Jones Elementary School Book Project Begins

Each year, the GBA collects generous donations from our members to purchase books from Scholastic at a significant discount.  We collect enough money to buy a book for each and every child in the traditional program at Jones Elementary School in grades K through 5.  Right before the holiday break, GBA volunteers wrap each book and then hand deliver the books to the kids in their classrooms wearing Santa hats and other festive attire.  The look on the children’s faces is what the holidays are all about.

So . . . we are asking you to consider:

(1) making a donation to this project by writing a check made payable to the “Greensboro Bar Association  Foundation”;

(2) wrapping a book while attending the GBA’s annual holiday party on Thursday, December 18th at Elon Law School; and

(3) volunteering to distribute the books at Jones on Friday, December 19th.

Donations need to be received by December 10, 2014 and can be mailed to the GBA at Post Office Box 1825, Greensboro, NC 27402 or hand-delivered to either Diane Lowe or Sarah Roane at the November 20th membership lunch meeting.  Please include “Jones Elementary Book Project” in the memo line of the check so we know what your donation is for.  All donors, both individual and firm, will be recognized in a subsequent GBA newsletter.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and holiday spirit!

Herb Falk Society Induction

The Herb Falk Society honors those members of the Greensboro Bar Association who contribute at least 75 hours of pro bono service annually. The eleven individuals inducted for 2013 were recognized at the September member dinner at Starmount Forest Country Club. They are:

Barbara R. Christy – 118 hours

Locke T. Clifford – 79.1 hours

Robert C. Cone – 160 hours

Richard W. Gabriel – 98 hours

A. Holt Gwyn – 102.35

Eloise M. Hassell – 89.25

Jennifer L.J. Koenig – 220.4 hours

Emma C. Merritt – 80 hours

Parrish L. Peddrick – 92.8 hours

Eric A. Richardson – 122.35 hours

James H. Slaughter – 96 hours






Jim Williams

Jim Williams Receives Distinguished Service Award

Jim Williams

James T. Williams , Jr., a senior litigation partner at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, was honored with the Greensboro Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the Association’s April 2014 membership meeting. Established in 1993, the Distinguished Service Award recognizes lawyers with a deep devotion and constant commitment to the law, the administration of justice, the highest ethical principles, and a dedication to public service.

The award was presented by Reid Phillips. You may view his comments about Jim’s service HERE.

GBA President

January’s Comments from the President

Vance BarronAlas, Chris Gumbiner, our office administrator, has told us that she will retire at the end of May. That day was bound to come, but it is unwelcome nevertheless. “What fates impose, that men must needs abide; it boots not to resist both wind and tide.” Chris apparently wants to spend more time shepherding her grandchildren than looking after a group of disorganized lawyers. I cannot imagine why. It is typical of Chris that she speaks warmly about her experience as office administrator.She has found that the lawyers in our association “couldn’t have been nicer.” She said that her job has “always been a pleasure.” Of course, she has always been cordial and welcoming, even when dealing with those of us who have made procrastination not just a business plan, but a way of life. How many times have we showed up for a meeting, looking for our name tag among those neatly laid out on the table by Chris. “Oh, I guess my assistant must have forgotten to make a reservation,” we say. “Not to worry,” says Chris with a smile. “We can always find a place for you.”

Chris professes not to know why lawyers have a reputation for being difficult. Who are these fire-breathing, aggressive creatures who chew up their adversaries for breakfast? They must be mythical creatures–they are not members of our bar association, according to Chris. I believe she is correct. How else could she have been so cheerful and happy to be among us? For the past nine years, Chris has kept the books balanced, prepared financial reports every month, made reservations for meals by guessing how many members would show up unannounced, prepared detailed agendas for meetings, kept in contact with the members about their association and judicial district dues, maintained a constant stream of e-mails, returned phone calls, and gently reminded your officers of their responsibilities.

When our association built the largest number of houses for Habitat for Humanity of any bar group in the nation, Chris was there to bolster the leadership of Nancy Ferguson, Bill Cooke, Jay DeVaney, and all the others who pulled together in that major enterprise. Chris remembers that in December 2004, shortly after she first took this job, she accompanied Polly Sizemore and Allison Grimm to hand out gift-wrapped books donated by our association to the children at Foust Elementary School. Chris was touched by the surprise and joy of the children to receive such nice gifts. The book project has grown each year and, under the direction of Sarah Roane, this year’s gift of books to Jones Elementary School will be the largest yet. Chris commends us for the project, but like so much else, it could not happen without her. Polly Sizemore said that Chris has done “an amazing job, day in and day out, and has done so with grace and poise.” Lest one think that Polly is laying it on thick, that sentiment is echoed by Ed Winslow, John Morgan, Wanda Daughtry, and other past presidents. Bob Douglas says of Chris that she has been the “heart and soul of the bar association.” He told me, ”I always knew when I was president that Chris had my back covered.” I am reminded of Nelson Mandella’s observation: “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.” With Chris backing us up, nice things always seem to occur. She will definitely be missed. But she is not gone yet. When you see her, please take the opportunity to thank her for all that she has done for our association.

Vance Barron,

President of the Greensboro Bar Association.


Young Lawyers Section Serves Food While Serving Others

servingMembers of the GBA’s Young Lawyers Section (YLS) met on the evening of December 9 to prepare and serve a tasty meal to clients of the Greensboro Urban Ministry, located at 305 W. Lee Street. With aprons and hair nets donned, approximately 15 YLS members heated lasagnas, seasoned green beans, browned rolls, and prepared cookies for service to over 100 hungry people in the downtown area.While some members made plates and drinks as people steadily poured in at the appointed service hour of 7:00 pm, others prepared the dining room, brought guests food, and refilled beverages.

This evening meal during the holiday season has longbeen part of the service agenda of the YLS and is one of many service activities the YLS orchestrates. For up-to-date information regarding the YLS’s current and future projects, check out its Facebook page (and “Like” it!), and watch for emails.