Prominent attorney Page Pate accidentally drowns off Georgia coast
‘Super Lawyer,’ popular legal analyst died Sunday on St. Simon’s Island
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Page Pate, a prominent Georgia attorney whose legal analysis was sought by numerous national and local news outlets, died in an accidental drowning Sunday on St. Simons Island. He was 55.
Pate’s death was confirmed Tuesday morning by Pate, Johnson & Church, an Atlanta-based law firm, and the cause of death has been confirmed by the Glynn County coroner. He reportedly died in a rip current while swimming.
“Once the shock wears off, it’s just hurt. And there’s no easy way about getting rid of that, except for time and grieving. But I think one thing we can also take with us is the celebrations of this man’s life,” said Tom Church, Pate’s legal partner.
The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) said it “was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Page Pate’s passing.
Pate had a knack for explaining complex issues in basic terms, delivering legal expertise most recently during the murder trial for the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery and when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.
“The GACDL community sends thoughts of peace and comfort to his family and friends,” said Jason Sheffield, GACLD president. “Page was a larger-than-life person and attorney. Page’s dedication, creativity, knowledge, and compassion for those persons facing prosecution across the United States was legendary.”
Pate was born in Dublin on May 3, 1967. He graduated from Woodward Academy in Atlanta and went on to graduate from Georgia State University in the top 10% of his class.
Pate attended the University of Georgia School of Law. After graduating with honors in 1994, Pate worked for a few prominent firms in Atlanta before starting his own practice.
Pate won numerous awards and recognitions. He was also a founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP), an organization dedicated to seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted.
“The Georgia Innocence Project family is heartbroken at the passing of our dear friend, colleague, and board member,” GIP said in a statement. “A fierce advocate for the criminally accused and unjustly convicted, Page was a visionary founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project 20 years ago. He remained active with our organization over the years, consulting on cases, advising on media strategies, and raising awareness about wrongful convictions and GIP’s work.
“Above all else, we will remember Page’s kindness and generosity, always willing to give anything he could to help, whether it be a personal matter or professional, and never asking for anything in return.”
Pate was also a member of the Federal and Atlanta Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other organizations.
Pate is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his sons, Chatham and Asher, his parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and his younger brother, Lane.
Here is the full statement from Pate, Johnson & Church:
“Page Anthony Pate passed away yesterday, September 11, 2022 in St. Simons Island, Georgia. He was 55 years old and is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth, his sons, Chatham and Asher, his parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and his younger brother, Lane.
“Page Pate was many things to many people—a husband, a father, a son, a mentor, a colleague, a friend, and most prominently, a trial lawyer, one who poured himself into his practice and fought hard for his clients. Above all, he was a true gentleman who embodied service and grace.
“Page was born in Dublin, Georgia on May 3, 1967. He graduated from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia and went on to graduate from Georgia State University in the top ten percent of his class.
“Page married his wife, Elizabeth, in 2003, and they soon became parents to two boys, Chatham and Asher. Some of Page’s happiest moments were on trips with his sons, whether long hikes on the West Coast or taking in Nascar races.
“Page attended the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was consistently recognized as one of the school’s finest advocates in mock trial and moot court. After graduating from Georgia Law with honors in 1994, Page worked for a few prominent firms in Atlanta before starting his own practice.
“For over 25 years, Page represented people in courts across the state of Georgia and the United States. Page won countless awards and recognition for his outstanding advocacy on behalf of others, including recognition as a “Super Lawyer” since 2008. Page later became a trusted face and voice of reason on local and national media outlets, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and others. Page was best known for giving his honest take and straightforward answers to some of the nation’s most pressing legal questions during one its most turbulent times.
“Page was also a founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted. He was a member of the Federal and Atlanta Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other organizations dedicated to advancing justice and the legal profession. Page gave back to countless other causes as part of a broader effort to leave the world a better place than he found it. He believed in serving others, and that is clearly reflected in his life’s work, work that will live on through his partners and his staff at Pate, Johnson & Church.
“Some of the best things about Page won’t be in the news but will live on in the memories of the people whose lives he touched. Though he was a formidable, sometimes intimidating, attorney in the courtroom, Page had an easy smile, an earnest laugh, and a great sense of humor. He was guided by his faith and his creator, but he had an open heart and an open mind to all.
“Page passed away on a Sunday afternoon. Page’s passing is an enormous loss to his family, his friends, his community, and the entire legal profession. He will be deeply missed.”
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