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James Robert Pottle

James Robert Pottle, 1912-1914


JAMES ROBERT POTTLE served on the Georgia Court of Appeals January 1912 until February 1914. He was born at Warrenton, Ga., on January 6, 1875, and died March 29, 1933.

He was educated in Warrenton public schools and at the Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. He taught school for four years in public schools. He was admitted to the Bar in 1896; was secretary to Supreme Court Justice Andrew J. Cobb; was appointed trustee of the University of Georgia; served as a member of the Board of Bar Examiners; served as Circuit Judge and State Senator.

While teaching school he married Julia Salley. Roland Pottle and Virginia P. Riley were born of this marriage. Later he married Nell Johnson, and one son, James Robert Pottle, Jr., was born. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Albany, where he was buried.

He received his legal training under Justice Andrew J. Cobb and practiced law with many giants in the legal field, such as Arthur G. Powell, Charles L. Glessner, T. S. Hawes, Wallace W. Wright, I. J. Hofmayer, former Governor Thomas W. Hardwick, Leonard Farkas, and Howell Cobb. He was general counsel for the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad.

As a great lawyer himself, he listed three cardinal qualifications for attaining excellence in the law: honesty, willingness to work unsparingly, and an innate genius for the law. See the memorial dated November 15, 1933, in 48 Georgia Appeals Reports, pages 857-865. It was said he possessed "unselfishness, and love, and charity for others." Judge Guerry said, "for him to state a case was to make clear the law."

Law is a science though inexact, while advocacy at the Bar is an art. He was skilled in the former and an artist in the latter. As a judge deciding cases on the merits, he "drank from the wells of English undefiled." In loyalty to his friends he "grappled to his soul with hoops of steel," while helping to solve their problems.