Dean Booth, 74: Attorney known as Southern gentleman

If you’ve ever had to go to court, you would have been better off with attorney Dean Booth by your side. Aside from having two law degrees and decades of experience, he was known by many as being a true Southern gentleman, greeting everybody with his charming hospitality.

“He definitely embraced being Southern,” said his youngest daughter, Margaret Celecia of Atlanta. “It was important to him to have good manners, be modest, be a good guy and do the right thing.”

Booth was a member of many law firms in his career before settling as partner of Miller & Martin PLLC. In addition to being dedicated to the law, Booth gave back by mentoring many aspiring young attorneys, training each for successful law careers.

“He had a big impact on my career and my life,” said one of Booth’s trainees, Jason Graham of Graham & Penman LLP. “He would spend time with lawyers, teaching them the right way to do things instead of just saying ‘here’s your assignment, get it back to me tomorrow.’ ”

Gordon Dean Booth Jr., of Atlanta, died Oct. 16 at Emory University Hospital Midtown from complications following cancer. He was 74. His burial took place at a private cemetery on Oct. 24. His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at The Church of The Apostles, Buckhead. H.M. Patterson and Son Funeral Home, Arlington Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Booth graduated from Emory University School of Law in 1964, and returned to obtain his Master of Laws in tax law in 1973. During law school, he was a dedicated member of the Law Review and the winner of the Moot Court Competition, which requires students to argue a side of a hypothetical case.

His practice spanned nearly 50 years as an international attorney, litigation attorney, corporate and tax attorney. He represented nationally known companies such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company and Lockheed. Booth also had his hand in the reorganization of Rolls Royce’s finances when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1971.

“He was one of the most well-rounded, exceptional attorneys I’ve ever met,” said Booth’s Miller & Martin colleague Chris Parker. “He was different from lawyers today in the sense that he didn’t believe you needed to be specialized. He handled a wide variety of cases from a wide variety of clients.”

Although Booth was seen by many as one of the best in the business, those who knew him say he was always looking to learn new things. He was constantly reading new books, listening to new tapes or studying new topics, said his Miller & Martin colleague and former trainee Michael Kohler.

“He was 74 years old and he was still learning,” he said. “Every time you went in his office he had a new Amazon package full of books. He never gave up the thirst for knowledge.”

In addition to his daughter, Booth is survived by his wife of 52 years, Katherine “Katie” Campbell Booth, of Atlanta; three more daughters, Katherine Booth McCormick of Atlanta, Abigail Booth Curvino of Carrollton and Sarah Elizabeth Booth of Atlanta; and eight grandchildren.