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Orr Receiving McKnight Award

Orr Receiving McKnight Award

Former Justice Robert Orr

The North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors has selected former Associate Justice Robert F. “Bob” Orr of the N.C. Supreme Court to receive the H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award at the 2019 NCBA Annual Meeting in Asheville.

The Board of Governors affirmed the selection of Orr during its winter meeting on Jan. 17. The recipient was recommended by the NCBA Professionalism Committee, which established the award in 2006, and placed in nomination by Chair John Milberg.

A native of Norfolk, Va., Orr grew up in Hendersonville and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968-71, after which he earned his law degree from the UNC School of Law and practiced law in Asheville.

In 1986 Orr was appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals, and 1994 he was elected to the N.C. Supreme Court, where he served until 2004.

The H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award recognizes attorneys who demonstrate the “Renaissance Lawyer” qualities embodied by Judge McKnight, former chair of the Professionalism Committee who died in 2004 while serving on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of N.C.

The award seeks to recognize those North Carolina attorneys whose trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community, inspire others.

Previous recipients are Peter Gilchrist (2006), E. Osborne Ayscue Jr. (2007), Wade Smith (2008), Mark Bernstein (2009), Woody Connette (2010), Catharine Arrowood (2011), Mark Merritt (2012), Jon Harkavy (2013), Harrison L. Marshall Jr. (2014), Suzanne Reynolds (2015), Willis P. Whichard (2016), Martin H. Brinkley (2017) and J. Rich Leonard (2018).