In Memoriam


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Baxter Herman Finch was born in 1924 and died in Salisbury, N.C. in 1995.  He was the founding partner of Ross & Finch later known as Finch McCranie, LLP.  A graduate of the Wake Forest University Law School, Mr. Finch was one of the first personal injury lawyers in the Southeast to ever obtain a $1 million verdict in a personal injury case.  He later became one of the first to obtain a $5 million verdict.  At the time he retired from Finch McCranie, LLP he was one of the founding members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and considered to be one of the best 100 Plaintiff’s lawyers in the United States.

Mr. Finch grew up in the Salisbury, North Carolina area and at one time practiced in Salisbury as a City Attorney.  He formed Finch McCranie in 1965 with his law partner Claude Ross, and later developed his firm into one of the preeminent Plaintiff’s firms in the Southeast.  Not only did he handle serious injury litigation, he also handled product liability cases that were considered to be cutting edge cases at the time.  He filed product liability cases at a time when such was almost unheard of and obtained at least one $5 million verdict in the 1960’s against General Motors.  One of his first associates, Charles McCranie, later became the co-founder of the Finch McCranie law firm that still exists today.

Because of his commanding courtroom presence and deep resonant voice he was known as “Boomer” during the height of his law practice.  He was an unparalleled and quintessential “Trial lawyer” who literally helped to form the plaintiff’s bar in the 1960’s and 70’s at a time when it was not considered fashionable for any competent attorney to practice personal injury law.


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Charles McCranie was a founding partner of Finch McCranie along with Baxter H. Finch. Mr. McCranie earned his A.B. from the University of Georgia in 1950 and his LL.B. in 1953 from John Marshall Law School where he was a Sigma Delta Kappa member. He specialized in wrongful death and serious personal injury litigation. Charles McCranie was instrumental in obtaining one of the first million dollar verdicts obtained in the State of Georgia in a personal injury case and also participated in the first five million dollar verdict obtained in a personal injury case in the State. While practicing, Mr. McCranie and his partners set “highest verdict” records in 38 counties throughout the state.

Mr. McCranie served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II and in the Korean War. He was a master gardener, voracious reader, world traveler, walking history book and family genealogist. His quiet spirituality and childlike wonder never ceased to inspire those around him. He was a man of strength and good will who left the world better than he found it, and, because of his good natured and humorous personality also made a few people laugh along the way.

Mr. McCranie was born on August 23, 1927 and was raised in Adel, Georgia. He passed on September 20, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. He will long be remembered as the heart and soul of the firm. His professional and personal skills not only distinguished him but distinguished the Finch McCranie law firm in ways too numerous to mention.


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Ellis Ray Brown, Sr. was one of the first associates hired at the Ross & Finch firm which later became Finch McCranie, LLP. He was a graduate of Georgia State University and a graduate of the John Marshall Law School where he was a member of Nu Beta Epsilon. He was born on August 16, 1933 in Luxora, Arkansas. He died after retirement from the firm while residing in Hartwell, Georgia on December 27, 2011.

As one of the founding members of Finch McCranie, LLP (after serving as an associate for several years), he was a partner for approximately 35 years at the firm prior to his retirement in 2000. He was a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and numerous federal and state courts in Georgia and throughout the Southeast. Mr. Brown was widely recognized and respected as an expert in the area of Worker’s Compensation law.

Mr. Brown was a U.S. Army Veteran. He was known for his conviviality and congeniality. Often times described as a country lawyer and perfect gentleman, Mr. Brown embodied the characteristics for which Finch McCranie, LLP is still known today: honesty, integrity, competency, professionalism and a singular dedication to his clients. Along with his partners Baxter H. Finch and Charles E. McCranie, Ellis Ray Brown, Sr. constituted the heart and soul of the law firm in its original state and his impact upon the firm remains to this day. The bar was set high by “lawyer” Brown (as he was affectionately named by his clients) for all the lawyers of the firm.