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Atlanta trial lawyer, legal analyst identified as victim in drowning in Glynn County

Page Pate was an Atlanta-based attorney who helped to found the Georgia Innocence Project and often appeared on our Georgia station, WXIA-TV.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — An Atlanta-based attorney with more than 25 years of experience in criminal defense and civil litigation has been identified as the victim in a drowning reported at St. Simon's Island in Glynn County, Georgia, Sunday.

He was 55 years old.

Pate's son was able to swim back to shore, but he was not, according to officials. He was transported to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital but later died.

"Some of Page’s happiest moments were on trips with his sons, whether long hikes on the West Coast or taking in NASCAR races," his family said in a statement.

Pate was a founding member and current executive board member of the Georgia Innocence Project and an active member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, according to his firm, Pate, Johnson & Church.

Clare Gilbert, the Executive Director of the Georgia Innocence Project, says in his memory, they will continue the struggle for justice, while drawing on his tenacious spirit and grace.

Pate's firm says as passionate as he was about the law, his happiest moments were with his sons, particularly taking hikes on the West Coast or taking in a NASCAR race.

He graduated from the University of Georgia law school in 1994 where he also served as an adjunct professor. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgia State University. 

"Page was best known for giving his honest take and straightforward answers to some of the nation’s most pressing legal questions during one its most turbulent times," the statement read.

Pate appeared on air in numerous reports on our Atlanta Station WXIA-TV (also called 11Alive) throughout the years, giving perspective on a number of stories including the Ahmaud Arbery trial and the Ross Harris case, among others. WXIA-TV Director Jennifer Rigby spoke on the impact of Pate's loss.

"Our hearts are heavy at 11Alive. Page was not only our colleague, but also a friend," she said. "Page provided valuable legal insight and guidance to both our team and our audience. He was readily available to help ensure our reports were accurate and delivered important perspective. 

"Page was brilliant and always humble and kind," she continued. "We will miss him, and our hearts go out to his family."

Although highly visible in the law communities and on air, family said it was the moments outside of that that displayed his true character.

"Some of the best things about Page won’t be in the news but will live on in the memories of the people whose lives he touched," it continued. "Though he was a formidable, sometimes intimidating, attorney in the courtroom, Page had an easy smile, an earnest laugh, and a great sense of humor."

Pate is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his sons, Chatham and Asher, his parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and his younger brother, Lane.

"Page’s passing is an enormous loss to his family, his friends, his community, and the entire legal profession. He will be deeply missed," the family statement said. 

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