Lester Tate is a trial lawyer who served as the 48th President of the State Bar of Georgia.  Since 1996, he has practiced as a member of Akin & Tate, Georgia’s oldest continuing law firm. He has spent his entire professional career as a courtroom lawyer, having tried over one hundred civil and criminal cases to verdict and appeared over thirty times in state and federal appellate courts. 

He currently serves as National Treasurer of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a member of the Executive Committee. He is the past President of the Southeastern  Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (SEABOTA) and is a member of the  American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.  

Lester is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society, whose members are rigorously screened by trial lawyers and judges to determine the member’s ability, experience, accomplishments, and ethical standards.  

He is Senior Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society comprised of less than 1% of American lawyers, and, because of his extensive courtroom experience, he holds the rank of “Advocate” in the American Board of Trial Advocates  (ABOTA). 

While devoting most of his time to wrongful death and serious personal injury cases,  where he has a number of million and multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements,  Lester’s practice includes many diverse matters. He has successfully defended individuals charged with a broad array of state and federal crimes at trial, ranging from murder to conspiracy. He has also handled a wide variety of complex commercial and political cases involving issues as varied as shareholder rights and ballot access.  

Active in community and public affairs, Lester serves on the board of the Community  Foundation of Northwest Georgia and the Board of Advisors for Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communications. Lester’s pro bono work includes having represented Advocates for Children as volunteer legal counsel for over twenty years.  

A native Georgian, Lester was born in Cedartown and was the first person in his family to go to college. He received his undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of  Technology in 1982 and his Juris Doctorate degree from The University of South  Carolina School of Law in 1987. While in law school, he was selected for membership on the South Carolina Law Review.  

Following graduation from Georgia Tech, Lester spent almost three years working for the  U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Specifically, he served on the staff of then U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and as Press Secretary and Armed Services Committee aide to former U.S. Congressman George (Buddy) Darden. More recently, Lester continued his political involvement as Chairman of the Bartow County Democratic Party and as a member of the State Democratic Committee. 

He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Lawyer’s Foundation of  Georgia, and a Senior Life Fellow of the ABOTA Foundation. Various publications have  repeatedly recognized him as one of the state’s top lawyers, including Georgia Trend  Magazine, which has named him to its list of “Georgia’s Legal Elite,” and Atlanta  Magazine, which has repeatedly named him as a “Super Lawyer.”  

In addition to having served as President of the State Bar of Georgia, Lester holds or has held leadership positions in a number of other Bar-related and community organizations.  Those include the following:




  • Woodland High School Community Volunteer Award (1999-2000)
  • Friend of the New Frontiers Award (2009)
  • Co-recipient (with other members of the Judicial Qualifications Commission) of the 2014 Weltner Award, given by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation


  • Leadership Bartow (Class 0f 2012)
  • Gridiron Club

Voluntary Bar Memberships

American Bar Association
American Association of Justice
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (Champion Member) Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Georgia Federal Bar Association
Bartow County Bar Association
Cobb Bar Association
Atlanta Bar Association
Old War Horse Lawyers
Lawyer’s Club of Atlanta

Morgan Akin is a veteran trial lawyer and is co-owner of Akin & Tate, one of the oldest continuous family practices in the United States. The firm was established in 1836 by Morgan’s great grandfather. Morgan and his five ancestors have provided legal advice and counsel to citizens of Cartersville, Bartow County, and northwest Georgia for almost two centuries. Morgan and his father, Warren Akin, joined with Lester Tate to form Akin & Tate, P.C. in 1996.

Morgan practices primarily in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury, business and commercial litigation, estate litigation, and real estate litigation. A former special assistant Attorney General representing the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT), Morgan now represents landowners against the DOT and other condemning authorities in eminent domain cases.

After graduating from college, Morgan was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and was named a distinguished military graduate. He served in the Air Force reserve following law school, attaining the rank of captain. After graduating from law school, and following a brief tour in the Air Force, Morgan returned to Cartersville in 1974, where he has since been in the active practice of law.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Georgia, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Northern and Middle District of Georgia, 1974
  • Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • J.D., Magna Cum Laude, University of Georgia School of Law, 1974
    University of Georgia Law Review
  • B.A., English, Emory University, 1971
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • Cartersville High School, High Honors, 1967

Civic Involvement

  • Cartersville/Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, President, 1988
  • United Way of Bartow County, Campaign Chairman
  • American Heart Association, Campaign Chairman
  • Jaycee’s Young Man of the Year
  • Northwest Georgia Daylily Society

Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia Board of Governors
    Member, 1994 – 1996
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
    Member, 1996 – Present