Juvenile Court Judge Aaron Cohn has won a courtroom full of honors. But he says the latest is especially meaningful to him. Cohn received the 2008 Tradition of Excellence Award June 6 at the annual meeting of the State Bar of Georgia at Amelia Island, Fla.
“ I ’m ve r y happy getting this award,” said the 92-year-old Cohn. “Anything that shines some light on the importance of working to help the American family and children is appreciated.”
The award is presented annually by the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar and has become one of the more prestigious awards a lawyer or judge can receive. “Many great men have received it,” he said.
It is predicated on experience, civic service and bar activities. Nominations are submitted and voted on by the recipient’s peers.
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Cohn was introduced at the awards ceremony by attorney Leslie Cohn who said his father always told him “you get out of a community what you put into it.”
In addressing those at the ceremony, the honoree said, “I am particularly happy about this occasion because I do find that no other juvenile court judges have received this honor in the present era. It causes me to feel real happy about this because those in juvenile justice feel the same way that I do and that is that the greatness of America is because of the American family.”
Aaron Cohn is the longest serving juvenile court judge in America, entering that role in 1965. “The house of law has many rooms in it and I chose the room in which I wanted to live about 44 years ago and I have never regretted the decision,” he told the bar members.
Other honors the graduate of Columbus High and the University of Georgia has claimed in the past include the Amicus Curiae Award of the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Distinguished Alumni Merit Award from the University of Georgia and the Jim Woodruff Jr. Memorial Award from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for his “continuous service to mankind.”
A former Army colonel who served in World War II, he was given the Livingston Citizen-Soldier of the Year award by the Association of the U.S. Army in 2003.
Cohn told the group in Florida that there is a picture of a child on his desk with the caption: “Priorities — A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in, the kind of car I drove . . . but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”