PUBLISHED:July 06, 2009

Duke Law celebrates alumni accomplishments during NCBA annual meeting

John R. Wester '72 was sworn in as president of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) on June 25, the third consecutive Duke Law graduate to hold the position. He replaces Charles L. Becton '69, the immediate past president; Janet Ward Black '85 served as president during the 2007-2008 term.

Wester is the 115th NCBA president after having previously served on the board of governors and as chair of the audit and finance, appellate rules, and nominations committees. A partner at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson in Charlotte, Wester concentrates his practice on business disputes, securities regulation, corporate governance, and employment cases. While he was at Duke Law, Wester served as law review editor at and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Members of the Duke Law community gathered on June 26 during the NCBA’s three-day annual meeting in Asheville for a reception honoring Law School alumni in attendance who have served as NCBA president: Wester; Becton; Black; Gray Wilson (2004-2005); John Beard (1986-1987); and Robert Baker (1982-1983). Becton was recognized at the reception as the 2009 recipient of Duke Law School's Charles S. Murphy Award.

The reception also included a special display in tribute to Professor Robinson O. Everett '59, who died on June 12, 2009. Everett was inducted into the North Carolina Bar Association's General Practice Hall of Fame in 2006 and served the organization in various leadership roles.

Shirley Fulton '80 and Rob Harrington '87 were honored with NCBA Citizen Lawyer Awards during the conference. The award recognizes lawyers whose leadership and service contributions outside their practice support the community.

A resident of Wesley Heights, Charlotte, Fulton helped establish a homeowners association that has since obtained a revolving-loan fund from the city, purchased and restored five homes, developed an after-school program, and hosted festivals promoting the local community. Fulton also co-chaired Mecklenburg County's Justice and Public Safety Taskforce and served as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Education Taskforce.

Harrington chairs the board of directors of the Levine Museum of the New South, an interactive museum that interprets post-Civil War Southern history, and is a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Equity Committee, which addresses potential disparities in school programs, particularly in relation to minority and impoverished children and their families.