Joseph R. Lamar
Born to a social prominent family, Joseph Lamar spent most of his life in his native Georgia. Though he attended the University of Georgia, he completed his education at Bethany College. Lamar studied law briefly at Washington and Lee University and passed the Georgia bar in 1880. While in private practice, Lamar served two terms in the Georgia legislature. Lamar was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1903 but served only two years.
Lamar's nomination to the nation's highest court was something of a surprise. Lamar had only brief contact with President Taft as a result of Taft's occasional vacations in Lamar's community of Augusta, Georgia. Lamar was little known outside the South, which cast potential doubt on his confirmation by a Republican Senate. Those doubts proved unfounded; Lamar was confirmed five days after his nomination.
Lamar proved to be a pedestrian justice, lacking imagination and creativity. He died after five years of service, leaving hardly a strand in the fabric of the law.