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Sutherland Founder Fondly Recalled in New Biography

November 18, 2011

ATLANTA (November 18, 2011) – In front of a standing-room only audience that included many Sutherland alumni, author Anne Emanuel recounted tale after tale from the extraordinary life of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP founder, Elbert Parr Tuttle. The tales, plucked out of her newly published biography, Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution, were shared with the book-signing audience of about 200 at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum on November 2.

The book, which received rave reviews from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and NPR, offers a rare look into the life of a man who founded Sutherland and later, as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, helped reform race relations in the South. Ms. Emanuel served as Judge Tuttle’s law clerk in the mid-1970s and was given permission to write the biography shortly before his passing in 1996.

According to Ms. Emanuel, by the end of Judge Tuttle’s life, he was the recipient of numerous honors, and he acknowledged that the accolades were the result of the time he spent on the bench during the civil rights era.

A strong believer in the Constitution and human rights, Judge Tuttle characterized his time during that period by saying, “I’ve lived a long life, I’ve done a lot of things and I know the reason for this (acknowledgment) is the work I did on the court during the civil rights era. The odd thing is, those were the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make because the constitutional rights were so clear and the wrongs were so enormous."

The book covers Judge Tuttle’s colorful journey from serving in World Wars I and II to founding Sutherland, to presiding over significant civil rights cases at the Court of Appeals, which included review of Jim Crow laws and Brown v. Board of Education.

Book reviews include but are not limited to:

Nina Totenberg, NPR, calls Emanuel’s book a thorough and engaging account of an extraordinary life. “For those interested in America’s racial history and transformation, this book is a must—a tour de force, covering not just Tuttle but the often violent times he lived in," Ms. Totenberg wrote.

Bill Rankin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, “On occasion, Emanuel uses legalese that could trip up a few readers, but that's a minor quibble, because throughout the biography, she produces nugget after nugget of Tuttle’s rich, full life."

The book is published by The University of Georgia Press.

SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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