J. Donald Cowan Jr. Ellis & Winters LLP, Greensboro

My autographed photograph of Mariano Rivera leaving the bullpen at Yankee Stadium and running to the pitcher’s mound is special for two reasons. It was given to me by my son Coleman for being best man at his wedding. And it exemplifies a trial lawyer’s role — the game is on the line; a closer is needed to preserve victory.

Vita: Born Nov. 14, 1943, in Raleigh; bachelor’s and law degee from Wake Forest University; wife, two children and two grandchildren. Why he chose this field: I enjoy attempting to persuade judges and juries that my client’s position is correct. Memorable case: Representing Pinehurst Resorts and arguing that “Pinehurst” is a service mark that is federally protected. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were deposed. We took the design by Donald Ross of Pinehurst No. 2 from the early 1900s and traced its history to today. Phil McGraw, before he became “Dr. Phil,” directed two jury-research projects for the case. We went to the 4th Circuit twice to uphold the Pinehurst mark. What he’d be if not a lawyer: An elementary-school teacher. Hero: My wife, Sarah, who excels as a wife, mother, grandmother, PTA president and university professor. Passions: My family. The Eagles are a clear but strong second. Attempting to “take it easy,” I have been “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.” Recent reading: Thomas Wolfe: October Recollections by Jonathan Daniels. Don’t ask him to: Talk about myself.

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