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Farewell to Doug Parsons

ParsonsA 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:  

Tommy Manning

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 ...

Joe Cheshire

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.

Specialization Badges Now Available for Your Website and Marketing

Trademark PNGWe work hard to educate the public about the importance of specialization so they might recognize attorneys who have gone above and beyond in their profession. That’s why the Board of Legal Specialization has worked with a design team to create badges specific to each specialty.

What are digital badges?

A badge is a digital representation of your significant professional accomplishments, combined with a description of the specific knowledge and skills required to earn it. Badges are used to educate the public as to what is required to earn the distinction—in this case, what it takes to become a board certified specialist. As such, we would love for you to use the badge on your websites and in your marketing materials. View or download the images here.

Hyperlink the Badge

When you post the badge on your website, please link it to the “Benefits of Hiring a Specialist” page on the specialization website: Please use this link:

More Information

You will see both png and jpg files for the badges. Please note a png is clear, meaning it will show the color of your website behind the image. A jpg will appear with a white box around it. When publishing badges on websites, you may need to add buffer space to accommodate your other logos and badges. Please check with your web professional about this.

We are putting together a guide on how and where to use both the specialization logos and the badges, and we will send out more information when that is ready.

Encourage a Young Lawyer to Declare Intent

Do you know a new lawyer who would make a fantastic specialist? Encourage him or her to sign our declaration form. The form acknowledges his or her interest in the specialization program. Those who sign up will receive useful emails about the requirements, deadlines, and upcoming CLE opportunities. Please share the form with your colleagues.