(Sent to all District Bar Presidents)
October 29, 2015
I am serving on the NCBA Professionalism Committee. One of our current projects is to gather information from members of the Bar about interesting experiences of genuine, top‐level professionalism. Many of us have experienced or witnessed such fine conduct.
We plan ultimately to have a number of attorneys relate briefly their experiences on video produced by our NCBA production folks and put together for viewing by the Bar a production of such experiences of real professionalism which we believe will be pleasantly informative and instructive. So, I am writing you to ask that you inform your District Bar Membership of this project and ask that if anyone knows of an episode that he or she believes might be suitable and would like to relate on video to prepare a brief descriptive summary and send it to me for the Committee’s review. Thereupon, our subcommittee will follow up directly with the submitting attorneys as we develop our production material.
Here is an example of an episode of pure professionalism I personally witnessed many years ago and will never forget: One of my Senior Partners in a large civil litigation firm in Birmingham was defending a case before a jury about 70 miles away from our office. This partner had over 50 years of trial experience and was highly‐regarded within the profession. Lately, we had noticed that he was having some short‐term memory problems and becoming a bit physically weak, tiring in early afternoon. A few days into the trial one of our other partners received a call from opposing counsel, saying, “Y’all need to send someone up here right away… ______’s not doing well, is having trouble phrasing his questions, not making good sense, seems to be coming apart. I asked the judge to recess so I could call you. Please send somebody up here to help him or take over the defense. I just don’t feel right going on with it…” Two of us immediately drove up there, assessed the situation, and without objection of opposing counsel, moved for and obtained a mistrial… a poignant professional experience.
We are asking that Members having brief stories of such fine professional conduct they wish to share send them to me at the above address for our Committee’s consideration. Please send copies of this letter to your Members to inform them of this request and provide them with this example of what we are seeking.
Thanking you and your Membership in advance for your participation, I am
Thomas J. White, III
P. O. Box 248
Kinston, North Carolina 28502
(252) 560‐6527 tjw@twhite‐law.com