In 1962 a long anticipated movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird," was
released. Pretty much everyone knows the story. A lone attorney, Atticus
Finch, stood alone before his town, his community, defending a black man
falsely accused of attacking a white woman. Finch, the liberal, stood
for justice against the deep prejudice of the community who had neither
patience for nor interest in justice.
In 1962, Hubert Holland opened his law practice on the second floor of
a small brick building resting on the Southeastern corner of the Marietta
Square. It wasn't much, just a small, sole practitioner's law
office. The most prominent decoration was a framed photograph of the President
of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Hubert, a lone liberal in a county
not known for progressive sentiment, started his career by standing firmly
for justice for the common man, regardless of the color of his skin. Hubert
was an unusual breed.
Now, 50 years later, in 2012, Hubert's career has ended. Hubert passed
tonight at around 6:30. He had not been well for the last few months.
It was only a very short time ago that Hubert made it down the very long
stairs to Atlanta Street, which runs in front of his office, and had to
sit down on the bench outside of Tommy's Sandwich Shop to catch his
breath. Hubert didn't know then, none of us did, that this day would
be the last day he would see the office he poured his life's work
into for 50 years.
Hubert ended his career very much like he began it: fighting the very powerful
on behalf of the common man, or in this case, woman. Hubert had long specialized
in Trusts and Estates. He had prepared Estate Documents for a client,
Leone Hall Price, some years before. When Ms. Price died, long lost relatives
suddenly swooped in to claim bounty that was never meant for them. They
were joined by the State of Georgia, Attorney General's office in
their disengenous attempts.
There was a trial in Cobb County Probate Court. Hubert was successful.
The relatives and The State appealed all the way to the Supreme Court
of Georgia who still sided with Hubert. Hubert, the lone Cobb County attorney
in his second floor walk up, defeated many well funded attorneys and the
Attorney General of the State of Georgia. Against all odds, Hubert had
remained fiercely loyal and determined to see justice done for his former
client, though many years gone.
And like in "It's a Wonderful Life," Hubert's life touched
many, many people who may never know him and may never know the wonderful
gift he helped give them. The Estate work that Hubert did for Ms. Price,
the work that he defended vigilantly for years, resulted in the wonderful
park on Stilesboro Road, The Leone Hall Price Memoral Park.
Hubert's office is still there. Now it sits empty, it's desk still
scattered with the many historical articles Hubert published through the
years. The framed picture of our President of 1962 still hangs where Hubert
placed it. But Hubert is not there to gaze upon it anymore. Atticus Finch
has left the building.
Go to the Leone Hall Price Memoral Park this weekend. Walk the trails,
enjoy the shade. Remember Hubert, his service to his clients and his service
to our community.