Women Build Kickoff Party

Please join Buncombe County Women Attorneys as we kickoff the start to fundraising for the 14th Women Build house built by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. We look forward to seeing you as we come together to encourage our legal community to support the building of a home for a woman in need. The future homeowner Quintania Gregg will be joining us, so please come out for this wonderful cause!   Please see details below:

Rustic Grape Wine Bar, 14 Aston Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Wednesday, May 1st, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

NC Pro Bono Honor Society Members Named

We congratulate the following local attorneys who have been inducted into the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society:

Leah Broker
Robert Carpenter
Michael Casterline
Kerry Friedman
David Hillier
John Noor
George Pappas
Robert Pitts
Jack Poisson
Ben Scales

To earn this honor, a North Carolina licensed attorney must have reported providing at least fifty hours of pro bono legal services in 2018.

In Memoriam – John S. Stevens

John Shorter “Jack” Stevens, 85, died on April 23, 2019 at his home in Asheville.

Jack was born May 30, 1933 in Asheville to the late John Henry Stevens and Viola Shorter Stevens.  He attended public elementary schools and graduated from Christ School, Arden, North Carolina in 1952.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1956.  After serving two years in the U.S. Army as a Corporal in the Corps of Engineers, he attended law school at the University of North Carolina Law School, graduating in 1961.

Jack began his law career with Anthony Redmond in the fall of 1961.  Over several years, the firm expanded to become Redmond, Stevens, Loftin & Currie.  In 1986, that firm merged with the firm of Roberts, Cogburn, McClure and Williams to become the firm of Roberts & Stevens.  Under Jack’s leadership, Roberts & Stevens became one of the preeminent law firms in western North Carolina.

In 1966, he married Imogene “Cissie” Stevens, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.  Their love and respect for each other created the foundation for a lifetime of happiness, success and meaning.  They were a model for the rest of us to follow.

In his early career, Jack served four terms in the North Carolina General Assembly (1969-1975) and was Chairman of the House Rules Committee during the 1975 session.

Active throughout his career in the North Carolina Bar Association, Jack was President from 1995-1996 and was inducted into the Bar Association General Practice Hall of Fame in 2013.  He was also presented with the 28th Judicial District Bar Association Centennial Award for outstanding service which benefitted his local community.  He loved practicing law and remained actively engaged in practice until January of 2019 when he reluctantly retired.

His service to the community was unparalleled.  He chaired the Board of Trustees of Mission Memorial Medical Center from 1978-1980 and again from 1992-1995.  He was instrumental in the merger of Mission-St. Joseph Health System and chaired that combined board from 1996-1998.  He was also a member and chaired the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Health Care System in Chapel Hill.

He was one of the first directors of Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company and served on the board and Executive Committee from 1982 until 2009.  He was also Chairman of the Asheville Regional Airport Authority.  He served on many other boards and commissions, including the North Carolina Humanities Council, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cherokee Indian Hospital, the Governor’s Task Force for Safe Roads and the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority.

Jack was also an active member of the Pen & Plate Club from 1967 until his death.

A skier all his life, Jack was a member of the National Ski Patrol at Cataloochee Ski Resort and Wolf Laurel in the late 1960’s and early 70’s and taught his three boys how to ski.  He also loved the Rocky Mountains and skied out west annually until he was 80 years old.   An avid hiker, Jack and Cissie hiked Hadrian’s Wall in England and the footpaths of France, but their favorite hike was Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which they summited more than forty times.   An accomplished sailor, he and his friend Bill Holdford made dozens of trips through the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke Island and also an annual trip to the Chesapeake Bay.  He also sailed Charleston Harbor and throughout the Caribbean with friends and family.  More than anything, Jack enjoyed being outside, among friends and family.

An accomplished historian, Jack lectured on the History of Buncombe County at the College For Seniors at UNC Asheville from 2000-2016.  Shortly before his death, Jack published a book entitled A Short Buncombe County History.   Although Jack and Cissie enjoyed traveling immensely, his home was Buncombe County, where he could trace his direct lineage back to 1820 when Henry Stevens came over the mountains from east Tennessee to marry Nancy Foster and make a home in south Asheville.   At the start of his book, Jack quoted author Fred Chappell:  “Who you are is where you’re from and where you’re from is where you are going.”

In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by his brother James Robert Stevens, II of Winston-Salem.  Surviving are his sister, Mary Stevens Hood of Virginia Beach, VA, his wife of 53 years, Cissie Stevens of Asheville; sons, Brent Stevens and wife, Kelly, of Charlotte, Wyatt Stevens and wife, Kim, of Asheville and Scott Stevens and wife, Jenny, of Charlotte; grandchildren, Jonathan, Ashlyn and Wyatt Stevens of Charlotte, Katie and Gracie Stevens of Asheville and John, Sam and Ella Stevens of Charlotte.  He is also survived by his beloved dog, Beau, who helped keep him company during his last difficult months.

Jack was a long time member of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Asheville.  A funeral service in celebration of Jack’s life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

Buncombe County and western North Carolina are better for having Jack Stevens.

The Van Winkle Law Firm Brings Activist Bryan Stevenson To Asheville For Public Policy Lecture Series

Event Co-Sponsored By The David And Lin Brown Visionary Lecture Series & Hosted By UNC Asheville

The Van Winkle Law Firm is proud to continue its commitment to offer an ongoing public policy lecture series geared toward the thoughtful consideration of and discussion around important policy issues that face Buncombe County, the state and the nation. This second installment of The Van Winkle Law Firm Public Policy Lectures takes place on April 25th at UNC Asheville. The firm partnered with The David and Lin Brown Visionary Lecture Series and UNC Asheville to bring attorney, activist, and best-selling author Bryan Stevenson to Asheville.

Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American Society. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting the abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Stevenson is also the author of award-winning New York Times best-selling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. The April 25th event with Bryan Stevenson is free to the public and more information can be found at www.unca.edu.

The Van Winkle Law Firm Public Policy Lectures was developed out of a desire within the firm to encourage and promote continued dialogue around relevant and important issues surrounding public policy in the immediate community and the country.