Farewell to Doug Parsons
A well known and widely respected colleague and board certified specialist passed away last week. We are sorry to hear of the loss of Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Doug Parsons. Doug became a board certified specialist in federal/state criminal law in 1991, serving on the initial Criminal Law Specialty Committee. He also wrote and graded the first examination. Read his obituary.
Thank you, Doug, for your service to the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization and your hard work as an attorney. You were an example to many.
We asked a few colleagues to share some thoughts as well. Here are their words:
I knew Doug when we were undergraduates at Chapel Hill. We served together in the United States Attorney's Office during the Carter administration and remained friends. Doug and I tried cases together in state and federal court over the years, referred business back and forth, and spoke frequently. When I chaired the Criminal Law Specialization Exam Committee, I asked Doug to join me in preparing and grading the exam, and later exams (state, and then state/federal). Doug always maintained notebooks about case law. He read every advance sheet and would note in his books law changes, a new law, evidentiary decisions, and procedural matters, which were tweaked by the COA or the Supreme Court. In these matters he was never wrong, and I considered him to be erudite. That, and his quickness of mind and sharp analytical skills, made him a superb lawyer and an excellent trial judge. Two sentences just don't do him justice ...
When the NC State Bar decided to create a criminal law specialty, they asked several of us then “young” lawyers who had made criminal law our life’s work to form a committee to establish the criteria for the specialty. Doug Parsons was among the small group of great friends that took on the task. Always serious but courteous, he balanced our fun-loving hilarity with a calm and steady demeanor that gave us the balance we needed to do such an important job. While he died a wonderful superior court judge, he was always a criminal defense lawyer at heart, and we have lost a friend, a great lawyer, and a specialist worthy of the honor.
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