2017-12-01 / Front Page

Edward W. Mullins Jr. retires

By Mimi M. Maddock

Ed Mullins Ed Mullins On November 28, Joel Collins, co-founder of Collins & Lacy, P.C., held a retirement luncheon for Edward W. Mullins Jr. Over 100 friends and peers attended the event at the Palmetto Club to honor Mullins’s 58 years as an attorney at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Because of his leadership, the firm now has 550 lawyers in 17 cities.

To list all of Mullins’s awards, honors, and accomplishments would take an entire page or more in this newspaper; however, the thoughts and feelings about Mullins spoken at the luncheon reveal who Mullins truly is.

One speaker said, “Mullins has been the gold thread in the tapestry of our lives.”

That thread, according to his friends, includes compassion, devotion, affection, his loving and giving heart, the civility and equality in which he treats everyone, and his loyalty to his friends and family.

Others said the effort he has put in the firm embodies what it means to be a professional, and it is amazing how quickly he grasps a case and gets straight to the point. He was also thanked for mentoring so many young lawyers.

Jack Swerling said, “Ed is a lawyers’ lawyer.

The respect and love the crowd has for Mullins also came in the form of jokes and laughter. Dick Willis played the guitar and sang a takeoff on “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard. He changed the lyrics to “Mullins Tried,” and how Mullins tried to make a success out of him.

Many spoke of the Mullins Method which was a list of dos and don’ts made up by Mullins for young lawyers. First on the list was “Never Stand Close to the Jury.” Next was “Never Be Repetious.” And third on the list “Don’t Stand Too Close to the Jury.”

It was brought up that Mullins is an expert networker ( which this reporter can attest to.) At events he is always taking someone by the arm and saying, “I have someone important I want you to meet.” That was the first thing he did when I entered the luncheon.

Another guests warned, “Never give Ed your cell phone number; it will break up your marriage.” It seems Mullins has a habit of calling people at all times of the day and night. He called this person many times late at night, but the phone was his wife’s side of the bed. The marriage was saved when the couple switched sides.

But Mullins is not totally retiring. He plans to work with American Inns of Court (AIC). The idea began with Chief Justice Warren Burger in the late 70s and materialized in 1980. It is designed to improve the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bench and bar. It is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and in some cases law professors and law students. No one is better suited for this work than Edward W. Mullins Jr.

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