Today in the Office

Celebrating our 50th Anniversary

Cyndi Cawrse - Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fifty years ago when Hubert Long and Francis (Banny) Jones formed their law
partnership in downtown Lexington, the pair probably never envisioned the growth that would sweep the community. In 1961, Lexington was a much smaller place, dominated by family-run businesses such as Sessions, Taylor Hardware, and Mack’s Cash and Carry and Hite’s Restaurant, where everyone in town ate. Friday nights were dominated by J.W. Ingram’s Wildcat football team and Albert Dooley, Ryan Shealy, and Floyd Spence were beginning their political careers.

At that time there were only a dozen or so lawyers in town - Hugh Rogers, Blease Ellison, Jack Carroll, Billy Duncan, T.H. Rawl, Milo Smith, E.B. (Buzz) Purcell, Frank Lever, Frank Shealy, Pickens Rish, Carl Grant, Frank Rogers, and Nick Sandifer. Prior to forming their partnership, Banny Jones practiced law in a small wood -frame building next to Ralph Corley’s Esso station with former governor George Bell Timmerman and Hubert was across East Main Street in a two-story wood house still standing today.  Hubert had been elected Solicitor for Lexington County in 1953 and Banny had served in the South Carolina Senate. Banny worked upstairs handling primarily defense work, while Hubert had the downstairs.

In the early 1960's, Hubert and Banny acquired the former feed store property of Otto and Sewanee Rentsjerna up the street, and the firm began to expand.  Bob Bouknight, Jim Barfield, and George Nicholson all came aboard during the decade.  Sadly, Banny passed away in 1966.  Hubert continued to serve as Solicitor for Lexington County until 1969, later becoming Circuit Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit from 1984 until 1991.

Randy Davis joined the firm in 1972 as the firm continued to expand.  Needing additional space, the site of the original 1820 Lexington County Court was acquired in 1980 and the firm’s new building at 140 East Main Street opened a few years later.  Pat Frawley, Nancy Young, and Jeff Anderson joined the office soon afterward, followed by Carey Ayer, John Fisher, Judy Fisher and Lisa Smith.  John McCauley joined the firm after many years practicing in his own firm next door.  In recent years the firm continued to grow with the additions of Ryan Wingard, Jewitte Dooley and Erica Parker.  Bob Bouknight and George Nicholson are now “of counsel” to the office.  Bob Bouknight’s grandson, Joe Maye, plans to join the firm later this year.

Over the years, the firm has traditionally been known by the name of its senior partners.  First, the Long Firm, then the Bouknight Firm, subsequently the Nicholson Firm, and then the Davis Firm.  Going forward, the firm is shortening its name to Davis Frawley, LLC.

“Davis, Frawley, Anderson, McCauley, Ayer, Fisher, and Smith enjoys the highest reputation in Lexington County, both professionally and individually,” said Hugh Rogers, senior member of the County Bar Association.  “They are an institution in the legal community, offering comprehensive, quality services in all the main fields of practice.”  Prior to his passing, Hubert E. Long wrote a memoir reflecting on the firm he had founded.  “The caliber of these attorneys are in my opinion, the best as far as knowledge, integrity, honor and all are a very dedicated group of men and women”, he said.  “I am very proud of them all.”

On April 26, 2012, the Davis Frawley Firm will celebrate its 50th anniversary.


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