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UGA LAW SCHOOL ASSOCIATION BESTOWS HIGHEST HONOR ON JUDGE FRANK CHEATHAM

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Tuesday, June 25, 2002

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu

UGA LAW SCHOOL ASSOCIATION BESTOWS HIGHEST HONOR ON JUDGE FRANK CHEATHAM

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law's alumni association has presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Scroll Award, to Judge Frank Cheatham of Savannah, Ga. This award is given each year to one or two deserving individuals whose services to the legal profession and the School of Law are worthy of special recognition. The award was presented during the Law School Association's annual breakfast held in conjunction with the State Bar of Georgia meeting at Amelia Island, Fla., on Saturday, June 15, 2002.

Judge Cheatham graduated from the University of Georgia in June 1948 with A.B. and LL.B. degrees. While at the university, he was elected president of the class of 1946 and to membership in the Sphinx Club, Blue Key, and Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) honor societies; Gridiron and Phi Delta Phi international legal fraternity.

He practiced law in Savannah from June 1948 to August 21, 1972, when he was appointed to the Eastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court by newly elected Governor Jimmy Carter. He did not expect to be appointed as he actively supported Carter's opponent in the gubernatorial race. However, upon appointment, Carter told Cheatham, "I don't think much of your political judgement but everyone says you are the man for the job so I am going to appoint you anyway." Cheatham then served the state with distinction for 21 years before retiring as a chief judge.

Cheatham's other public service includes being a Georgia state representative from 1953-60 and serving as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 1958 and 1959.

His dedication to his profession and community is evidenced by his receipt of the Savannah Bar Association's Professionalism Award earlier this month and election by the Georgia Jaycees as the Outstanding Young Man in Georgia in 1972. He is past president of the Savannah Bar Association, the Judicial Council of Georgia, the Savannah Kiwanis Club and Savannah YMCA. In addition, he is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

In presenting the award to Cheatham, Law School Association Member Kathleen Horne said Cheatham is very well respected for his keen mind, wonderful courtroom demeanor and his sense of humor. "In researching him for the award, all I received were accolades making the association's decision very easy," she said.

He is married to Rebecca Aultman Cheatham, formerly of Sylvester, Ga. His stepdaughter, Lara Brotherton, is married to an Englishman and lives in London. His daughter Margaret Cheatham is starting her senior year at the University of the South (Sewanee, Tenn.).

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