2015 Meeting Programs
September 3rd Program Details
Featured Speaker: Mr. Gene Boyce
"The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Magna Carta's Influence on America's Past, Present, and Future"
Constitutional attorney Gene Boyce of Raleigh will present the program "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Magna Carta's Influence on America's Past, Present, and Future" at the September 3 meeting of the Granville County Genealogical Society at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford. In his presentation, Boyce will discuss the Magna Carta's influence on such historic events and documents as the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, JFK's "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You" speech, the Constitution, and Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. This summer marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (The Great Charter).
The Magna Carta (The Great Charter), signed on June 15, 1215 by King John at Runnymede, has carried the rule of law for 800 years and its meaning continues to apply with as much importance as ever. A symbol of freedom under the law, the Magna Carta made clear that no one should be subject to tyranny.
Boyce will also explore the Magna Carta's influence on current events (such as the Charleston Massacre) and on the future as we consider the following questions. Have some things not changed in 800 years? What things remain the same? Where are we? Where are we headed? Where may we end up?
Finally, Mr. Boyce will comment on the mock trial of King John vs. the Barons which was held in London on July 31, 2015. A three member panel of distinguished judges from the U.K., New Zealand and the United States (including the Honorable Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) were charged with passing judgment concerning whether the Bishops and Barons' actions in 1215 at Runnymede constituted treason.
An accomplished attorney with a long and distinguished career, Gene Boyce is Senior Counsel with the Nexsen Pruet law firm, where his son Dan is also an attorney. Most notably, Boyce served in Washington, DC as Assistant Majority Counsel for the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee during its famed televised hearings in 1973. He was one of several North Carolinians who worked on the Committee chaired by North Carolina Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Boyce led the investigative team that discovered the secret taping system inside President Richard Nixon's White House. This discovery ultimately led to the only resignation to date of a U.S. President on August 9, 1974.
Although he began his career doing civil and criminal trial work (both prosecution and defense), Boyce's experience on the Watergate Committee whetted his appetite for constitutional law. Subsequently, his practice evolved to the point where he began handling only constitutional law and state tax class action cases.
Among Mr. Boyce's best known state tax class action cases were the "Bailey retirees case" and the "Smith/ Shaver Intangibles Tax Case". Plaintiffs in the Bailey case included government retirees (state, federal, city or town retirees) and retired military. Plaintiffs in the Smith/ Shaver case included individuals who were forced to pay the hated "North Carolina Intangibles Tax" on their stock or bank accounts in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. Boyce represented and was responsible for protecting the Constitutional rights of over 460,000 clients beginning in 1989 and finally completing all work on the two cases in 2005. Through Boyce's extended court work, he fought and ultimately proved that the State of North Carolina had taken (by illegal taxes and in violation of the Constitutional rights of his 460,000 clients) the sum of more than one billion, 496 million dollars ($1,496,000,000.00). Mr. Boyce obtained full refunds for his clients of every dollar of the illegal tax that each one had been forced to pay. Furthermore, Boyce's protracted pursuit of the Smith/ Shaver Intangibles Case resulted in the permanent repeal of the North Carolina Intangibles Tax.
Gene Boyce is a summa cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University. He also graduated magna cum laude from the Wake Forest School of Law, achieving one of the highest grade point averages in the school's history. Subsequently, he spent three years in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Army Law School at the University of Virginia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, mainly as a prosecutor and defense lawyer in the Army JAG (Judge Advocate General) Corps. A North Carolina native, Boyce and his wife, Pat, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Please join the members of the Granville County Genealogical Society at 6:30 P.M. on September 3, 2015
in the large conference room at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford. Visitors are always welcome and are encouraged to join in this presentation.
All GCGS meetings are open to the public and guests are cordially invited to attend.