Bertis Downs has lived in Athens GA since 1978 when he commenced his legal studies. He is a Georgia attorney and was a longtime adjunct professor at the University of Georgia School of Law. His speciality is entertainment law, and he has represented the band R.E.M. throughout their career as a band and as a business.
Downs graduated from Davidson College with a Bachelor’s degree in History and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law. He clerked for Senior Judge Wilson Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of Washington, D.C and taught Entertainment Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has also taught the Recorded Music part of the Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industries for the Practicing Law Institute seminar and has participated in the Music and Personal Appearance Division of the American Bar Association Forum Committee on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
He has served on the boards of People for the American Way, The Network for Public Education, The National Education Association Foundation, Historic Athens, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Bertis is grateful for a gainful retirement these days and a life spent mainly in Athens GA and rural New Hampshire with his family including young adult children and too many dogs.