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Gilchrist/Smith Awards Presented

Gilchrist/Smith Awards Presented

Criminal Justice Section honorees Clark Everett, left, and Michael Grace display Gilchrist and Smith Awards.

The North Carolina Bar Association Criminal Justice Section presented its annual Peter S. Gilchrist III & Wade M. Smith awards on Thursday, Feb. 1. The awards were presented at the Tenth Annual Gilchrist/Smith Awards Dinner at the Embassy Suites in Cary.

W. Clark Everett, former district attorney of Pitt County, received the Gilchrist Award. Michael A. Grace of Grace Tisdale & Clifton in Winston-Salem received the Smith Award.

The Criminal Justice Section presents its awards to an outstanding prosecutor (Gilchrist Award) and defense attorney (Smith Award). The awards are named for their initial recipients, former Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist and renowned defense attorney Wade Smith of Raleigh.

Bernie Desrosiers, section chair, presided.

Everett joined the Pitt County District Attorney’s office in 1980 and retired as the district attorney for District 3-A on Feb. 1, 2013. He has since served as a temporary assistant district attorney for District Attorney Kimberly Robb.

Everett is a 1977 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 1980 graduate of the UNC School of Law.

Longtime Pitt County District Court Judge Joseph Blick, retired, presented the Gilchrist Award.

Grace has engaged in private practice and criminal defense for more than 30 years and also serves as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1977. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1974.

Grace previously served as staff attorney for U.S. Reps. Lamar Grudger and Ike Andrews, and was appointed by President Carter to serve as Special Assistant to the Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chief Justice Mark Martin presented the Smith Award.

The program included a moment of silence for Rebecca Ann Phillips of Greensboro, who died unexpectedly last Saturday at the age of 31. She served under Everett as an assistant district attorney in Pitt County for five years before accepting a position as an assistant district attorney in Guilford County in order to be closer to her hometown of Danville, Va.

Her funeral was held earlier in the day.

In keeping with the tradition of the Gilchrist/Smith Awards Dinner, many of the previous recipients, all of whom are listed below, were recognized at the outset of the festivities.

Gilchrist Award Previous Recipients
2016   Howard J. Cummings, Raleigh
2015   Barton Menser, Charlotte
2014   Sandra J. Hairston, Greensboro
2013   James J. Coman, Raleigh
2012   Calvin W. Colyer, Fayetteville
2011   C. Colon Willoughby Jr., Raleigh
2010   William D. Kenerly, Salisbury
2009   Edward W. Grannis Jr., Fayetteville
2008   Peter S. Gilchrist III, Charlotte

Smith Award Previous Recipients
2016   Sean P. Devereux, Asheville
2015   Thomas C. Manning, Raleigh
2014   Mark W. Owens Jr., Greenville
2013   Fredrick G. Lind, Greensboro
2012   James E. Ferguson, Charlotte
2011   Joseph B. Cheshire V, Raleigh
2010   James P. Cooney III, Charlotte
2009   Locke T. Clifford, Greensboro
2008   Wade M. Smith, Raleigh