John H. Parker, Cheshire, Parker, Schneider, Bryan & Vitale, Raleigh
As a delivery boy for the Greensboro Daily News, while in the seventh and eighth grades, I learned self-discipline. I had to get up every morning at 4 a.m. — rain, snow or sleet, warm or cold — and ride my bicycle to downtown Lexington to roll up 47 newspapers and carry them to neighborhood porches before dawn. This job also taught me rudimentary business skills, and I gained valuable insight into people. Some paid me on time, some did not. I had friendly, appreciative customers, and I had grumpy, curmudgeonly ones. All this diversity was an early lesson about people that I would encounter and would be dealing with throughout my career.
Vita: Born Feb. 1, 1944, in High Point; bachelor’s from UNC Chapel Hill and law degree from University of Tennessee; wife, two daughters (one deceased) and two stepchildren. Why he chose this field: In 1976, I was elected a District Court judge in Wake County. Preferring not to be assigned to criminal or civil court and believing I would have empathy with people going through a divorce, I asked the chief judge to assign me exclusively to domestic court, which he did for my tenure on the bench in Wake County (1976-82). It was through serving in that courtroom that I became totally enamored with family law. What he’d be if not a lawyer: Orchestra conductor or musician. Memorable case: One that stands out is the client whose wife had a large dump-truck load of rocks dumped in his driveway so that he could neither enter nor exit his property. Don’t ask him to: Give an opinion unless you really want to know what I think.