Long-time Davidson County attorney and judge has helped many through the years
Lexington, NC – Brinkley Walser Stoner, PLLC announced today that attorney and former judge Jack E. Klass has retired from practice as of January 1, 2016. Klass joined the firm in 2009, returning to private practice after 15 years as a District Court Judge. Klass was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1956.
“Jack has been a great mentor and a tremendous asset to the firm,” says David Inabinett, Managing Member at Brinkley Walser Stoner. “Jack brought many years of wisdom to the team from his experiences as an attorney and a judge. He was always willing to listen and provide support to the younger attorneys. While we’ll miss seeing him every day, we know he’s right down the road continuing to share his knowledge and help those in the community.” Klass plans to travel with wife Peggy and to continue to work as a part-time certified mediator/arbitrator.
Meet Jack Klass
Jack Klass loves the law and for almost 60 years has been a tireless advocate for justice in North Carolina. After serving his country in the U.S. Navy, Klass attended High Point University, graduating in 1953. He then earned his legal degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1956 and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar.
Klass spent more than 30 years in private practice and was an Assistant Superior Court Solicitor, a County Court Judge in Davidson County, and a District Court Judge, traveling around the state to hear cases. “I tried to retire as a District Court Judge, but the Governor kept recalling me,” says Klass. “When I was 80, I decided it was time to return to private practice so I could spend more time at home. During my years with the District Court, I held court in 90 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. It was pretty amazing, and I enjoyed seeing so much of our great state.”
More laws, more lawyers, more diversity. “There have been so many changes since I started practicing,” says Klass. “Back then, most of the lawyers knew each other personally. There were regular get togethers within the District. There was a lot of camaraderie. Nowadays, that’s not as practical. There are many more lawyers, and so many new areas of law exist. Technology has changed and improved the industry, too. Diversity within the industry has been a big positive and brought a broader perspective. I truly enjoy meeting the younger attorneys and am optimistic about the future of the legal industry.” Klass has mentored many attorneys through the years. He tells new lawyers that it’s not necessarily going to be easy. His advice to new attorneys: you should always learn as much as you can, retain the highest ethical standards, and level with your clients and do the best you can for them.
When asked about his most memorable case, Klass says he’s most proud of arguing (and winning) an auto accident case in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court when he was not yet 30 years old; it was almost unheard of for an attorney that young to appear at this level.
“I’ve learned a lot about people through the years,” says Klass. “You can’t always go by your first impression. It’s important to dig down and learn the facts. Once you’ve learned more about the case, the situation is often very different than you first expected.” This need to understand more about each case has helped in his work as a judge and mediator. Klass has handled cases in almost every area of the law, most recently focusing his practice on real estate law and estate planning. He is a North Carolina Certified Mediator/Arbitrator.
Klass has been married to wife, Peggy, for 60 years, and they have three sons. Mark is a senior judge for the 6th Division of the Superior Court in NC, Todd works in advertising, and Hillary (“Hill”) is in the technology sector. Jack and Peggy have six grandchildren. “Peggy and I traveled quite a bit when we were younger, but there are still some places we want to go,” says Klass. “I do plan to do some mediation work, but will make time to travel. We’ll also play a little golf and visit with the grandchildren. I look forward to relaxing a bit.”
About Brinkley Walser Stoner, PLLC
Brinkley Walser Stoner prides itself on providing new and cutting edge legal counsel built on a foundation of knowledge and integrity. Brinkley Walser Stoner’s attorneys are first and foremost counselors, advising clients on their legal rights and options for appropriate solutions. Practice areas include business law, real estate, litigation, elder law, estate planning, injury and disability, criminal defense, traffic and DWI, banking, family law, municipal, governmental, and education law, among others. Brinkley Walser Stoner is an AV rated firm by Martindale-Hubble®. The firm has offices at 10 LSB Plaza in Lexington and in the First Citizen’s Building, 620 Green Valley Road, Suite 306, in Greensboro. Visit Brinkley Walser Stoner on the web at www.brinkleywalserstoner.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/brinkleywalser.
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