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In Memoriam - Julian Nexsen

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Overview

Julian J. Nexsen, who helped guide Nexsen Pruet from a four-attorney office to one of the region’s leading business law firms, died on May 6, 2015 in Columbia, S.C., after a long illness. He was 91.

“Mr. Nexsen was a model of dignity”


A widely respected and admired attorney, Mr. Nexsen was known as much for his integrity as he was for his legal skills. While conceding that the profession had changed over time, he remained unwavering in his belief that lawyers should always be guided by character and personal values. “We want to be completely honest, straightforward in every way in all that we do,” he once said.

Julian J. Nexsen was born outside of Kingstree, S.C., the youngest of six children. The son of a successful businessman, he attended public schools before enrolling in The Citadel “because we were getting threats to be in World War II, and I thought I needed to learn to be a soldier.”

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In Remembrance

I met Julian in the fall of 1979, while a first year law student. My wife was a legal secretary at the Firm and I would come after class every day, just before quitting time, to wait for her in the lobby. The first time I did that Mr. Nexsen was walking through the lobby, noticed me, stuck out his hand and introduced himself. When I called my name to him he responded with, "Tom, nice to meet you." I thought I had heard "Tom" but was not certain. The next day we repeated this process and he greeted me with "Hello Tom." I told my wife and she implored me to correct him next time but I was too intimidated. All semester long this went with Julian greeting me every day with "Tom". At the Firm Christmas party Julian came up to our group of secretaries and their husbands and went around the circle meeting and greeting folks. When it came to me, before my wife could introduce me Julian said "And Tom so nice to see you."  Well my wife corrected him and he just looked at me as if I was an idiot (which I was) for allowing him to call me 'Tom' for months.  

He was a model of dignity. His passion for professionalism and his commitment to principle shaped the lives of attorneys both inside and outside this firm. He was a gentleman of great achievement, and his contributions to the firm, the community, and the practice of law will be fondly remembered and sorely missed. We are proud to carry his name.

-John Sowards, Board Chairman

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I clerked for Nexsen Pruet Jacobs and Pollard the summers of 1986 and 1987.... At the beginning of my second summer, I received an urgent assignment and came in every day at 8 to work on it.   Mr. Nexsen stopped in and spoke to me each day.  On the third day he told me:  "I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you these mornings Mr. Manos."  I relayed this conversation to Wilburn Brewer later in the day and mentioned how nice that was.  Wilburn offered to translate for me.  Wilburn said:  "That means you should have your ___ here every morning this early, in case you didn't get it."

-Marc Manos

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Julian J. Nexsen
1924-2015