A few days ago Lawrence city officials hosted a reception to honor Lawrence attorney Gerald Cooley, who is retiring after serving 23 years as the city’s attorney.
Speakers noted Cooley’s excellent work for the city and emphasized his attention to detail, his knowledge of the law, the manner in which he conducted himself and his hard work.
They said he epitomizes all the good traits and habits of a superior “small-town attorney” and applies these values in his work on behalf of the city.
Cooley always was a stickler for doing the right thing, and, without a doubt, his presence kept the city on the straight and narrow.
Since 1988, when he became city attorney, Cooley is sure to have disappointed or angered a number of people with his legal arguments and opinions, but even his critics are likely to acknowledge that he tried to treat all parties fairly. At times he might appear brusque, but he took great interest in his work and his clients, whether in his personal legal work or in his role as city attorney.
Cooley’s legal skills could easily have taken him to a larger community or bigger law firm, but it was the city’s good fortune that he chose to stay in Lawrence and work on the community’s behalf.
Lawrence and its residents were well-served by Cooley in his role as city attorney.