Manning, Fulton & Skinner, P.A. is saddened to announce the passing of Charles “Charlie” L. Fulton, one of the firm’s two co-founders. He died on November 29th at the age of 90, surrounded by the love of his family, colleagues and friends.
Born on December 11, 1927, Mr. Fulton was a native of Franklin, N.C. He was one of three sons born to Marian and Mac Fulton. During his childhood, Charlie and his two brothers moved in with their grandparents, and although resources were scarce, education was emphasized—a perspective that launched Charlie into a life filled with a love of learning.
Charlie was 15 when he traveled from his home in the Highlands to enroll in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) to study math and political science in the fall of 1943. During his three-and-a-half-year undergraduate schooling, he was the president of the campus honorary society and led several other organizations on campus. Upon graduation, Charlie went on to attend law school at UNC. He graduated with his JD in 1950—second in his class and as the associate editor of the North Carolina Law Review.
After achieving academic success and at the recommendation of the UNC Law School dean, Charlie began practicing law with a pair of lawyers in Raleigh—one of whom was Howard Manning.
However, Charlie felt called to serve in the Korean War. In 1950, he took a break from his early legal career and joined the U.S. Navy where he served as a Lieutenant until 1954. While serving, he met Marilyn Oates, who would later become his wife.
When Charlie returned from service, he entered into partnership with his colleague Howard Manning. On July 1, 1955 Manning & Fulton officially opened for business. A year later, with the addition of Bill Skinner, the firm changed name to become Manning, Fulton & Skinner—as it is still known today.
Charlie was one of the first attorneys in Raleigh to represent clients in commercial real estate transactions. He soon was recognized as one of the preeminent practitioners in his field by the American College or Mortgage Attorneys and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Throughout his career, clients knew Charlie for his faithfulness, confidence, diligence and good judgement. One client even went so far as to say that Charlie put client interests above all else—including his own.
Charlie was a long-standing member of the North Carolina Bar Association, serving on the Board of Governors and various committees as chairman. During his time in service to the Bar Association, he acted on his belief that the profession had an obligation to the public. To that end, he promoted the establishment of the Client’s Security Fund—and served on the fund’s Board of Trustees.
He was the principal author of North Carolina’s foreclosure statute, providing citizens adequate notice and the opportunity for a judicial hearing before the foreclosure sale of their property—for the first time in the state’s history.
He continued steadfast service to the profession by serving as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and a guest lecturer at the Georgetown University School of Law.
Outside the office, Charlie was equally committed to his family and to his community. He was a member of the Lutheran church, and served the congregation as president and member of the denomination’s board.
Mr. Fulton is survived by his five children and eight grandchildren.
It is the hope of the firm that the legacy left by Charlie Fulton will inspire others to work hard, carry forward the mantle of the legal profession and drive change when necessary.