Described by one of his peers as a “real titan in the legal industry,” Marietta Attorney John Moore, founder of Marietta-based law firm Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, died Tuesday morning of cancer, according to his family. He was 73.
Moore founded the local firm, which today stands on Roswell Street, in January 1984 and had practiced law in Cobb County since 1970 after receiving a law degree from Mercer University, according to his biography on the firm’s website. His firm today has just under 100 lawyers across five states.
Moore is survived by his wife, Robin Bradley Moore; his three children: John Kevin Moore (Ginny), Traci Moore Shropshire (Chip), and Bradley Allen Moore; his brother, Richard W. Moore (Mitzi); sister, Ceil M. Mattingly; and several grandchildren.
Services for Moore have been scheduled Friday at First United Methodist Church of Marietta, 56 Whitlock Ave., with visitation at noon and a service to follow at 2 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by Mayes Ward Dobbins Funeral Home and Crematory of Marietta.
In lieu of flowers, Moore’s family is requesting that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church of Marietta or WellStar Hospice in care of WellStar Foundation, 805 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA 30066.
A past president of the Cobb County Bar Association, Moore was recognized on the 2017 Best Lawyers in America list in the specialties of Land Use & Zoning Law and Litigation, according to the firm’s website.
His death comes just days after that of Harris Hines, who served as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia before stepping down this summer.
“The legal community in Cobb and the state of Georgia lost two legal giants this week — John was a good friend of Justice Harris Hines,” said Robert Ingram, one of Moore’s longtime law partners. “He was a lot like Harris Hines in that he was one of those lawyers who was just kind to everybody, and everybody liked him, which is unusual for lawyers — most people love their own lawyer but they don’t like the other party’s lawyer. (But) they both had that ability to walk in a room and smile, tell a story and disarm everybody.”
Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott said he had known Moore for more than 15 years. Though Moore often presented real estate issues in front of county commissioners and the Cobb Planning Commission, Ott said their interactions were not just limited to county matters.
“As his health declined, we would talk about every other week since he wasn’t as mobile as he wanted to be. Since both John and my dad suffered from the same cancer, we developed a close bond,” Ott said. “At the county, I always appreciated John’s willingness to reach out to the community to work out details during a zoning that were a win-win for both the community and his client. My fondest memories, however, will be his friendly advice, whether about county politics, his illness or life in general.”
Beyond the work at his firm, Moore had also been the driving force in the creation of the MIJS Scholarship Foundation about 12 years ago, with more than $300,000 given since its inception.
Recipients of the foundation’s scholarships would be given either $5,000 or $2,500 each year over the span of four years, with the funds generally given to students who could not afford to go to college other-wise.
“Generally, the hope was that was enough (money) to get people to be able to go,” said Bill Johnson, another named partner at Moore’s firm. “John was the one that came up with that, and his idea was that if you could get one person in a family to go to college, that may impact their brothers and their sisters, and on and on.”
Attorney Garvis Sams of Sams, Huff, Larkin and Balli worked in the same field as Moore, often seeing each other at county and city zoning meetings.
“He and I kind of formed a bond 30-plus years ago. We really weren’t competitors — we had camaraderie and friendship within a very competitive field,” Sams said. “He was always a gentleman in every sense of the word.”
Sams said Moore’s efforts to create the scholarship and other work show that Moore’s impact was “multi-faceted.”
“It went beyond what he did as an attorney — his humanitarian work and his work for nonprofits. He and his wife, and my wife and I, co-chaired Safepath probably six or seven years ago, and it was a pleasure watching him work in that kind of context, and I know that had far and wide-ranging effects on the community,” Sams said. “He was one that gives as opposed to one that takes. If you lived, resided, worked in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and more specifically Cobb County, there’s no way that you didn’t feel some impact that John would have generated or created, and yet he never sought any kind of acclaim for it — he was self-effacing and almost shy to some degree.”