Practicing law a family business for Davises

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2011

By Mark Wineka
SALISBURY — It was one of those events where it was good to have a scorecard.
Attorney James A. Davis II took the oath Tuesday morning which allows him to practice law in North Carolina.
He will do so out of the same office as his father, James A. Davis, who stood next to his son during the swearing-in at the Rowan County Superior Courtroom.
James C. Davis, uncle and great-uncle, administered the oath. He is a retired Superior Court judge from Cabarrus County. He acknowledged that having all these James Davises in the courtroom was a bit unsettling.
“I just want you to keep that James Davis name going as long as you can,” he told the youngest Davis and newest N.C. attorney.
Numerous family members, attorneys and courthouse personnel attended the ceremony, followed up by doughnuts and coffee in the jury waiting room.
Since the courtroom proceeding was for ceremonial purposes only, Judge Davis welcomed those in attendance to take photographs or use video cameras. “You may take all the photos you wish,” he said. “It won’t bother me.”
James A. Davis II — known as “Jimbo” in his baseball playing days for North Rowan High, Rowan American Legion and Catawba College — already had been practicing law in the Norfolk area of Virginia. After Catawba, where he left holding the all-time home run record, he graduated from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach.
He joins the family law firm, established by his late grandfather Bob Davis Sr., that includes his father; his father’s wife, Andrea Bryant Davis; and his aunt, Jennifer Davis Hammond.
Two years ago, retired Judge James C. Davis administered the same oath to Hammond in this same courtroom.
James A. Davis took the oath here 20 years ago, and years before that, then Judge Richardson Preyer of Greensboro swore in James C. Davis in the Rowan courtroom.
“One of these days, if you’re real lucky,” James C. Davis told the youngest Davis, “your picture will be hanging on this wall also.” He added that the young Davis comes from a wonderful family, has good genes and that if he can be the kind of lawyer his grandfather was and his father is, he will do well in Rowan County.
James C. Davis said he and Bob grew up on China Grove’s mill hill and through the years let people know how smart they were through their offspring.
James A. Davis took a few minutes before the swearing-in Tuesday to offer some thank-yous and advice to his son. James II’s mother, Debi Lyerly, also was in attendance.
James A. Davis said his Uncle James had instructed him to be humble, respectful and do the right thing, while always remembering what a privilege it is to practice law.
The father also told his son to remember his roots and be a zealous advocate for his clients, winning with grace and losing with grace.
He recommended that James II “follow the best of all you see” in defense attorneys, prosecutors, bailiffs, clerks and judges.
“They taught me, they’ll teach you,” he said. “Listen to them, learn from them.”
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.