The Pitt County (N.C.) Bar Association papers offer insight into the functions of a local bar association, and the demands made on it by the state and national associations, through correspondence, minutes, membership records, and miscellaneous items. Although most of the correspondence deals with routine matters such as membership requests and expressions of concern over a member's illness, there are several important topics discussed.
The Junior Bar Conference of the American Bar Association is for young lawyers who are ABA members. Correspondence concerning the Junior Bar Conference includes letters (1945) from Kerr Craige Ramsay, North Carolina chairman, and Thomas F. Healy, national director of its Public Information program detailing objectives of that program and plans for its implementation. Among topics under discussion for the Public Information program are the dissemination of information regarding the G.I. Bill to returning soldiers (1945) and regarding improving traffic safety through better law enforcement in the traffic courts (1945). Correspondence from the 1950 Junior Bar Conference discusses the work of the Committee on Justice of the Peace and Similar Courts chaired by Philip E. Lucas. Also found with the correspondence is an issue of
The Young Lawyer (February 1946), the publication of the Junior Bar Conference, and a list of North Carolina members (1945).
According to 1952 correspondence, Charlotte attorney Shearon Harris spearheaded a N.C. Bar Association project to obtain 100 percent membership of N.C. lawyers. A September 1952 letter reveals that only white lawyers could join, and two black attorneys are mentioned by name in order to avoid unwarranted solicitation for membership.
Correspondence (June 1955) from Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren describes an American Bar Association project, the two hundredth anniversary celebration of the birth of John Marshall (1955), and includes a handbook containing suggested programs as well as biographical data on Chief Justice Marshall.
Other topics discussed in the correspondence are participation of lawyers and other professionals in Social Security (1954); the redistricting of N.C. judicial districts (February 1955); the Pitt Co. Bar Association endorsement of William J. Bundy for resident judge of the new Third Judicial District which elicited letters from N.C. Governor Luther H. Hodges and N.C. Senator Paul E. Jones (March 1955); lawyer referral services (1955); fees for lawyers' services suggested by the Pitt County Bar Association (1955); and a resolution endorsing raising the salaries of lawyers in the armed forces (1957). Also discussed are opposition from U.S. Representative Herbert C. Bonner (1950) to socialized medicine and compulsory health insurance; an American Bar Association resolution (1951) to encourage international exchange programs of judges, lawyers, professors, and law students to aid their counterparts in foreign countries in becoming familiar with the democratic laws and institutions of the U.S.; and concern over laymen appearing before the Utilities Commission in a representative capacity instead of attorneys (1952).
Minutes of the Association, from November 1943 to October 10, 1956, include lists of members and committees; the constitution and by-laws of the association (1945); information on annual dues and the setting of court calendars; a suggested fee list (1950) for lawyers; and some financial reports. Also included are several resolutions opposing compulsory health insurance (1950); recommending an increase in Superior and Supreme Court judicial salaries (1950); condemning an editorial appearing in the issue of the Greenville
Daily Reflector (October 5, 1950) which criticized the Superior Court for the manner in which certain cases were disposed; and endorsing a proposed 4-H Club Summer Camp for black boys (June 1955).
Miscellaneous items include an undated resolution of appreciation of William J. Bundy as solicitor of the Fifth Judicial District; printed copies of bills to provide additional judges in five judicial districts (1950) and to provide additional judicial districts (1955); undated recommendations for rules in setting the civil calendar for Pitt County; a program for the 1954 N.C. Bar Association annual meeting; course listings for a summer session at the Practicing Law Institute in New York City (1954); the quarterly American Bar Association publication
Bar Activities Recorder (July 1955); a 1960 publication reporting on the ABA's Special Committee on World Peace Through Law concerning whether the ABA should favor elimination of the Connally Amendment by Congress in relation to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice over the U.S.; a 1941 photograph of the U.S. Supreme Court; and a Farmville Rotary Club Golden Anniversary program (1955).