PWC Bar Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary

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Provided by Prince William County Bar Association

Members of the Prince William County Bar Association

Members of the Prince William County Bar Association

The PWC Bar Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary at a Dinner Dance this year with great fanfare. The Association was founded on July 25, 1941 by seven attorneys who comprised the entire legal community at the time, all having offices in Old Town Manassas. They were Robb A. Hutchison, C.A. Sinclair, T.E. Didlake, W. Hill Brown, Jr., Stanley A. Owens, C. Lacey Compton, Sr., and Arthur W. Sinclair. Those attorneys and the ones who followed had a profound impact on the legal community and the community at large.

Edwin P. “Bud” Latimer was greatly involved with the establishment of Prince William Hospital, and provided guidance to C. Lacey Compton, Jr., as Compton worked with others to establish Potomac Hospital. Ed Flournoy worked with his wife, Mary, to establish a Speech and Hearing Clinic and also served on the board of the Mental Health Association which later lead to the establishment of Didlake, which is focused on the needs of those with disabilities. As the population grew, C. Lacey Compton, Sr., was involved in the development of the county more than most, and Mike Lubeley was involved with a list of projects that includes Robert Trent Jones, Lake Manassas and the opening up of the entire Linton Hall corridor. Arthur W. Sinclair along with Bud Latimer were instrumental in the founding of Evergreen Country Club, and H. Selwyn Smith worked with others to establish Sudley Club. This is just a glimpse of the positive impact of local attorneys on the lives of those who live, work and play in Prince William County.

The original objectives of the Association continue to this day and are reflected in their mission statement: to maintain the honor and dignity of the practice of law, promote the administration of justice, encourage the professionalism and collegiality of its members, and contribute to the quality of life in the community.

Efforts to capture the history of the PWC Bar have been multifaceted. Initially, the living history of the Bar was captured through personal interviews of its most senior members over the course of the past 17 years. Thirty-two such interviews were conducted and provide a clear picture of the earliest days of the Bar as told by those who knew and admired its founding fathers. All the interviews were compiled in a commemorative program that was made available to every member of the PWC Bar.

A number of historical displays were also developed that depict the Association’s Founding Fathers; the Judiciary; and the Impact of Lawyers in the Community. These displays will travel to Manassas City Hall and beyond in the weeks to come, to share the history of the Bar with the community at large.

During the dinner dance, Delegate Jackson Miller presented the PWC Bar with House Resolution 64, commending the Bar for 75 years of “service to the legal community and the people of Prince William County.” President Jeani Wiethop invited every past president in attendance to join her in accepting the award. At the Bar’s Annual Legislative Luncheon, Senator Jeremy McPike presented Senate Resolution 46, a similar commendation.

The dinner dance was also a time to celebrate judicial retirements and the best lawyers in the local profession. Judge Richard B. Potter was honored for his retirement from PWC Circuit Court, and Judge Mary Grace O’Brien for her elevation to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, with portraits commissioned to express the PWC Bar’s gratitude for their service on the bench. Following are the recipients of the PWC Bar’s annual awards for 2015:

Past President: Jennifer B. Zary

Pro bono Attorney of the Year: Phillip J. Menke

J&DR Guardian Ad Litem of the Year: Nicholas D. Williams

J&DR Trial Attorney of the Year: Kimberly Hackbarth

GDC Trial Attorney of the Year: Anne T. Godson

Circuit Trial Attorney of the Year: James A. Willett

Arthur W. Sinclair Professionalism Award: Tracey A. Lenox

VWAA Justicia Award: Charlyn Hasson-Brown

These award recipients were honored for their good works within the legal profession and the high standards of advocacy, professionalism and pro bono service they model for others.

For more information about the PWC Bar Association, visit


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