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.
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.
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.