due to reassignment to the Eleventh Circuit.[1][4]

Anderson was reassigned by operation of law on October 1, 1981, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 94 Stat. 1994. He served as Chief Judge from May 17, 1999 to May 31, 2002. He assumed senior status on January 31, 2009.[1][4]

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."

Cases and controversies[edit]

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 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.

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."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Robert Lanier Anderson III at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b 11th circuit directory Archived 2008-10-08 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  3. ^ James Barfield, Historic Macon, An Illustrated History, Historic Publishing Network, Lammert Incorporated, San Antonio, TX, 2007, pp.72-3>
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Seat established
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
1981–2009
Succeeded by
Beverly B. Martin
Preceded by
Joseph W. Hatchett
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
1999–2002
Succeeded by
James Larry Edmondson