ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Page Pate, a prominent Georgia attorney whose legal analysis has been requested 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 was confirmed by the Glynn County Coroner. He reportedly died while swimming in a rip current.
“Once the shock wears off, it just hurts. And there’s no easy way to get rid of that other than time and grief. But I think one thing that we can also take away is the celebration 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 death.
Pate had a knack for explaining complex issues in basic terms, most recently providing legal expertise during the murder trial of 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 an attorney. Page’s dedication, creativity, knowledge and compassion for those prosecuted in the United States were legendary.”
He is heartbroken to learn that Page Pate has died. He was an exceptional lawyer and a good friend of journalists.
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) September 13, 2022
Pate was born on May 3, 1967 in Dublin. He graduated from Woodward Academy in Atlanta and graduated 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 number of well-known companies in Atlanta before opening his own practice.
Pate has won numerous awards and recognitions. He was also a founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP), an organization dedicated to finding justice for those wrongly convicted.
“The family of the Georgia Innocence Project is heartbroken at the passing of our dear friend, colleague and board member,” GIP said in a statement. “A passionate advocate for the criminally accused and wrongly convicted, Page was a visionary founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project 20 years ago. He has remained active in our organization over the years advising on cases, advising on media strategies and raising awareness of false convictions and the work of GIP.
“Most of all, we will remember Page’s kindness and generosity, who was always willing to give anything to help, whether in a personal or professional matter, and never ask for anything in return.”
Pate has also been a member of the Federal and Atlanta Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other organizations.
I am deeply saddened to hear of @pagepate’s death. He was the ultimate professional and an even better person. I have always been able to rely on Page for an in-depth legal analysis in a timely manner. I will forever be grateful to this man. #RIP @cbs46 https://t.co/NDAdSY6bTA
— Adam Murphy (@MurphyCBS46) September 13, 2022
Pate is survived by his wife Elizabeth, sons Chatham and Asher, parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and younger brother Lane.
Devastated to hear that my friend @pagepate passed away this weekend. We’ve been friends for almost 30 years and come from the same part of GA. He was brilliant, friendly, professional – and could bloody interview a witness. Such a loss to his family and all who loved him.
— Jen Jordan (@senatorjen) September 13, 2022
Absolutely stunned to hear of @pagepate’s death. Kind and generous – a real gem of a lawyer. I will miss our talks about everything related to Georgian law. A great and tragic loss for the legal community of Georgia. #gapol
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) September 13, 2022
Very sad about the loss of our colleague @pagepate.
One of the greats, generous with his time both to younger lawyers like myself and to the public, a wealth of knowledge, creative in his advocacy, zealous in his advocacy – a true loss to our community.
— croptopsandcourtrooms (@emiline129) September 13, 2022
Here is the full statement from Pate, Johnson & Church:
“Page Anthony Pate passed away yesterday, September 11, 2022, on St. Simons Island, Georgia. He was 55 years old and is survived by his loving wife Elizabeth, sons Chatham and Asher, parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth and 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 importantly, a trial attorney who dedicated himself to his practice and fought hard for his clients. Above all, he was a true gentleman who embodied service and grace.
“Page was born on May 3, 1967 in Dublin, Georgia. He graduated from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia State University in the top 10 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 have been traveling with his sons, whether long hikes on the West Coast or racing at Nascar.
“Page attended the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was consistently recognized as one of the school’s top attorneys in sham trials and moot courts. After graduating with honors from Georgia Law in 1994, Page worked for several well-known law firms in Atlanta before opening his own practice.
“Page has been representing people in court in the state of Georgia and the United States for over 25 years. Page has won countless awards and recognition for his outstanding advocacy for others, including being recognized 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 other. Page was best known for honestly and directly answering some of the nation’s most pressing legal questions during one of its most turbulent times.
“Page was also a founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to finding justice for those wrongly convicted. He has been a member of the Federal and Atlanta Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other organizations dedicated to advancing the justice system and the legal profession. Page gave back to countless other causes as part of a broader effort to leave the world better than he found it. He believed in serving others and that is clearly reflected in his life’s work, a work that will live on through his partners and associates at Pate, Johnson & Church.
“Some of the best things about Page will not make the news, but will live on in the memories of the people whose lives he touched. Despite being an impressive, sometimes intimidating attorney in the courtroom, Page had an easy smile, a genuine laugh, and a great sense of humor. He was guided by his faith and his Creator, but he had an open heart and mind for everyone.
“Page died on a Sunday afternoon. Page’s death is a tremendous loss to his family, friends, community and the entire legal profession. He will be greatly missed.”
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