ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Law will honor attorneys Robert B. Remar and Bernard Taylor Sr. with the Ben F. Johnson Jr. Public Service Award, the college’s highest honor, in virtual ceremonies on Feb. 16 and 18.
A committee of faculty, alumni and other legal professionals select the winner each year. The Ben F. Johnson, Jr. Public Service Award is named for the college’s founding dean and is presented to a Georgia attorney whose accomplishments reflect the tradition of public service Johnson exemplified during his life.
2020 Ben F. Johnson Jr. Honoree, Robert B. Remar
Remar is the 2020 honoree. However, due to Georgia’s stay-at-home order to combat the spread of COVID-19, his celebration had to be postponed. He is a partner with Rogers & Hardin LLP with more than 45 years of practice experience. His practice focuses on complex commercial and business disputes, employment, administrative law, health care, class actions, and civil rights and constitutional law. For 12 years, Remar was also an adjunct professor teaching litigation at Georgia State Law. He is vice president and treasurer on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
He first got involved with the ACLU as a young attorney at Georgia Legal Services, where he represented clients in a variety of matters, from voting rights to public benefits. In one case, he fought for the religious freedom of Georgia prisoners. Later, he started a firm with some of his Legal Services colleagues handling civil rights and employment cases.
“Rob Remar is an outstanding lawyer who, like Ben F. Johnson Jr., has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to selfless public service,” said professor emerita Mary Radford. “He has served in leadership roles in numerous organizations, including the ACLU, the Federal Defenders Program and the State Bar of Georgia, that ensure all members of our society will be entitled to due process of law and equal representation.”
2021 Ben F. Johnson Jr. Honoree, Bernard Taylor Sr.
For the 2021 award, the college is honoring Bernard Taylor Sr. A retired partner at Alston & Bird, he has a long history of professional excellence and philanthropic leadership.
“Mr. Taylor has spent countless hours dedicated to advancing and diversifying the profession and serving on boards of local, regional, national and international organizations, including UNICEF,” said Lauren Sudeall, faculty director of the Center for Access to Justice. “Driven by a strong sense of responsibility, and his own personal story, he provides an excellent model of how private lawyers can be true public servants.”
Taylor is a past chair of Alston & Bird’s Management Committee and the Products Liability Group. He has almost 40 years of trial experience and concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, including class actions, mass torts, environmental liability, pharmaceutical products liability and toxic tort lawsuits filed in various jurisdictions throughout the U.S. Before practicing law, he was a Detroit police investigator.
Focusing on his commitment to public service, Taylor is the chair of the Southeast Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). He has traveled internationally with ADL to examine the global impact of hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism. In 2015, he received ADL’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
With UNICEF, he goes to Africa and the Middle East on field visits to assess living conditions and to find ways to improve the lives of vulnerable children. In 2014, the Southeast Regional Board for UNICEF USA awarded him its Global Philanthropist Award.
Taylor is a former chair of the DeKalb County chapter of 100 Black Men of America and a chair of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.
Both men will be honored at virtual ceremonies later this month. For more information, visit the College of Law website.