Before his passing in 2019, John had 50 years of experience representing clients before the North Carolina General Assembly and in courtrooms across the state. He was considered one of the most effective lobbyists in the state’s history. John was the Past President of the North Carolina State Bar, the Wake County Bar Association, and the University of North Carolina School of Law Alumni Association. In 2017, John received the University of North Carolina School of Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Before his passing in 2019, John B. McMillan had been an attorney with Manning Fulton & Skinner, P.A. in Raleigh since graduating from UNC School of Law. For most of his career, he combined a general civil litigation practice with government relations work for clients with state legislative and administrative issues. In recent years, he concentrated his litigation practice in the area of eminent domain law representing property owners. In his government relations practice, he represented national and state trade associations and corporations before the North Carolina General Assembly and various state agencies. For his legal work, McMillan was recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of eminent domain and government relations in each year since those categories were established. He was named Best Lawyers Government Relations “Lawyer of the Year” in 2011, 2014 and 2018 as well as Best Lawyers Eminent Domain and Condemnation “Lawyer of the Year” in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
McMillan was a past president of The Wake County Bar Association, the 10th Judicial District Bar, and the North Carolina State Bar. He served as chair of various statewide boards including the State Bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission, the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the UNC Law Alumni Association, the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and the North Carolina IOLTA Board of Trustees. McMillan also chaired the North Carolina State Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. Along with many others, McMillan was instrumental in the planning and construction of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Building, The Nature Research Center and the State Bar Building.
He was a recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, Champion of Equal Access to Justice awarded by the Chief Justice’s Equal Access to Justice Commission, the UNC Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, the North Carolina School of Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the North Carolina Justice Center’s Lifetime Champion Award, the North Carolina State Bar’s Distinguished Service Award which was named in his honor upon the completion of his term as president of the North Carolina State Bar, and the 2018 Governor’s Conservationist of the Year Award presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.