JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Prominent Georgia defense attorney Page Pate was an expert on constitutional law and was recognized as one of the best legal minds in America.
Pate drowned Sunday while trying to save his son from strong outgoing tides at Gould’s Inlet on St. Simons Island.
News4JAX relied on Pate on numerous occasions to provide valuable insight on stories of local and national interest.
News4JAX Anchor Bruce Hamilton shares his thoughts about Page.
“There were few people in the legal world that I could turn to give a story the kind of context, perspective and focus in a succinct and understandable way like Page Pate,” he said. “He could take a complex story, a story tangled in a legal web and untangle it and make it understandable.”
For instance, when a federal judge ordered the Department of Justice to propose redactions to the affidavit that was used to justify the search executed by the FBI on Mar-a-Lago, Pate explained that it was a very unusual move.
“It is very unusual for a federal judge to unseal an affidavit in support of a search warrant before anyone has been charged and before the case gets to court,” Pate said last month. “But we have such an incredible amount of public interest and attention to this case that the judge is taking the very unusual step in requiring the government to put up something. I mean, you executed this search warrant. There’s been a lot of attention. There’s some pushback on it. We need to tell the people why we executed the search warrant.”
And when the Ahmaud Arbery trial was unfolding in November 2021, News4JAX turned to Pate to talk about what the prosecution needed to do to win its case.
“Don’t try to over-try this case, don’t try to make a statement with this case. They have a fairly solid murder case if they will just stick to the evidence,” Pate said. “I believe they’re going to try to play parts of the video that was taken of the actual incident during their opening statements. I think that’s a great idea. You’re going to go ahead and get the jury locked in to their version of what happened, and the jury can see it for themselves with their own eyes. That is incredibly powerful evidence, and I think the state is going to focus, at least in opening statements, almost exclusively on that video evidence.”
As usual, Pate was right on. It is exactly what the prosecution did. And he also described the defense strategy before it unfolded to a T.
The world lost a great legal mind. Pate’s son lost a great father. And we here at News4JAX personally lost a wonderful friend.