Column: Farewell to trailblazer attorney H. Glenn Davis

Column: Farewell to trailblazer attorney H. Glenn Davis
December 03
00:00 2015

by Denise Hartsfield

Guest Columnist 

Attorney H. Glenn Davis blazed many trails as an attorney in Winston-Salem.

Dickey Woods, former Register of Deeds and longtime face in the Forsyth County Clerk of Courts office, knew whenever H. Glenn was in the Hall of Justice.  He would follow the trail of cigar butts that Harry would leave all over the courthouse so that he could retrieve them after court.  Today we remember the trail that H. Glenn Davis blazed for so many lawyers in this community and beyond, with his wisdom and passion for the practice of law.

In closing argument Harry would often say, “Your Honor, we all know what is really going on in this case.  We all know what this case is really about.”

The rules of evidence and civil procedure often keep a lot of things from being said and presented in court.  Harry knew that if the judge was listening clearly, that he or she could separate the three sides of the story: My side, your side, and THE TRUTH.

We all know what H. Glenn Davis was really about.  He was about surviving in a time when racism and separate but unequal was the cry of the day.  From the Pepper Building to Winston Towers, Harry had a successful practice for almost 60 years.

We know that he was a mentor to young attorneys, teaching them the tricks of the trade and sharing the tools they needed to survive.  He would pull them to the side, or take them to lunch to mentor and share.

We know that Harry was not in the business of robbing or getting rich off of his clients.  He did pro bono work before pro bono was cool.  “Give me $125.00.  I will take care of it.”

We know that he was the street lawyer’s envy.  Bills paid, office open, payroll met, malpractice insurance paid, lights shining inside and out beaming hope for justice for those who did not have a voice.  Harry Glenn Davis was that voice.

We know that Harry did not kiss and tell.  Your case was safe with him.  He respected the confidentiality of those he represented.

We know that in his last days of practice he worked as a parent attorney in the juvenile court.  He fought for mothers and their children, fathers and their sons, and daughters to do better for the sake of their children.  It did not matter if the IQ was below 65, or if there was addiction or mental health concerns, Harry believed that families were meant to be together, working through the problems, one day at a time.  Harry got the hard cases and DSS knew that they had a fight on their hands, and that Harry was most concerned with the best interest of the kids.

The Hall of Justice will miss H. Glenn Davis.  He was loved by all: the DA, the PD, the clerks, the lawyers, the deputies, and the police officers.  The judges respected his wisdom and fortitude.

We can only hope that Harry will return to the Hall of Justice sometime, leaving a trail of smoke and a whisper, because we still need to hear his voice of wisdom to remind us “what really is going on in the courthouse.”

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