Around Town: Ripple Effect — New name for Brock Clay; Mayor to run again
by Bill Kinney & Joe Kirby
February 23, 2013 12:00 AM | 5887 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE AFTERSHOCKS CONTINUE from last week’s surprise departure of attorney Glenn Brock from the high-profile Marietta firm he co-founded, Brock Clay Calhoun & Rogers.

That firm will go on, but under a new name: Gregory Doyle Calhoun & Rogers. The new name went on the shingle as of Wednesday.

“The change was not entered into lightly or without much thought and discussion about our future direction. It represents both the past and future of our law firm,” said new lead partner Scott Gregory.

The other new “name partner” in the firm is that of Clem Doyle, who represents the Cobb County School District.

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BUT NOTABLY ABSENT from the firm’s new title is the name of Chuck Clay, 61, who had co-founded the firm with Brock in 1986.

“There’s no question that for me personally there’s sadness with Glenn’s departure,” he said. “Something we put together is no more. And my law partners made a decision I respect, that they feel they needed a new brand to truly move past the earlier branding of Brock Clay.”

The name “Brock Clay” had become something of a lightning rod in recent years for critics of the Cobb County School District, with was one of Brock’s major accounts with the firm until 2011. As noted in last Saturday’s Around Town, Brock was a focal figure in a number of school-related controversies in the past decade.

Clay, a former Republican state senator from Cobb, had little or no involvement in that part of the practice, focusing instead on the public policy end of things.

“The plus side for me,” Clay told Around Town, “is that I have spent most of the last three or four years building a public affairs practice at Brock Clay. I’ll continue to be a partner and will head the government affairs practice so we can market that aspect of what I do, and the firm can emphasize its legal excellence. Properly done it can be a win-win.”

Said Gregory, “While Chuck Clay remains an important and founding member of our law firm, he has moved decidedly over the past five years in a direction of building one of the most prominent and effective state public policy and lobbying groups in Georgia.”

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CLAY WILL REMAIN a senior partner with the law firm and will be listed first on the letterhead as senior/founding member of the firm, according to Gregory. (It was known prior that as Brock & Barr, until Bob Barr’s appointment by Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for Northern Georgia).

“I’m saddened (by the changes), but life is about change, and with change there are great opportunities,” Clay said. “There is too much quality in that firm for it not to succeed. And this is an opportunity for me to now to focus on what I’ve mostly been doing.

“If you look to the future, you cannot get better leadership team than Scott and Clem. They are brilliant lawyers and men of integrity and vision and they’ll take it to the next level.”

Added Gregory, “While all the members would have been glad and preferred to continue practicing under the name of Brock Clay for the rest of our careers, it simply was not an option afforded to us despite our best efforts. It is an extremely exciting time and I truly believe we will be a much stronger and better firm as a result of this change.”

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BROCK’S DEPARTURE from the downtown Marietta law firm was front-page news in last Saturday’s MDJ. He’s now a partner in the Atlanta office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, of which one of the senior partners is former South Carolina Gov. Richard Riley, who served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Education.

The sometimes controversial Brock left silently — but he didn’t leave alone. Rather, he took with him to his new firm a number of the education-law specialists from his former firm.

Bowing out with Brock were Brock Clay partner Neeru “Nina” Gupta, Carol Callaway (of counsel), Suzann Wilcox Jiles (of counsel), Laura Lashley (senior counsel), Kathryn Arms (associate) and Brandon Moulard (associate).

Brock also took with him a major account: that of the Fulton County public school system.

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STEVE “THUNDER” TUMLIN will announce in about two weeks that he plans to seek a second term as mayor of Marietta this fall, Around Town has learned.

Tumlin, 65, told AT after his State of the City Speech on Feb. 4 that he was undecided on whether to run again, and would be making up his mind “in the next month.” That statement caught many city residents off guard, who had taken for granted that the popular Tumlin would run again.

But an unimpeachable source told Around Town on Wednesday that the mayor’s family and work associates are on board with his decision to run again. His formal declaration and the unveiling of his second-term goals are expected in the next couple weeks, the source said.

Tumlin, a tax attorney, former state representative and lifelong Mariettan, was elected mayor in 2009 with 80 percent of the vote. If there are any other potential aspirants for the mayor’s job this time around, their names have yet to surface.

As Tumlin said during his State of the City speech, “Serving as mayor has been a labor of love. It’s not the best-paying job I’ve ever had, but it pays in different ways.”

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FRUIT BASKET TURNOVER is the name of the game that Cobb County School Board members have been playing while deciding who they will appoint to serve on the district’s 15-member Facilities and Technology Committee.

Kimberley Euston, last year’s F&T chair, was appointed last week by southwest Cobb’s David Morgan to represent him on the committee, but on Monday night Euston said she got a message from him saying “he was moving in a different direction” and wanted to appoint someone from his area.

Euston is from east Cobb and was one of Scott Sweeney’s appointees last year.

Morgan’s new appointee is Lisa Arnold.

It should also be noted that another of Morgan’s appointees, Virginia Gregory, lived in east Cobb but he never seemed to have a problem letting her represent him on the committee the last couple of years. She stepped down from the committee last year because she was moving to North Carolina with her family.

The committee met for the first time this year Tuesday night where it not only approved all SPLOST-related items that will be on Thursday night’s agenda but also elected its chair and vice chair.

They picked former Cobb School Board members Curt Johnston to serve as chair and Dr. John Crooks as vice chair.

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FORMER ATLANTA Mayor Shirley Franklin (now of Purpose Built Communities) and Ted’s Montana Grill Co-Founder George McKerrow will among the panelists sharing leadership insights with executive MBA students at Thursday’s “Lessons in Leadership” forum at the Cobb Energy Centre sponsored by Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business. Other panelists are AT&T VP Rudy Hermond and NanoLumens VP Karen Robinson Cope. The 5:30 p.m. event is free to the public.

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TUESDAY’S ITEM in Around Town noting that east Cobb’s Alice Summerour is considering a run for the Cobb Commission seat now held by Bob Ott, should he resign to run for other office, got a quick endorsement from east Cobb’s other commissioner, JoAnn Birrell.

“For the first time in history the Cobb Board of Commissioners has a female majority. (Alice) can make it four!” she said.

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FORMER state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) has started his new job as an executive director with Georgia Public Television. Rogers, who caught flack from critics after it was revealed last year that he had worked as a “tout” for a sports gambling network, caught a bit more at a recent gathering of local politicos, who wondered why he had landed where he did.

“Why GPTV?” asked one. “He would have been a perfect fit for the Georgia Lottery Commission!”



Comments
(3)
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anonymous
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February 25, 2013
Why do you insist on heralding the "Thunder" in Tumlin's name? Anyone that has to fall back on some high school nickname has some self esteem issues and will never get my vote.
Mike T. Baker
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February 23, 2013
Thank you Mr. Morgan for listening. In a previous blog I asked that someone from our area be appointed to the F & T committee.
anonymous
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February 23, 2013
Surely, anti-school and anti-SPLOST advocate Kimberly Huston must have never played poker. Had Kimberly known about the rules of poker, as is true in life, Huston should have known not to call someone's hand or bluff them, when she did not have a winning hand. Her constant barrage of insults, inaccurate claims, and cries of ineptness was a really bad poker hand for an appointed position. It seems her losing hand was just called by David Morgan and the rest of the board... And to her total surprise, she her high card (a 3 of clubs) was not enough to win.

Thus life moves on without a combatant; who clearly does not understand she is not going to win every issue and desperately needs to learn the art of compromise.

Well played board.
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