Tuesday, May 25, 1999

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@jd.lawsch.uga.edu

CONTACT: Dean David Shipley, (706) 542-7140


ATHENS, Ga. - A seasoned public interest lawyer and accomplished military attorney have been hired as new instructors at the University of Georgia School of Law: Patricia (Pat) Barron will serve as managing attorney of the law school's Family Violence Clinic, and Major William (Bill) H. Weber IV will supervise the law school's award-winning moot court and mock trial programs as director of advocacy.

Barron has worked for Georgia Legal Services since her graduation from law school in 1979. She began her career as a staff attorney in the Americus office, then was promoted to supervising attorney in the Douglasville office, and has served for the last 10 years as managing attorney of the Gainesville office. There, she oversees a staff of 11, including 7 lawyers, providing civil representation to low-income clients in 24 counties of Northeast Georgia. Barron has taught Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation to UGA law students as an adjunct professor since 1997, and has supervised several Civil Clinic students during their externships with Georgia Legal Services. Barron graduated summa cum laude from Mercer University and earned her law degree from Georgetown University in 1979.

At the University of Georgia, Barron will supervise law students in the Family Violence Clinic, a civil clinic founded in 1994 to assist victims of domestic abuse. Law students now respond to nearly 500 inquiries of domestic violence in the local area each year, helping abused spouses and children obtain civil protective orders. The vast majority of the cases settle, but about 100 actually go to court, giving students the opportunity to work both as lay advocates conducting interviews and drafting initial paperwork and as practitioners under the Third-Year Practice Act resolving cases through negotiation or trial.

"Pat works tirelessly to address the needs of the poor and under-represented," said David Shipley, UGA law school dean. "She brings to us a depth and range of experiences as a lawyer and a teacher as well as a powerful commitment to her clients and to public service that will strengthen our teaching and help to develop our civil clinics in important ways."

Weber has handled several high-profile cases recently, including the trial of Captain Richard Ashby, the Marine Corps pilot whose jet severed gondola cables at an Italian ski resort, killing 20 people. Ashby was acquitted of manslaughter and involuntary homicide charges in mid-March. Weber also represented a Marine charged with conspiracy, aggravated assault and maiming after a hazing incident at Fort Knox; after pleading guilty to several lesser charges, the defendant was acquitted of all remaining charges.

Weber earned a bachelor's degree with merit from the United States Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993, during which time he commanded the most decorated Marine platoon of the Gulf War, then taught basic infantry tactics to new officers. Following his service, he enrolled in law school at UGA, where he won numerous awards as a member of the law school's acclaimed moot court program, including participation on the team which won the Southeast Regional Competition and was awarded the Best Brief of the 1995 Jessup Moot Court Competition; brief editor for the 1996 Best Brief in the Jessup Competition; and individual honors in the First-Year Closing Argument Competition, the Russell Moot Court Competition and the Talmadge Moot Court Competition.

Weber returned to the Marine Corps upon his graduation in 1996, serving as civil law officer from 1996-97; chief legal assistance officer from 1997-98; and from 1998-present as chief civil law officer at Parris Island and Beaufort Air Station, a position similar to that of general counsel for a mid-sized corporation.

"Bill Weber had a superb record at the University of Georgia School of Law, he has been a successful advocate in the Marines, and I am confident that he will lead our moot court and mock trial programs to the next level of excellence," said Dean Shipley.

Barron will begin her service at the law school on July 19, and Weber will arrive in early August.