In Praise of One Gentleman of the Greensboro Bar
by Steve Robertson
Greetings from one of your local State Bar Councilors. I write today after our monthly meeting where Bob Cone was presented with the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award. I came to the practice of law a little later than most of my colleagues, so I have had experience in some other occupations. No matter where I’ve worked, I can think back fondly on those who gave me the benefit of their wisdom and experience and extended some compassion to me when I was uninitiated. I have always been fortunate to have had mentors or role models – those I admire most – who are one step ahead in experience, service to others, and success in the profession.
When I moved to Greensboro, I joined Temple Emanuel. My kids were raised there. I don’t remember exactly when I met Bob Cone, but we had children of similar ages. In 2001, soon after I started practicing law, we had a small case together. We became friends, in some measure, because Bob and Sally were fans of my son Eric’s musical performances. They seldom missed one of his Greensboro shows. Our path’s crossed when Bob mediated a fee dispute between a client and me in his capacity as Bar Councilor. I settled for half the fee I was owed. In all my dealings with Bob, I admired his deliberate style and patience.
We next spent some time together, professionally, in what Bob and I refer to fondly as the “clown mediation.” I showed up for a mediation at Bob’s office where a clown, who was a friend of the opposing party, appeared. I objected to the non-party clown being in the room or involved in any way. Bob talked me down from the objection, and to this day, I would say that the successful conclusion he brought about as a skilled mediator would not have been possible without the clown’s presence and input.
I am pleased and honored to join Barbara Christie as one of your two Bar Councilors. As Barbara said at the recent public meeting of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, the lawyers who volunteer as councilors have one thing in common – we all care deeply about the profession and its well-being. I learned these values from all of the great mentors and leaders that are a part of our Greensboro Bar, and especially from Bob. I owe Bob a great debt of gratitude for encouraging me to get involved in this gratifying work. I am honored to have been chosen as his successor on the Council.
Steve Robertson has practiced in Greensboro for 16 years. He is a Board Certified Family Law attorney with the Higgins Benjamin firm.
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