Rodriguez takes reins as Cobb Bar Association's new president

Mar. 16—MARIETTA — Carlos Rodriguez was sworn in as the new president of the Cobb County Bar Association during its monthly luncheon at Roswell Street Baptist Church on Thursday.

"My (three) daughters overheard my wife Mallorie and I talk this week about my swearing-in as president, and one asked me what happened to Joe Biden," Rodriguez said as the audience laughed. "I don't know what kind of stories they're telling at school, but I'm sure it's interesting."

Rodriguez, who also chairs the Cobb County Board of Ethics, thanked the audience for the opportunity to become president, saying how the Cobb brand is strong throughout the state.

"As a group, we're regarded as the best bar system in Georgia," Rodriguez said. "This comradery leads to a better product in the courtroom. The future is bright for the Cobb Bar."

The Cobb County Bar Association is a social and professional group for local lawyers to celebrate the law profession and engage with the community by sponsoring educational programs, social and charity events.

The bar hosts two major fundraising events a year, Sleighbells on the Square 5K and Law Day Classic Golf Tournament, which raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Cobb County Bar Children's Emergency Fund. The fund provides support for Cobb families in need in areas that are often not addressed by traditional charities, assisting with utility bills, clothing, medicine and housing to help local families get back on track.

As president, Rodriguez is the figurehead of an organization representing one of the busiest judicial systems in the state, he said.

"The Cobb Bar has a powerful presence at the State Bar level," Rodriguez said. "We can influence rules for ethics and make other recommendations. The opportunity to serve your colleagues, lawyers and judges, is an incredible honor."

Rodriguez, a Marietta native and 2003 graduate of Marietta High School, received his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Georgia and is part of the criminal defense attorneys law firm Kilgore and Rodriguez.

Rodriquez's law partner, Maddox Kilgore, an Emory grad from the Smyrna area, served as president of the Cobb County Bar Association from 2018 to 2019.

According to their website, the Marietta lawyers have tried a variety of complex criminal defense cases such as murder, child molestation, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and vehicular homicide.

In 2016, the firm were members of the defense team in the high-profile murder trial of the State of Georgia v. Justin Ross Harris, also known by the news media as the "Hot Car Case."

Soo Hong, the former president of the organization, thanked the group for allowing her to serve and said, "being the Cobb Bar president has been the most defining moment of my life, a great honor."

Tearing up, Hong described some accomplishments of the association over the past year.

"We had a really good year," Hong said. "We got our membership back up to over 1,000 members."

Hong discussed the many charity events the association held throughout the year, and how proud she was to represent the organization.

With plenty of smiles and laughter in the audience, Rodriguez adjourned the luncheon.

"He is such a wonder person," Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Greg Poole said of Rodriguez. "He's going to be a wonderful leader."