Justice Funds Honor High Point Icons
Two North Carolina Bar Foundation (NCBF) Endowment Justice Funds were dedicated on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary. The Justice Funds honor two longtime High Point attorneys, James F. “Jim” Morgan and his father, the late James V. “J. V.” Morgan.
Lake View Plaza Pavers were also dedicated in honor of J.V. and Jim Morgan and their granddaughter and daughter, Monroe attorney Lea E. Morgan.
NCBA President Caryn McNeill presided over the ceremony and NCBA/NCBF Executive Director Jason Hensley unveiled the etched Justice Fund plaques.
Also participating in the program was Judge Julian Mann, director and chief administrative law judge in the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings who chairs the NCBF Endowment Committee.
The James V. “J. V.” Morgan Justice Fund was introduced by Gilbert “Skipper” Gates, Catherine Haworth Matthews and James M. “Jack” Green Jr.
The James F. “Jim” Morgan Justice Fund was introduced by A. Doyle Early Jr.
The Lea E. Morgan Lake View Plaza Paver was introduced by her father, Jim Morgan.
Justice Funds and Lake View Plaza Pavers are naming opportunities underwritten through gifts to the NCBF Endowment. Contributions to the NCBF Endowment and the proceeds they generate in perpetuity provide funding for grants that help fulfill the following objectives of the North Carolina Bar Foundation:
- to study, improve and facilitate the administration of justice;
- to build respect for and understanding of the law;
- to enhance the professional competence of lawyers;
- to support the delivery of legal services to eligible indigent communities; and
- to support legally related community service projects.
Established in 1987, the NCBF Endowment has awarded nearly $5.8 million for 729 grants across North Carolina.
The newest Justice Funds and Lake View Plaza Pavers are especially appropriate in that they underscore the Morgan family’s longstanding commitment to public service in general and the North Carolina Bar Association in particular. Spanning three generations, at least one member of this family has been a member of the NCBA for more some 75 years.
Read further to learn more about each honoree:
James V. “J.V.” Morgan
James V. “J.V.” Morgan was born on Nov. 28, 1917, to Virgil F. and Mable R. Morgan.
He was a graduate of High Point High School and began his collegiate career at what was then High Point College before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
J.V. Morgan obtained an undergraduate degree at UNC and then earned a law degree from UNC School of Law. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1942 and upon completion of Officers Candidate School served two years in the Air Corps in North Africa. He was discharged as a captain in 1946 after serving as a top security officer for conferences at Tehran and Yalta.
On June 2, 1941, he married Dorothy Bowden of Chapel Hill. Together they had three sons, James F. “Jim” Morgan, Donald B. Morgan and Michael J. Morgan, and six grandchildren.
When he returned to High Point, Morgan held the position of High Point Municipal Court solicitor for four and a half years, appointed in 1951 by Gov. Kerr Scott and later by Gov. Luther Hodges. He was elected president of the 18th Judicial District Bar Association for 1980.
He formed a private practice with Ed Post and Jack Byerly and was the managing partner for the law firm of Morgan, Byerly, Post, Herring & Morgan until his death on Jan. 28, 1982.
Morgan received many honors and held numerous volunteer leadership positions during his distinguished career. In 1952 he was named Young Man of the Year and served as president of the High Point Jaycees from 1953-54. He was president of the High Point Kiwanis Club in 1960 and commander of the American Legion in 1947. He was also the chairman of the board for the High Point Historical Society, a member of the High Point Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and an active member and leader of Christ United Methodist Church.
Honors received by Morgan included the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce Jaycees; Lifetime Membership from the High Point Jaycees; the Dedicated Service Award from the Merchant Association; and the Mary Libb Joyce Award for his outstanding service to the High Point Museum and High Point Historical Society in 1973.
James F. “Jim” Morgan
James F. “Jim” Morgan was born on June 21, 1943, to James V. “J.V.” and Dorothy Bowden Morgan. He attended High Point Public Schools and graduated from High Point High School in 1961. On June 29, 1963, he married Ann Tinsley Morgan, and together they have two children.
Morgan is a managing partner for the law firm of Morgan, Herring, Morgan, Green & Rosenblutt in High Point.
Morgan attended the University of North Carolina on a football scholarship for one year before transferring to Guilford College, from which he and his wife both graduated. He earned his law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1968.
He served in the N.C. House of Representatives from 1977-82, the culmination of which coincided with the death of his father in 1982. And although Morgan placed any political aspirations he might have had on permanent hold, in no way did being closer to home on a full-time basis diminish his commitment to serving the public.
On the contrary, Jim Morgan has since served as chairman or president of more than 75 organizations. Equally daunting is the number of honors he has received from countless organizations and institutions. Suffice to say that in the realm of volunteer leadership and service, Jim Morgan is a giant.
Within the NCBA and NCBF alone, Morgan has served on the Board of Governors and received four significant honors: the Centennial Award, presented in 1999, the first year of this honor, by the High Point Bar Association; the Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award, presented in 2006; induction into the NCBA’s General Practice Hall of Fame, which occurred in 2010; and, most recently, the NCBA’s Citizen Lawyer Award presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting.
Among the contributions that remain closest to his heart are Morgan’s service as the founding chairman of Legal Aid of High Point and the volunteer leadership he has provided to Christ United Methodist Church in High Point, where he has been a member since 1943.
But nearest and dearest to Jim and Ann Morgan are the accomplishments, which are ongoing, of their children and grandchildren. Daughter Lea Evans Morgan (see more below) is a magna cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University and a UNC School of Law graduate, and an attorney at Helms, Robison & Lee, PA in Monroe. Son James F. “Jef” Morgan II is a graduate of N.C. State University and is employed by Smart Choice.
The Morgans also six grandchildren: Lea’s children, Mary Elizabeth Pflaging, Clay Morgan Pflaging and Christopher James Pflaging; and Jef’s children, James Franklin Morgan III, Emily Hampton Morgan and Anna Kathryn Morgan.
Lea E. Morgan
Lea E. Morgan received her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1994, after receiving her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University, magna cum laude, in 1991.
She became a licensed North Carolina attorney in 1995, and since has been an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Union County Bar Association, Union County Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Program, Bright Blessings Board, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Parent Council.
Morgan joined Helms Robison & Lee, P.A. in 2013, and her main practice areas include Wills & Estates, Real Estate, Family Law and Civil Litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Union County for almost three years. Lea has also worked as an assistant district attorney in Wake County, and as a solo practitioner.
Morgan is mother to three children: Mary Beth, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Clay, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; and CJ, a high school freshman at Charlotte Catholic. Lea is also a member of Matthews United Methodist Church.