Cliffe Lane Gort, age 63, of Atlanta, died Jan. 23, 2013, surrounded by his family.

CandleHe was born Oct. 27, 1949 in New York City. He graduated from Hewlett High School in 1967 and enrolled at Marietta College in Ohio, where he graduated with honors. Cliffe then moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University School of Law. He graduated in 1974 with honors and never left the city.

Cliffe was admitted to the bar in Georgia, Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York. For 39-plus years, he was a vigorous advocate who had a keen ability to structure effective defenses. He clerked for the honorable Judge Jack Etheridge before beginning a practice in domestic relations and criminal law. He developed a specialty in cases involving Medicare fraud.

He avoided press for himself saying that it never serves the best interest of his clients. Cliffe was a sought-after speaker and published many papers on a variety of criminal and domestic relations topics. He established the Urgent Legal Matters seminar for ICLE and the State Bar of Georgia. In November 2012, ICLE honored Cliffe as Outstanding Program Chair and for his 25-plus years of service.

He loved the practice of law and the opportunity to work with lawyers with various practices. Cliffe was honored among the top-rated attorneys in America in 2011 and 2012.

Cliffe believed in giving back to the community and started Jewish Family & Career Services’ Legal Committee. He was honored many times for his 25-plus years of service to the organization. Cliffe ended his correspondence with selah, Hebrew for accentuating the magnitude and importance of what has been said, often used as a substitute for “amen.” He was emphasizing that what he had to say was important.

Cliffe was a devoted family man. Traveling and taking cruises with his family was one of his great pleasures. He was actively involved in his sons’ lives, including coaching many of their soccer teams. Always a competitor, Cliffe was a talented tennis player and captained many of his USTA and ALTA teams. He and his tennis teams have won numerous division and city championships. One of the things that he was proud of and enjoyed most was being able to play on teams with his two sons.

Cliffe was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Hilda Gort and Max and Birdie Gordon; and in-laws, Helen and Emanuel Herman. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Sylvia Herman Gort; their sons, Bryan and Matthew (MJ); sister, Barbara Gort Saunders, Boston; brother and sister-in-law, Douglas and Hedy Gort, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Weinstein Hospice; Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, Inc.; The Temple; or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org). Sign online guest book at edressler.com. A graveside service was held Fri., Jan. 25, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Peter Berg officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.