In Memoriam – Jack Poisson Update

John Paul Gallant Poisson 1943 – 2019

A Memorial Service for “Jack” Poisson, age 76, will begin with internment at 1:00 pm, Friday, January 17, 2020 at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit – Memorial Garden (433 Bone Camp Rd, Marshall, NC 28753 – near Mars Hill). The Celebration Service will continue in the Sanctuary.

Jack went home to the God of Love on December 9, 2019. Born in White Plains, NY on February 21, 1943, Jack was the son of the late George Louis Gallant and Paula Doyle, who later married Louis Julien Poisson, Jr of Wilmington, NC.

Jack was a 1961 graduate of New Hanover High School (Wilmington), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1965 from NC State University, being a member of the SAE Fraternity. Jack earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1970. He practiced law just shy of 50 years in NC… beginning in Wilmington and Greensboro… retiring from Buncombe and Madison County Courts in October.

Being a fourth-generation Poisson attorney, Jack had a familial heritage of advocacy and professionalism. His career in Criminal, Civil and Family Law was guided by “Higher Law” ( preferring collaborative law to help families find peaceful resolution. Jack knew his calling to be a “peace-maker” and gave decades of volunteer work for needy clients, such as Pisgah Legal Services He was inducted in the NC Pro Bono Honor Society by the Supreme Court of NC in 2017.

Jack enjoyed serving his community in many ways; most recently as a Board Member of MountainTrue “Protecting the Places We Share.”

Active in the Episcopal Church, Jack served in many ways and on the Vestry and as Senior Warden in the past. His loyalty to the Democratic Party reflected his dedication to “Liberty and Justice for All.”

Jack is survived by his sister, Tina Poisson Nichols and her daughters (Paula and Christy) and families; his late brother Hank Poisson’s daughters (Nelle P. Horn and Doyle P. Woodall (Woody) and sons Tommy and Ben) and numerous other Poisson relatives in NC.

He is also survived by his beloved, Ginny Lentz, her son Bert Hucks, wife Vicky, grandchildren: Gracie and Coley, from Coral Gables, FL… countless loving relatives, close friends, and caring doctors and nurses.

Jack will be missed for his kindness, laughter, integrity, humility and compassion. He was a grateful, elegant, genteel man… positive, confident, unflappable and full of JOY! “Our planet was blessed by Jack’s life with us.”

Let’s remember Jack’s final words before he passed: “LOVE is ALL that is!”

Elise Putnam Joins GHMA | LAW

The attorneys at GHMA | LAW are pleased to announce that Elise Putnam will join the firm effective January 6, 2020. 

Elise Putnam is a vastly experienced Family Law and Appellate attorney.  She has dedicated her career and practice to helping people throughout Western North Carolina. She received her law degree from Regent University School of Law, Cum Laude, in Virginia Beach and holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University.  Selected as one of only a handful of lawyers to represent parents in juvenile appellate matters by NC Indigent Defense Services, Elise has handled numerous appeals and argued successfully before the highest courts in the state. 

“We undertook an exhaustive search before expanding our practice and are excited for Elise to join the firm.  She has a great deal of experience and will make an excellent addition to the family law team,” says managing partner Patrick McCroskey.  

Elise is a Buncombe County native.  She is married with two children and a Great Dane dog. She enjoys hiking, cooking and reading, and travel.  She is a national park enthusiast and especially enjoys historic national park lodges. 

Gum, Hillier, McCroskey & Amburgey, P.A. is an Asheville-based family and bankruptcy law firm serving clients in western North Carolina. The firm helps individuals and families create lasting resolutions to conflict and financial crises. The partners are North Carolina Board Certified Legal Specialists in their respective fields of family and bankruptcy law, and offer mediation services to other lawyers and their clients. As legal specialists, the partners welcome referrals of family and bankruptcy law matters and are commonly associated by their peers on complex matters in their individual fields. To find out more about the GHMA | LAW firm, visit the website at

Annual 4All Statewide Service Day Registration Opens

Each year the North Carolina Bar Association sponsors a pro bono service day where attorneys from across the state volunteer to field legal questions from neighbors in their communities who cannot afford legal services.   The Buncombe County Bar’s Pro Bono Committee hosts the WNC regional call in center at WLOS in south Asheville and needs approximate 50 volunteer attorneys to sign up for one or more three-hour shifts on Friday, March 6th.  This is a great annual event where judges and attorneys come together to help those who need legal advise the most in our region.  Participants are covered by malpractice insurance provided by the Bar Association and registration for the event can found at

Attorney Katherine Fisher Now a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law

Attorney Katherine Fisher has become a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law.  The North Carolina State Bar writes that “A lawyer who is certified as a specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has satisfied a number of rigorous standards for certification in the lawyer’s specialty field.”  The standards include continuing education, confirmation by peers, passage of a 6-hour exam and devotion of at least 25% of one’s practice to the specialty.  Fisher has been in practice for over 15 years and is a senior attorney at The Van Winkle Law Firm.  To read more about Katherine, please click here:

Volunteer Judges and Scoring Jurors Needed for Mock Trial

Please Save the Date! If you live in Asheville, Hendersonville, or surrounding areas, , we would much appreciate your help at the North Carolina High School Mock Trial Regional Competition being held on February 1, 2020 at the Henderson County courthouse.

Volunteers are needed for:

Presiding Judge: judiciary or attorneys with mock trial experience; preside / make evidentiary rulings.
Scoring Juror: judiciary or attorneys. No experience necessary; orientation is provided!

Paralegals, legal assistants, students are also needed to help make this event a success.

Trials take place all day: two preliminary rounds (9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4 p.m.) and a final round (3:30 – 6:30 p.m.). If you can help, please contact Site Coordinator Melanie Miller at, or NC Mock Trial Program Coordinator Liz Avery-Jones at