North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy Law
Over ninety percent of my practice is in the area of bankruptcy, financial distress, and debtors and creditors rights. I find problem solving the most satisfying aspect of my legal work and enjoy resolving not only the problem presented but the problems ancillary to the crisis at hand.
After three and a half years as Assistant General Counsel of FieldCrest Mills, Inc., a manufacturer of textiles headquartered in Eden, North Carolina, I moved to Asheville and spent a year as an associate with Van Winkle, Buck, Wall, Starnes, Hyde & Davis, the largest law firm in Western North Carolina. In 1979, Gum and Hillier, P.A. was formed.
In 2003, the State of North Carolina Bar Association bestowed its prestigious Centennial Award for Oustanding Community Service. I’ve been honored by my peers to be voted to Best Lawyers in America in 2009. In 2009 and again in 2010, I was included in Super Lawyers’ Star Search, and in 2011, I was first selected to Super Lawyers main list in North Carolina. In 2013, Best Lawyers bestowed its prestigious Lawyer of the Year for Consumer Bankruptcy in Asheville. I have been recognized by Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite since 2013.
I am a Board Certified Specialist in Consumer and Business Bankruptcy Law and have been since 1993. I have been a Certified Mediator since 1995. I served as Chapter 7 Panel Trustee for the Western District of North Carolina from 1981 through 2011 and have extensive experience in representing both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases, with primary emphasis on consumer matters.
I attended and graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee in 1970, cum laude, with Honors in History, and received my Law Degree from Duke University in 1974.
I have been privileged to participate extensively in civic affairs, including leadership positions in church and community. Most notably I served as Member of the Asheville City School Board for eight years and as Chairman for six. I have served on and chaired numerous United Way Committees, was Board Member and Chairman of Asheville Boys Club and Big Brothers and Sisters of Buncombe County, was instrumental in forming Mountain House, a day training center for mentally ill individuals, and have served as Member of the Asheville City Civil Service Board and the local Consumer Credit Counseling Services Board of Directors. I recently completed service as Chair of the Asheville Regional Airport Authority.
I was honored to receive the Centennial Award in 2004 presented by the North Carolina Bar Association for outstanding exemplary community service.
Most satisfying of my various involvements have been as Board Member of Beverly Farm Foundation, where my disabled brother lived until his death in 2005, the Asheville City School Board, the Asheville Regional Airport Authority, and my professional service to the 28th Judicial District (Buncombe County) Bar Association.
I also take special pride in having acted as tutor at Jones Elementary School for one hour per week since 1995 and my coaching experience, in particular as Cross Country Coach at Asheville Middle School from 2001 through 2014 (I retired several times but couldn’t make the retirement stick!).
I have been married since 1980 to Haywood, and we have three children, born in 1984, 1986, and 1988. We enjoy travel, hiking, sports events, concerts and plays, and social activities with a dinner club and otherwise. Personally, I spend many hours a week reading history, science, and nearly anything else.