Narron Receives Section Honor
By Russell Rawlings
James W. Narron of Narron Wenzel, P.A. in Smithfield has been honored as the second recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section’s Distinguished Service Award.
The award was presented on Thursday, July 25, in conjunction with the section’s annual meeting and CLE at Kiawah Island, S.C.
“There are at least two classes of awards,” Narron said. “There are the awards for performance, for best steer in the show, for winning the 440-yard dash.
“Then there are awards such as this which are presented by one’s peers, in recognition of achievement, to be sure, but this class of awards is much more than that. These awards are a reflection of real affection, of acceptance not just as a member of the ‘tribe’ but as a leader, as one whose contributions have improved the tribe in some meaningful way. It is an honor most humbling to receive such an award.”
The award is also a reflection of Narron’s ongoing commitment to the section and the North Carolina Bar Association. He is a charter member of the section, a former vice president of the NCBA Board of Governors, a former member of the North Carolina Bar Foundation Board of Directors, a past chair of the Senior Lawyers Division, and a member of the NCBF Platt Walker Society.
“In 1979,” Narron recalled, “Bob Vaughn spearheaded the first annual Section meeting of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section. I was there; I have been there for each of the others, now 40 of them.
“What I got from attending those meetings was much more than an expanded knowledge of fiduciary income tax, of generation-skipping planning or a hundred other technical planning techniques; rather, the real benefit of those meetings and of my participation in numerous Bar and CLE seminars over the decades has been the relationships I have formed.
“More than a professional organization, the NCBA is an organization of lifetime friends and relationships, of personal relationships as well as business relationships.”
After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970, Narron served as an active duty line officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1975 and began practicing law in his native Johnston County shortly thereafter. He later earned an LL.M. in taxation from New York University.
Narron is a certified specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law and was a member of the charter class of specialists in that field in 1987. He later served as chair of the N.C. State Bar Specialty Certification Committee for Board Certification in Estate Planning and Probate Law, and is a former State Bar councilor.
A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the American College of Tax Counsel, Narron has published extensively and provided countless CLE presentations for the NCBA and numerous state and national organizations.
The Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section Distinguished Service Award was established last year and presented initially to Graham D. Holding of Charlotte. The Section sets forth the following criteria for the award:
1. Be a member in good standing for 25 or more years of the North Carolina Bar Association and Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section.
2. Be a currently licensed member in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar or otherwise be retired to "inactive status" by said State Bar under "honorable" conditions.
3. Be a person of high character and reputation in her/his community and in the bar.
4. Have served on council, one or more committees or as an officer of the Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section.
5. Have provided CLE services to the section as speaker, panelist, organizer and/or facilitator.
6. Have received prior public recognition by her/his peers for expertise in the area of estate planning and fiduciary law, such as being a fellow in ACTEC; being recognized by Best Lawyers, The Legal Elite or Super Lawyers; being a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the NC State Bar Board of Legal Specialization; or a similar recognition.
7. Have exhibited the utmost professionalism in the practice of law consonant with the NC Bar Association's "Purposes" as defined in Article 1.2 of said Association's bylaws and in Article 1, Section 2 of the Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law bylaws.
8. Have provided exemplary, outstanding and distinguished service to the Section, the North Carolina Bar, its practitioners and the public which has made a significant impact for betterment of legal practice in the area of estate planning and fiduciary law. (By way of example, and not limitation, such distinguished service may include such matters as pro-bono activities, publications, educational programs, special expertise, mentoring, public service, philanthropic activities and all other activities which reflect favorably on the highest standards of integrity, service and professionalism to be exhibited by members of the NC Bar Association.)