B. Geoffrey Hulse received the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service award on January 28, 2022, at the Wayne County Courthouse in Goldsboro, North Carolina. North Carolina State Bar President-Elect Marcia H. Armstrong presented the award. Mr. Hulse was raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and attended Goldsboro High School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in 1979 and his law degree from Campbell University in 1985. Mr. Hulse practices with Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse & King, PLLC in Goldsboro.
Mr. Hulse is a North Carolina State Bar certified specialist in state criminal law. He is known as a lawyer who can identify weaknesses in the state’s cases, counsel his clients as to their options and best courses of action, and communicate his clients’ best positions zealously and effectively to juries or the judge. Mr. Hulse has represented countless indigent clients, never hesitating to take on difficult cases.
Mr. Hulse is well known for fostering civility among members of the bar and building comradery between the bench and the bar. He recognized early on how lonely it can be to be a traveling superior judge. To remedy this, he began and continues the long-time tradition of a welcoming lunch for the superior judge when they arrive and a goodbye dinner to thank them for their service. Mr. Hulse has assisted many attorneys in personal issues in their lives. He often assists his fellow lawyers in contacting the North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program.
Mr. Hulse served three terms on the North Carolina State Bar Council, as councilor for the Eighth District (now Ninth District). He is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, currently serving on the BarCARES Board. Mr. Hulse actively participates in the activities of the district bar, as well as the Wayne County Bar. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Tommy Jarrett Citizen-Lawyer Award, given in honor of former State Bar President Tommy Jarrett, who personified lawyers giving to the local community.
Mr. Hulse bridged conflicting groups by his transparent and trusted leadership as chair, and eight-year member, of the Wayne County Board of Elections. As a long-time member of the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation (DGDC), he works to accomplish the DGDC’s vision to develop diversity and vibrancy in downtown Goldsboro. Mr. Hulse lends his talents to assist with after-school reading programs, the Boys and Girls Club, Friends of the Wayne County Public Library, Literacy Connections of Wayne County, Wayne Charitable Partnership, and a multitude of other organizations working to improve literacy, community cohesiveness, and public involvement.
Mr. Hulse serves on the Wayne Community College Board of Trustees and is the incoming chair of that board, and ee has been a board member of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce (past-chair). He has also been active with the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation (board member and chair), the Friends of Wayne County Public Library, the Wayne County Arts Council, the Wayne Boys & Girls Club, the Flynn Christian Fellowship Home, and the Paramount Foundation. He has led the lawyer fundraising campaigns for United Way of Wayne County for many years. His service is also displayed through his commitment to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Mr. Hulse has been recognized for his many civic activities, having received such awards as The United Way of Wayne County Emil Rosenthal Volunteer Service Award, The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Goldsboro Rotary & Rotary International’s Paul Harris Award, the Goldsboro DAR Award, and The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
Mr. Hulse is actively involved in local stage productions as an “amateur actor” through Center Stage Theater and Wayne Community College. He has brought to life on stage several characters: Norman in On Golden Pond, The Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, but his most compelling performance was his portrayal of Atticus Finch alongside his daughter, Lura as Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird at Goldsboro’s reinvigorated Paramount Theater. B. Geoffrey Hulse is indeed a modern-day Atticus, unafraid to take on difficult cases and quick to call out injustice when he encounters it.
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