Hall of Fame Inducts Four

From left, inductees Lloyd Baucom, Charles Brown, Bo McDonald and Bob Deutsch.

Four new members of the North Carolina Bar Association’s General Practice Hall of Fame were inducted on Thursday evening, June 23, at the 118th Annual Meeting in Charlotte.

Attorneys comprising the 2016 induction class are:

  • Lloyd Franklin Baucom, Charlotte, introduced by Charles Davis;
  • Charles Palmer Brown Sr., Albemarle, introduced by Tom Grady;
  • Robert J. Deutsch, Asheville, introduced by Tikkun Gottschalk; and
  • Ralph “Bo” McDonald, Raleigh, introduced by David Coats.

The Hall of Fame, sponsored by the NCBA Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section, was established in 1989. This year’s induction class brings membership in the Hall of Fame to 153 attorneys.

Hank Van Hoy presided. A past president of the NCBA and a former inductee, Van Hoy chaired the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. NCBA President Shelby Benton and President-elect Kearns Davis presented the awards.

The program bios for each inductee read as follows:

Lloyd Franklin Baucom
Lloyd Franklin Baucom was born on November 12, 1934, in Union County. A few months later, his family moved to Marshville and he attended Marshville School from grade one in the fall of l941 (the U.S. entered World War II in December of this year) until he graduated with about 40 classmates in May of l953.

Lloyd was admitted to Wake Forest College in the fall of 1953. Toward the end of Lloyd’s junior year at he decided he wanted to attend law school. He met with the Wake Forest law school dean, Carroll Weathers, and asked to be admitted in the law school’s combined degree program. He began law school in the fall of 1956 at Wake’s new campus in Winston- Salem.

The first year went well; however, because of being in the ROTC program when he graduated June l957, he was required to go on active duty in the U.S. Army in January 1958. After two years of active duty, he returned to law school in January 1960 and finished in May 1961 with honors. He passed the bar exam in July 1961.

Lloyd’s first legal employment was with the Charlotte law firm of Henderson & Henderson, very much a general practice firm. The varied legal work done there included traffic, domestic, probate, civil litigation, criminal, name changes, caveats, condemnations, business matters, real estate, adoptions, and shortly thereafter, mandatory court-appointed criminal defense. The firm also encouraged involvement in the community. In about l964, Lloyd became a solo practitioner.

The Henderson firm and others were all generous in referring legal work to him, including the Charlotte firm of Haynes, Graham and Bernstein, a small firm of very active business and trial attorneys who had limited interest in doing real estate work, which was frequently referred to Lloyd. He was later asked to join that firm. In a year or so he became a partner with Haynes, Graham, Bernstein and Baucom. In about 1968 that firm lost Graham to the N.C. Court of Appeals and Bernstein joined what is now Parker Poe. Later, Jim Chandler, Bill Claytor, Ken Benton and Rex Morgan joined the Haynes and Baucom law firm. Chandler later started his own firm, Haynes retired and others came into that firm, now known as the Baucom Claytor Law Firm. Lloyd still engages in a varied civil practice, with some narrowing of such in the last several years.

During his many years of practice, his involvement with church and community matters has been significant, including: membership in St. John’s Baptist Church for the last 45 years, where he has been active in teaching, serving on many committees, being elected a deacon and chairman of deacons, and now a deacon emeritus; membership in the Charlotte Jaycees and later as an officer with the North Carolina Jaycees; board service including two terms as president of Nevins Center, Inc., a vocational training center and a later residential program; membership in the Charlotte Civitan Club, including service as its president; and appointment by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to the county’s Advisory Board for Mental Retardation for several terms including two years as chairman.

Service to the legal profession has included: election to the board for the 26th Judicial District Bar and service as its president; appointment in 1990 to the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners by the N.C. State Bar, on which he served the allowed 12 years, the last two as chairman, and since then as a member emeritus of the board; membership in the North Carolina Bar Association and its Senior Lawyer Division, and the American Bar Association; and two terms as a member and vice chairman of the Courthouse Review and Implementation Committee appointed by the Mecklenburg County Commissioners to assist in the planning and construction of a new courthouse.

On August 11, l962, Lloyd married Joan Morrow, who taught in elementary school until they started their family. They have two children, Jennifer B. Flynn, an attorney in Salisbury married to Ames B. Flynn, and James F. Baucom, a CPA with Duke Energy Corporation; and two grandchildren, Austin L. Flynn and Anna Flynn.

Lloyd is having a difficult time in retiring, as he is in frequent and enjoyable contact with his clients, some for several decades, most of whom have used his general practice legal services. Just a good, respected, dedicated general practitioner with some gumption and common sense doing what he nostalgically calls his “two office walk-up practice above the town drug store.”

Like all former and current inductees to the General Practice Hall of Fame, Lloyd is a true representative as to what the legal profession is and should be about.

Robert J. “Bob” Deutsch
Bob Deutsch was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1947. His father was educated as an attorney and encouraged him to go to law school after he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969 with a B.A. in economics. In 1972, Bob received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Bob and his wife Carol moved to Hendersonville in 1973 and he began the general practice of law as a solo practitioner. His first two cases were civil partnership dissolution and murder, both of which were referred by other attorneys. Since then, his practice has covered a wide variety of cases, civil and criminal, litigation and transactions, in all courts in western North Carolina. He has tried cases involving capital murder, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability, family law, real estate, construction, intellectual property, and other complex commercial litigation. His clients have included individuals, companies, governmental entities, insurance companies and banks. For the past decade, he has concentrated on business negotiation and litigation, involving real estate construction, property development and management, and trusts and estate planning. He also currently serves as attorney for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

His firm, Deutsch & Gottschalk, P.A., currently has three attorneys and three paralegals. Bob enjoys mentoring younger attorneys and is especially proud of his partner, Tikkun Gottschalk, whom he regards as one of the best attorneys in Asheville.

In addition to his legal practice, he has owned and operated several businesses, including computer software, furniture and real estate development companies, as well as an indoor shopping mall. Bob has also been a director of a digital marketing company in Atlanta, and an e-book licensing firm in New York City.

In 2010, after participating as counsel for litigants, he became a certified mediator for Superior and Federal court cases, and for estate matters before the Clerk of Court. He believes mediation has greatly improved the practice of law and quality of life for both lawyers and clients.

Since moving to Asheville in 1985, Bob has been and remains a strong advocate and supporter of the Asheville/Buncombe County community. As an attorney, board member and local citizen, he has proudly participated in Asheville’s emergence as a center for the arts, outdoor adventure, music, health care, and of course, beer and food.

He has represented many non-profits, including LEAF music festival, Asheville Arts Council, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville Music Professionals, and Green Opportunities. He currently serves as co-chair of the Pisgah Legal Services endowment campaign and the Jewish Community Center capital campaign.

Bob has always been very involved with the local and national Jewish community. He served as president of Beth Israel synagogue and Western North Carolina Jewish Federation, and is very supportive of and engaged with the state of Israel, which he has visited many times. In 1995, Bob was appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt to the North Carolina-Israel Partnership. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Foundation for Jewish Camp and the board of advisors for Tel Aviv University Recanati School of Business and Management.

In his “spare time,” Bob enjoys travel, outdoor adventure, reading and playing music. He particularly looks forward to his annual canoe trip in Canada with his lifelong friends, now in its 35th year. His philosophy is “work hard, play hard, love family and friends, and build community.”

Bob and Carol, who have been married 48 years, are very proud of their two adult children, Robin and Andy, their spouses, Dave and Lauren, and their three grandchildren, Natalie, Molly and Benjamin.

Bob says his career in general practice has been very interesting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally affirming. He believes that general practice is the best way an attorney can perform the legal profession’s core function of representing and serving clients, by helping them address their legal issues and solve their legal and personal problems.

“Living in a small town,” he says, “where we know and see many of our clients, makes my role as counselor, advocate, and advisor very rewarding. I am very pleased to be inducted into the General Practice Hall of Fame, and thank the North Carolina Bar Association for this honor.”

Charles Palmer Brown
Charles Palmer Brown was born and raised in Albemarle. He attended the public schools and was valedictorian of his Albemarle High School class of 1960. He was an exchange student to Sweden during his high school years.

Charles was awarded the John Motley Morehead Scholarship and thereafter entered the University of North Carolina in the fall of 1960. He majored in Business Administration and graduated with a B.S. in Business. He graduated from the University School of Law in June 1966 and passed the bar that summer.

Charles returned to Albemarle and joined his father, Richard L. Brown Jr., in the practice of law, becoming the fourth generation in the Brown family to practice in Stanly County and the surrounding area. This general practice has served families and businesses in a wide range of matters well over a hundred years.

Just a few months after passing the bar, Charles was appointed to represent an indigent defendant who, when just a teenager, received a life sentence for burglary. It was not popular among the bar to assert that his client had lack of counsel or ineffective assistance of counsel. And this was especially true in a small county. In his first conversation with the client, Charles asked him if he had any objection to a young, inexperienced, untested, green-as-could-be young lawyer. The client, Dewitt, replied with words to the effect, “Well, you might be all them things, but right now you’re the best I got. I’ll help you all I can.” Charles represented him all the way to the Supreme Court and back to Stanly County. At age twenty-five, and just a year out of law school, Charles was successful in helping Dewitt gain his freedom.

Through the years Charles has practiced in all the state courts and in federal courts. This practice has included extensive trial work, together with real estate, business, and estate planning and administration. Many years ago, in response to a question from a Supreme Court justice, Charles’ father responded, “Our practice is somewhat like the cemetery; we take whatever they bring to us.” During his years of practice Charles has served twice as president of the Stanly County Bar and the Twentieth Judicial District Bar.

Beyond his family and his church, nothing seems closer to his heart than the University of North Carolina. For 18 years Charles served on the John Motley Morehead Scholarship Selection Committee and chaired the local committee for 12 years. He served two terms on the UNC General Alumni Association Board and is currently a member of the UNC Board of Visitors. For 12 years he served on UNC Law Alumni Association Board and was president in 2001. Next year will mark his 50th year as a member of The Education Foundation at the University. He loves all things “Carolina,” especially basketball.

He serves on the Stanly County Economic Development Commission and is a board member of the North Carolina Rural Center for Economic Development. In past years, Charles has served as president of the United Way, member of the Boy Scouts District Committee and Friends of Scouting chairman in 2010.

He is a lifelong member of First Lutheran Church in Albemarle where he taught Sunday school for 34 years and served various terms and twice as president of the Congregational Council. He is a former trustee of North Carolina Lutheran Homes. In the summer Charles serves as a member of the Official Board of Blowing Rock Methodist Church.

He is a past member and served six years as chairman of the Stanly County Board of Education.

Charles has maintained his home in Albemarle his entire life. He and his wife, Betty, enjoy their home on a little farm at Morrow Mountain, just outside Albemarle. Additionally, they have enjoyed for many years their home and friends in Blowing Rock. He is a past president of Blowing Rock Country Club.

Charles and Betty will celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary this September.

He is the father of two sons, both graduates of the University of North Carolina School of Business. Palmer Brown, the older, was a Morehead Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. Palmer is a UNC Law School graduate and a CPA. Younger son Courtney graduated from the School of Business with highest honors. He earned his post graduate degree from the London School of Economics and has worked for a number of years with the State Department, currently located in Istanbul.

To reaffirm his support for his alma mater, Charles, together with Doris Bray and Richard Vinroot, in May of this year led their Fifty-Year Law School class in committing to a scholarship at the University Law School.

Perhaps some of Charles’ happiest times are with the two VIPs in his life — these are the Very Important Princesses, granddaughters Lucy Brown and Abigail Brown, ages six and three.

The family practice – Brown, Brown & Brown – was founded by Charles’ great grandfather in 1878. Charles has said on a number of occasions, “Folks have been good, mighty good to our family and our firm for over a hundred years. I hope I have done something to earn their respect during the years I have practiced and to prepare the way for those who follow.”

Ralph “Bo” McDonald
Ralph “Bo” McDonald was born, raised, and has lived in Raleigh his entire life other than his service in the Army and the Navy. Bo received his A.B. in 1961 and his L.L.B. in 1964 from the University of North Carolina. He has been in private practice since 1965 and has spent his entire career with Bailey & Dixon, LLP. During most of his tenure at Bailey & Dixon he has served as managing partner. Bo is married to Meg McLaurin, an architect, and they have a daughter, Anna, who is a licensed physician currently working in Africa.

Bo’s practice has. been diverse. He has had a very active public utility practice; has been principal counsel to the State Employees Credit Union for 40 years; has conducted commercial real estate work for a range of purchasers throughout North Carolina; has served as Board Counsel for state licensing boards; has tried a multitude of cases; and has even spent decades on the criminal indigent list prior to the advent of the public defender system in Wake County and has represented indigent criminal defendants with respect to virtually any conceivable felony charges.

Bo holds himself to the highest ethical standard and he, likewise, is equally committed to bettering the profession and the community. He has been an active participant in the Volunteer Lawyer’s Program and has led, with great generosity, a personal and firm commitment to the United Way. He has served on the board of the Raleigh Rescue Mission. He served for decades as his precinct chair and has been a longtime dedicated member of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Bo has also very ably served the bar including being the founding chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Administrative Law Section in 1989, and serving for decades on the important but difficult Fee Dispute Committee.