MACON — Mercer University awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree to the Honorable Norman S. Fletcher, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, at the Walter F. George School of Law commencement on May 12. Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey made the presentation after Fletcher gave the commencement address.
Fletcher was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia on June 28, 2001. He served continuously on the Court since his appointment on Dec. 28, 1989, by Gov. Joe Frank Harris until he retired from the Court in June of 2005.
Fletcher attended the University of Georgia, receiving a B.A. degree in 1956 and his LL.B. degree in 1958. He also earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in May 1995.
He began his law practice in 1958 as an associate in the law firm of Matthews, Maddox, Walton and Smith in Rome, Ga. In 1963, he moved to LaFayette to form a partnership with the late George P. Shaw and Irwin W. Stolz, Jr. While in private practice, he represented the state of Georgia as a special assistant attorney general and he also served as attorney for the City of LaFayette Walker County attorney. He continued his general practice of law in LaFayette until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Fletcher has a distinguished record of service to the legal profession and the community. In 1999, he was presented with the Harold G. Clarke Award by the Georgia Indigent Defense Council for his commitment to ensuring equal justice for all Georgia citizens. He has served as chair of the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia School of Law from 1994 to 1995 and as a member from 1992 to 1995). In 1989, he served as co-chair of the State Bar's commission on lawyer disciplinary reform.
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as a member of the State Disciplinary Board from 1984 to 1987, chair of the Investigative Panel from 1986 to 1987, chair of the Local Government Section of the State Bar from 1977 to 1978, president of City Attorney's Section of Georgia Municipal Association from 1978 to 1979, board member of Attorney's Title Guaranty Fund from 1971 to 1975, president of Lookout Mountain Bar Association from 1973 to 1974, and president of University of Georgia Law School Association in 1977.
While residing in LaFayette, Fletcher served three terms on the board of the LaFayette Chamber of Commerce and is a former president of the LaFayette Rotary Club. He is currently a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Georgia Bar Foundation and a master in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court.
Fletcher is a member of Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta where he has served as a ruling elder. He has served as an officer in the First Presbyterian Church of Rome, LaFayette Presbyterian Church and Cherokee Presbytery, and as a commissioner to the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly in 1984 and 1985.
Fletcher was born on July 10, 1934, in Fitzgerald, Ga., the son of the late Frank Pickett Fletcher and Hattie Sears Fletcher. Fletcher married the former Dorothy Johnson of Fitzgerald in 1957. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.
Cutline: The Honorable Norman S. Fletcher, former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, with his wife, Dot, after receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree at the Walter F. George School of Law 2006 commencement.