Memorial Resolution for J. Reed Johnston, Jr.





BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, by the Greensboro Bar Association at its regularly scheduled meeting on November 16, 2017, that:

WHEREAS, J. Reed Johnston, Jr. died on May 20, 2017, in Greensboro, North Carolina after a long period of declining health; and

WHEREAS, this Association desires to reflect upon his exemplary career and service to the Bar and his fellow citizens, and the minutes should therefore reflect that:

Reed was born in Pittsburgh, PA on April 22, 1944 to John Reed Johnston and Pauline Barton Johnston. His family moved to Winston-Salem in 1946, where he grew up and went to school at R.J. Reynolds High School. After completing his junior year of high school, he was accepted as a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his high school diploma after he completed his first year at the university.

Following graduation from UNC-CH in 1965, Reed entered the School of Law at UNC-CH and began his life-long commitment to the practice of the law. When asked when he decided to become an attorney, Reed always answered he never wanted to do anything else. In 1968, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he served as articles editor of the Law Review, was a member of the Order of the Coif and graduated with high honors.  He was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 1968.

Following graduation from law school, Reed moved to Washington, D.C. and worked as an appellate attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1971, Reed joined the faculty of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.  He was admitted to the Missouri Bar and later practiced law in St. Louis for several years.

Reed moved back to North Carolina in 1983, and joined the law firm of Tuggle Duggins in Greensboro as a member of its litigation practice. Reed was a director of the firm and practiced with the firm of Tuggle Duggins for over 30 years. During his time at the firm, he served as a president of Tuggle Duggins and oversaw the firm’s transition from its original offices at 228 W. Market Street to the current location in the Lincoln Financial building.  He continued to assist the Firm even as his health declined and as he transitioned to senior counsel.  He was a member of the Greensboro, the North Carolina and the American Bar Associations.  His practice focused on business, insurance, ERISA, intellectual property and appellate litigation. Reed was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.  Reed handled appeals in these courts and the appellate courts of various states including North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois and New York. He was AV designated by Martindale Hubbell.

Reed met his wife Sharon “Sherry” O’Donnell while they were both students at UNC-CH School of Law.  They have two sons, Sean and Michael.  In addition to being an avid supporter of Tar Heel sports, Reed enjoyed spending free time in his woodwork shop. He loved nothing better than spending his weekends with his sons working on projects for the house or a gift for the family. Always interested in photography, his time was spent not only capturing family memories but searching for interesting examples of old tobacco barns and the Carolina countryside. During the last three years, Reed received the gift of a beautiful granddaughter, Maddie, who brought a special joy and light to his life.     

Reed is survived by Sherry, his wife of 47 years, sons John Reed Johnston, IV “Sean,” wife Cyndi and granddaughter Madison Harper of Durham and Michael O’Donnell Johnston of Oakton, VA; sisters Carolyn Carroll (Ed) of Danville, VA; Pauline Johnston of Winston-Salem; Rebecca Johnston of Fayetteville; sister-in-law Patricia O’Donnell of Annandale, VA; brother-in-law H. Scott Sigler of Atlanta, GA; nephews Edward Carroll (Barbara); Gregory Carroll; Jeremy Carroll ( Elizabeth); Jeffery Sigler (Sage), Kevin Sigler (Heather), Tyler Sigler (Sasha), as well as eight great-nieces and nephews.

NOW,  THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Greensboro Bar Association, in this duly assembled meeting of its members, does hereby adopt this Resolution to honor and memorialize the life and works of our colleague J. Reed Johnston, Jr., and directs that this Resolution be made part of the official records of the Association and that a true copy hereof shall be delivered to Reed’s family in token of the esteem, high regard, and enduring affection in which he was held by his friends and colleagues of the Bar.

DONE BY ACCLAMATION at the regularly scheduled meeting of the membership of the Greensboro Bar Association, this the 16th day of November, 2017.

Presented by J. Nathan Duggins, III

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