Gavel falls for Grimes|Judge retires after 26 years on the bench

Published 4:00 pm Friday, December 31, 2010

Staff Writer

Judge Samuel G. Grimes is hanging up his gavel after years of dedicated service.
Grimes, who was a practicing attorney for 10 years before taking the bench as District Court Judge in 1984, said he has enjoyed his time as a judge and while every case was different, all were worth the long hours in the office.
“Nothing really sticks out in my mind right now,” he said regarding his 26 years as a District Court Judge. “But I had several good and not so good times while on the bench. But it goes with the territory and I enjoyed every bit of it.”
After earning his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Law, Grimes went on to be a JAG (Judge Advocate General) attorney in the U.S. Army for four years and served in Vietnam.
“I remember thinking I had always wanted to go to Vietnam,” he said. “And then I got there and it wasn’t like anything I had expected. I just remember thinking, ‘Be careful what you wish for because it just might come true.’”
Shortly after his military service, he returned to Beaufort County to practice law.
Marty Paramore, Beaufort County clerk of court, said, “(Judge Grimes) will be missed. It’s going to truly be the end of an era around here. His family has been a huge part of this courthouse and legal system for several decades.”
As the end of an era, the Grimes family has a long line of attorneys and judges for over 100 years.
Grimes’ great-grandfather is Gen. Bryan Grimes, who served in the Civil War with Gen. Robert E. Lee. Though he was never an attorney, Grimes said his great-grandfather pretty much started the legal profession of attorney’s in the family. In fact, one of Grimes’ grandfathers started practicing law in Beaufort County in 1903.
“He was the oldest surviving officer from North Carolina in the Civil War,” Grimes said. “He rode into battle several times and his horse was shot out from underneath him on eight occasions. And he was never shot.”
Jacqueline Watson, judicial assistant, said she has enjoyed working with Grimes.
Grimes enjoyed laughs and hors d’oeuvres with several colleagues and respected associates at his retirement luncheon Thursday afternoon at the Beaufort County Courthouse.
“It truly has been a pleasure working with the people here,” he said.
Grimes added that after 26 years of serving on the bench, it’s time for him to get up and stretch his legs. He plans to spend his retirement doing things he also enjoys: fishing, golfing and spending time around the house doing repairs he said he has been putting off, but wanting to get done for quite some time.