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Lawyers In The News

dmc-admin//May 19, 1997

Lawyers In The News

dmc-admin//May 19, 1997

Thanks largely to the efforts of Charlotte lawyer Deborah Nance, several groups, including the county bar association, have adopted resolutions honoring John Sinclair Leary Sr., the first black lawyer to practice in Charlotte. A Fayetteville native and son of free parents, Leary’s father helped enslaved blacks learn to read, write and do math. His brother Lewis fought in John Brown’s anti-slavery crusade. Leary, who founded the law department at Shaw University, moved to Charlotte in 1892 and lived there until his death in 1904. The Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Association of Black lawyers honored Leary by renaming its branch after him….

The Durham firm of Pulley, Watson, King & Lischer sponsored the 2nd annual Jammin’ 2000 dance for eighth graders attending nine area middle schools. The event, which was free, rewarded students for meeting criteria established by their schools, which included no unexcused absences, maintaining a positive attitude and behavior and staying free of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The law firm also sponsors Safe and Sober Prom Night in Durham, Granville, Orange and Person county high schools each year….

Judge Knox Jenkins, who went on the Superior Court bench in 1991 after practicing law for 29 years, was profiled in the Goldsboro News Argus. Jenkins dropped out of school at UNC and was drafted into the Army. He credited service in Korea with motivating him to succeed when he returned to Chapel Hill. Jenkins opened a solo practice in Smithfield in 1965 when the senior partner in his firm dropped dead beside him in the courtroom. He won two high-profile cases that year, one defending a well publicized rape case, and the other defending alleged bootlegger Percy Flowers. The wins jump-started his practice, according to the article….

Black Mountain’s Michael Begley is thinking about running for mayor of his hometown — again. He served several terms in the 1980s, but was defeated in 1989 after six lawsuits were brought against the town over annexation issues. All the suits were unsuccessful, but many new voters were made in the process. Begley was Black Mountain’s first Morehead Scholar, and got his law degree at UNC….

W. Dortch Langston Jr. has been inducted into the Goldsboro High School Hall of Fame. A three-sport star, Langston was a starter in the East-West football game in 1955, his senior year. He went to Duke on a football scholarship. He is a partner in Langston & Duncan in Goldsboro….

The law office of Zeland McKinney Jr. of Robbinsville has been hired to represent the town of Andrews. It is expected that Mack Tallant will handle the town’s work for the firm….

Clayton lawyer Allen Tew is upset with the town’s speedy burial of his proposal to go to district voting. He had requested time at a scheduled meeting to discuss the issue, but the town council unanimously killed his idea at an earlier special meeting. He analogized the town’s action to “getting a get-well card from the undertaker….”

Norwood Robinson, an attorney at the Robinson & Lawing, L.L.P. firm in Winston-Salem, has received the Charles S. Rhyne distinguished alumni award from the Duke University School of Law. The award was established in 1994 for lawyers who have made significant pro bono contributions in education, professional affairs, public service or community activities. Robinson graduated from Duke’s School of Law 1952….

The N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys elected new officers at their 20th Annual Convention in Hilton Head last month. They are: president, Samuel S. Woodley Jr. of Rocky Mount; president-elect, Thomas W.H. Alexander of Raleigh; executive vice-president, Richard V. Bennett of Winston-Salem; treasurer, John S. Willardson of Wilkesboro; secretary, Linda Stephens of Raleigh. The group’s CLE program was chaired by Hatcher B. Kincheloe of Charlotte. The convention featured two judicial panels consisting of Chief Judge Gerald Arnold, Judge Jack Cozort, Judge John Martin, Judge William Helms, Judge Ronald Payne, Judge Osmond Smith, and Judge H.W. Zimmerman….

Hendersonville lawyer Diana Armatage Johnson has been certified as one of the three elder law attorneys in the state recognized by the National Elder Law Foundation….

Sherry Dew Prince of Tabor City has been elected by the UNC board of governors as a trustee to the UNC-Pembroke board. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UNC-P, and taught for eight years before getting her law degree at Campbell. She practices with the firm of Soles, Phipps, Ray, Prince & Williford….

Fayetteville lawyer Wade Byrd has emerged as one of the heavy hitters in political circles, contributing about $150,000 to state and federal campaigns last year. President of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, Byrd told Raleigh’s News and Observer that his giving is merely an extension of what he does in his law practice….

Newton attorney Joseph E. Seagle recently lectured some 60 western North Carolina librarians and library directors in Salisbury on the problem of Internet obscenity. A member of North Carolina Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Seagle said that libraries must develop procedures and policies to help avoid liability for things that may come in via the Internet. While a student there, he developed North Carolina Central University’s law school’s first web site, and also helped Central develop a usage policy for students when posting and developing sites on the school’s servers….

David Inabinett of Lexington wrote a guest column in the Dispatch suggesting that modern legal education breeds much of what is most disliked in the practice of law. He said when he began the placement process at his law school, the firms which were most highly marketed by the school’s placement office were consistently large and paid new associates extremely well. For those who did not apply or were not asked to be interviewed by these firms, there was a subtle, yet distinct feeling of inferiority that they were not among the chosen few. He said on one of the last days of school, however, one of his professors cautioned students not to confuse making a good living with making a good life….


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