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Sam J. Ervin, III, born in Morganton, N.C., in 1926, shares memories of influential teachers from primary school in Morganton and at Davidson College, which he attended undergraduate. He describes his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1951 and subsequently served another year in the U.S. Army, leaving in 1952 to pursue private practice. He reflects on early cases he tried as a litigator in Morganton. He then speaks about his appointment to the N.C. Superior Court bench after serving two terms in the state legislature in the mid-1960s and the challenges in transitioning from litigator to judge. Mr. Ervin talks about notable cases during this time including litigation surrounding James B. Duke’s will and one of the first inverse condemnation cases in Charlotte. He then tells about being appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and how federal cases tended to be quite different from the cases he heard as a state judge. He also speaks about the changes he has observed in the legal profession throughout his career.

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