Joseph B. Cheshire V Presents 2015 Law & Society Lecture
The Mecklenburg County Bar celebrated the nation’s 58th Law Day on May 6, 2016, at the Hilton Charlotte Center City. Law Day was established by a proclamation of President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958. In the midst of the Cold War, the President encouraged Americans to reflect on the importance of the rule of law in the preservation of democracy.
Joseph Cheshire, with the Raleigh firm of Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan, was the keynote speaker at the 26th Annual Law & Society Luncheon on November 12, 2015. Mr. Cheshires’s speech, entitled “Moral, Ethical & Legal Lessons Learned from the Fifth Decade of A Fifth Generation North Carolina Lawyer,” was a moving and inspirational presentation. Mr. Cheshire recounted many examples in his 40+ years of practice where he was able to bring his skills as an attorney to those in need. He has tried cases in 85 of the 100 counties in NC, 14 states and at least 3 foreign countries. He has represented convicted death row inmates who were exonerated and freed and represented multiple governors, congressmen and state legislators from both parties.
Mr. Cheshire challenged all attorneys to practice law for the right reasons. He reminded us that the practice of law is a profession, not a job, and encouraged attorneys to provide legal service to those less fortunate not for pro bono awards, but because it is the right thing to do. As he said, “We are in dire need of lawyers who will courageously battle for truth, for right, for ethics, for civility and for our profession. We must make a choice and I ask you to make that choice with me today, will we continue to march to the drumbeat of conformity, timidity and respectability or will more of us listen to the beat of a more distant drummer? That distant drummer that calls for those of us that have been given so much to support, not exclusiveness, but equality, fairness, forgiveness, understanding and compassion.”
In addition to the compelling keynote address, this year’s luncheon also featured the presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award. This year’s award went to A. Ward McKeithen of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson.
Proceeds of the annual Law & Society Luncheon go to support the good works of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, including grants to support local nonprofit organizations and the charitable and educational initiatives of the Bar. This year’s luncheon was incredibly successful, with over $43,000 raised to support projects and organizations with a legal nexus in our community.
The Mecklenburg County Bar and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of the 2015-16 Law & Society Luncheon and all who attended. This year’s sponsors were:
Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)
Charlotte School of Law
Gold Sponsors ($2,500)
Alston & Bird LLP
Bank of America Legal Department
Duke Energy Law Department
Hunton & Williams
James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.
King & Spalding LLP
Moore & Van Allen PLLC
Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Wells Fargo & Co. Legal Department
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC
Silver Sponsors ($1,000)
Compass Group USA, Inc.
Gardner Skelton, PLLC
Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC
Horack Talley PA
Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Poyner Spruill LLP
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Contributor Sponsors ($500)
Alexander Ricks PLLC
Burt & Cordes, PLLC
C. DeWitt Foard & Company, PA
Carolina Legal Staffing LLC
Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog, LLP
Erwin, Bishop, Capitano & Moss, P.A.
Essex Richards P.A.
McGangus, Goudelock & Courie, LLC
Smith Moore Leatherwood , LLP
The Van Winkle Law Firm
Rudolf Widenhouse & Fialko