PRINCETON — Mercer County’s legal community remembered a colleague Friday who was respected for his professionalism and the legal advocacy he provided for his clients during a career spanning almost 30 years.
Harold B. Wolfe III of Princeton passed away Wednesday. Judges, magistrates and attorneys throughout the local court system said Wolfe would be greatly missed.
“Harold practiced for close to 30 years and he was a very effective, diligent attorney,” Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope said. “He represented the sheriff in cases like estate cases and anything that dealt with property for folks as well as representing people in a whole series of civil cases, and was with an excellent attorney with Bill Akers for many years, learned skills from him and he brought those to bear on behalf of his clients. It’s a sad day.”
“He was just a good person and it’s just a shame to see a good person go before his time,” Swope said. “Clearly, he went before his time. It’s going to be a loss to the bar and it’s going to be a loss to us all, and we just hope his family finds peace.”
Local attorneys recalled working with Wolfe at the Mercer County Courthouse and the neighboring Courthouse Annex.
“Harold and I took the bar exam in 1991 and we sworn in on the same day in September ‘91,” attorney Ward Morgan recalled. “We spent the last 30 years practicing law together, you know, in the same area. He was just an excellent lawyer and, really, his word was solid. If he said something, you could bank on it. and he’s going to be missed, because he was such an integral part of the bar. He was a good guy.”
At the Mercer County Courthouse Annex, Magistrate Susan Honaker said that Wolfe occasionally appeared before her.
“Harold was a very fine, very respected, man,” Honaker said. “A very good lawyer, and he was always very professional, very kind. He will truly be missed. He just carried himself very well, and he was a delight and a good person to know. He was taken from us much too soon.”
Prosecuting Attorney Brian Cochran also worked with Wolfe.
“Since I’ve been prosecutor, I don’t think Harold has had any criminal defendants that I’m aware of, but I first met Harold 13, 14 years ago when I was in civil practice defending lawsuits, and Harold was always so very kind, professional, and he was a great advocate for his clients and he was just a pleasure to be around,” Cochran said. “Always polite and witty, and he’s just going to be sorely missed not only in the legal community, but the people out here who need good representation, very, very good lawyers.”
“Harold, in my book, ranks up there as a tremendous advocate for his clients and very knowledgeable,” Cochran stated. “He knew the law, he was very reasonable and he was always a pleasure to work with even though most of the time we were on opposite sides. I learned a lot from him. I’m going to miss him and I think the community’s going to miss him as well.”
A celebration of the life of Harold Wolfe will be conducted Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Karen Preservati Center next door to the Princeton Rescue Squad off Stafford Drive.
— Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]