In what I hope will turn into an ongoing Bankruptcy Judges series, bring Plan Proponent out of an unintentional COVID hiatus, and highlight the blog’s “new look” on the LexBlog platform, this is the kickoff post for a weekly series on Georgia’s very own Hon. W. Homer Drake, Jr., likely the longest or second longest serving bankruptcy judge after 1960, if not in all of U.S. history. As we are prone to focus on, the series will emphasize Judge Drake’s opinions. But first an introduction.
On January 31, 2021, Judge Drake retired after over 53 years on the bench, first as a “referee in bankruptcy” (read: a judge) starting in 1964 and then continuing as a bankruptcy judge starting in 1979. In honor of Judge Drake’s retirement, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten described Judge Drake as “one of the all-time preeminent bankruptcy judges in the United States”—high praise from the “upstairs judge” who often quipped that everyday people in Newnan, Georgia would see them at lunch and assume that Judge Batten was Judge Drake’s law clerk.
Beyond that, though, where do you start? Judge Drake’s resume is unapproachable in its breadth, especially for this Macon lawyer who practiced in front of him for just the last fifth of his tenure. While I’ll do my very best, I’m hoping that our Georgia readers, in particular, will not be bashful about setting me straight or pointing out what I may have missed.