Phil died Jan. 15, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. He was 85. 

Born Feb. 13, 1936, Phil earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College, a master’s in public policy from Princeton in 1963, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He served as a captain in the Marines. 

He practiced corporate law with Moore & Van Allen, opened a solo practice, joined a small firm partnership, and served as an assistant district attorney and assistant public defender. Phil found his cadence and skill as a litigator, often trying high-profile capital cases. For three decades he served on the District Court Bench in Mecklenburg County and as an emergency judge. He introduced North Carolina’s first drug-treatment court and initiated the first DWI court in the country. Throughout his years on the bench he modeled practical and compassionate jurisprudence, and his selfless work with substance-abuse programs was widely recognized.

Phil mastered the art of woodworking, producing more than 130 pieces of original work and antique reproductions.

Phil’s survivors include his wife of 31 years, Mary; children Philip and Ashley; and five grandchildren. 

Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1963