Hickory Daily Record: Notable Neighbor – Hickory attorney focuses on helping people

By: John Dayberry | jdayberry@hickoryrecord.com
Published: June 27, 2011



After 43 years of practicing law, Charles R. Young Sr. is not easily impressed in the legal arena.

Being sworn in to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court did the trick for the 68-year-old Hickory attorney.

“I have to admit, I got cold chills,” said Young, who has been with Young, Morphis, Bach and Taylor, LLP since September 1968.

Young and 16 other U.S. attorneys recently traveled to Washington, D.C., where they were licensed to practice before the Supreme Court. Following the administration of the oath by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the newly inducted attorneys returned to the Lawyers Waiting Room within the Supreme Court Building. There, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited with the attorneys for more than an hour.

“It was a wonderful experience,” Young said.

“The Supreme Court, and particularly the First Amendment, are what set our society apart from the rest of the world. Everybody can and has been heard in there.”

Young was invited to take part in the swearing in through his alma mater, Wake Forest University. Other attorneys from Catawba County previously licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court are Charles D. Dixon, Forest A. Ferrell, William R. Sigmon and Stephen T. Thomas.

And while Young considered his induction a true honor, he said the highlight of his career so far was being certified as a mediator by the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1995.

“Sitting down face to face and working things out just makes sense to me,” Young said.

“I’d been doing it for years, but I called it having sit-down meetings. You know, I’m not about to give away the farm, but I consider keeping my clients out of court the best thing I can do for them. There’s always more than one side to a story, and a trial should be the last resort.”

If Young sounds like a team player, it’s because he is.

A native of Greenville, S.C., Young and his family moved to Winston-Salem when he was 6. He soon began playing baseball, a passion he continued to pursue after the family moved to Hickory. Young joined a Little League team here when he was 9, and played at Hickory High School, where he was coached by the legendary Troy Washam.

“Coach Washam was one of the three most influential men in my life,” Young said.

“I loved him until the day he died, and I still miss him.”

Young played on an ACC championship team at Wake Forest, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Over the years, he has coached many youth baseball and football teams, and said if he had not gone into law, coaching would have been a likely profession.

“I love coaching,” Young said. “I felt like I had to share what people had taught me.”

He said his emphasis was never on winning.

“Especially with youngsters, my emphasis was on having fun and learning the game,” Young said.

“When they got to be teens, winning became somewhat more important, but it was never the main emphasis. It’s the way I coached, and I practiced what I preached.”

Today, Young is vice president and minority owner of Hickory Baseball Inc., which operates the Hickory Crawdads. He loves spending time with the players, and said it’s a real treat when he’s able to take one or more of his eight grandchildren to a Crawdads game.

Terry M. Taylor, a partner at Young, Morphis, Bach and Taylor, said Young is not only a team player, but someone who will go well out of his way to help others.

“He’s a caring, community-minded person,” Taylor said. “And he likes to help people find their own solutions.”

Young’s office in downtown’s First Lawyers Building is heavily populated by family photos. There’s also a watercolor of a house on Bald Head Island that the Youngs co-own with several other families. The island is a second home and vacation community accessed by ferry ride. The island retains much of its wild beauty. Of its 12,000 acres, 10,000 have been permanently preserved and will never be developed.

“I like to get down there. It’s quiet, it’s different,” Young said.

Bald Head is a place you can enjoy if you have a clear conscience.”

When he’s not at the office or at the Crawdads stadium, Young mostly enjoys spending time with his family. He gives his wife of 46 years, Elaine, the lion’s share of credit for successfully raising three adult children of whom he is exceptionally proud.

“They are good people,” he said.

Young said there is one lesson he has tried to impart over the years, be it to his children, grandchildren or the kids he coached.

“Just be sure you’re doing the right thing, then go ahead and do it,” he said.

“Don’t worry about what people think.

“Of course, it’s that knowing that you’re right that’s the hard part.”


Name: Charles R. Young Sr.

Age: 68

Law firm: Young, Morphis, Bach and Taylor, LLP

Areas of concentration: Real estate, mediation, transactional and general corporate law

Also: Vice president and minority owner of Hickory Baseball Inc., which operates the Hickory Crawdads

Education: Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1968; undergraduate degree from Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.; Hickory High School

Family: Parents, Albert and Arzilla Young of Bethlehem; wife of 46 years, Elaine Teague Young; three adult children, Tiffany and the Rev. Bert Young of Bladenboro, Heather and Peter Hancock of Hickory, and Megan and Roger Young of Hickory; eight grandchildren, Lily Kate, Gwenyth and Ainsley Young, Hollis and Harper Hancock, Tripp, Deke and J.B. Young

Professional achievements: Certified as a mediator by the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1995; member of the American, North Carolina and Catawba County bar associations; served as a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Real Property Committee which became the Real Property Council during his service; past president of the 25th Judicial District Bar Association; past treasurer of the Catawba County Bar Association; 1987 recipient of North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine; named one of the Five Outstanding Young Men of North Carolina in 1979.

Community involvement: Served two terms on the board of directors for the Wake Forest University Deacon Club, which supports athletics at Wake Forest; former member of the board of directors for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; former member and past chairman of Frye Regional Medical Center’s board; past member of the board of directors of Ten Broeke Hospital; served the Catawba County United Way in various capacities, including campaign co-chair, board member and president; served as the vice president of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and president of the Hickory Rotary Club; spent many hours coaching youth baseball and football teams.

Church: Viewmont Baptist

Something most people don’t know: Was suspended from Hickory High School six times for “cutting out.”

Special likes: Spending time with his family, co-ownership of a house on Bald Head Island, “people who are willing to swim upstream a little bit.”

Philosophy: “The concept of helping people has always appealed to me, and I still think that if that’s a lawyer’s focus, everything works out.”

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