Trial Lawyers Association names award after Alaimo
Thu, Sep 18, 2008
By ANNA FERGUSON
The Brunswick News
In his decades as a lawyer and judge, U.S. District Judge Anthony Alaimo has earned an impressive cache of honors and awards. So many, in fact, that one award is now being named after him.
The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association will present the inaugural Anthony A. Alaimo Award for Judicial Excellence today at the association’s Height of Excellence banquet in Atlanta.
And to whom will the first award be given? To none other than the man himself.
When pondering for whom the award should be named, Fred Orr, president of the association, and an association selection committee unanimously decided that Alaimo’s name was perfect for the award. They, too, unanimously declared that Alaimo should be its first recipient.
“It is very appropriate that the first award given by the members of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association for judicial excellence carries the name of Judge Anthony A. Alaimo and that he will be the very first recipient,” said Orr. “He is among the most beloved and respected judges of the federal judiciary. He is a true American hero.”
Alaimo earned this hero status long before he became a lawyer and a judge. He earned it when he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps flying a B-26 as a member of the 322nd Bomb Group during World War II.
Alaimo’s plane was shot down over the North Sea and he was captured. His participation in numerous daring escapes from a German POW camp helped inspire the 1963 film, “The Great Escape.”
“Judge Alaimo is, in so many ways, a fascinating character,” Orr said. “Everyone I have talked to is thrilled he is being honored and will be attending the event. He is a hero to so many people.”
At 88 years old, Alaimo, a Sea Island resident, continues to be an active member of the regional judiciary. Five days a week, he enters his office in the Frank M. Scarlett Federal Building, 805 Gloucester St., downtown, where he is met with stacks of paperwork and duties.
“He has a record of being fair and honest, working hard and being efficient,” Orr said. “He is one of the hardest working judges in the country.”
Alaimo, too, has a history with the association. Prior to being appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in 1971 by then-president Richard Nixon, Alaimo was a trial lawyer and served as the eighth president of the association in 1968. Alaimo served as chief judge of the district until 1990, taking senior status in 1991, and continues to serve under that title.
“His picture still hangs in our hallway,” said Orr. “Judge Alaimo is highly regarded as one of the most diligent judges in the entire federal judiciary. His skill is simply unmatched.”
The award presentation and ceremony honoring Alaimo will be at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta.