McCormick built legacy in and out of courtroom

Published 4:40 am Saturday, January 27, 2024

Fred McCormick III built a reputation for being a top-notch attorney in Selma and Dallas County, working with area cases for over 50  years.

McCormick died on Dec. 14. His funeral service was Dec. 16 at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. McCormick was survived by his wife of 56 years, Eady Fuller McCormick; children, Fred M. McCormick IV and Benjamin Fuller (Jamie) McCormick; three grandchildren, Fred McCormick V, Mary Jane McCormick and Marley McCormick.

Family, colleagues and friends in the area will always remember the high standard of excellence McCormick set as an attorney.

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“Fred was one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in Selma,” former Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson said. “I loved hearing all of his war stories he liked to tell. He will be greatly missed. He was an institution in Selma.”

McCormick graduated from AG Parrish High School a few years before the school merged with RB Hudson High School to form Selma High School in 1970. He worked two years as an attorney in Montgomery before moving his law practicing to Selma in 1973. McCormick and P Vaughan Russell formed the firm McCormick and Russell Family Law in 1981 and operated until 2014.

Former Selma City Councilwoman Susan Youngblood called McCormick an “old-guard attorney” who always worked with integrity.

“When Fred was on a case, he was on that case only at that time,” Youngblood said. “He wasn’t looking to what effect it may have on his next case, or one later, he represented each client as if that were his only, and most important one. There were times when the average lawyer would quit a client. Not Fred. He would hang in with them until the bitter end, advocating for them.

“Fred was like that about giving people opportunity in life. Probably why he loved helping boys and young men build strong lives through Boy Scouts. He was going to be at the Presbyterian Church for services as well. Fred offered betterment of people by availability and being approachable. He shared Christ’s light in meaningful ways. Ways that made differences in the lives of so many people.”

Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said McCormick was very active in the probate courts.

“Another great attorney is gone,” Nunn said. “Fred, as I knew him, was always friendly to my staff. Just a well-respected attorney. I have been knowing Attorney McCormick a long time. I can not recall seeing him outside of court without his cigarette. He was very active in the Boy Scouts and the Rotary Club. He will be missed.”

Leith Wilson, Senior District Executive for the Crane District, which covers Dallas, Perry and Wilcox Counties, said Williamson’s Boy Scout experience speaks for itself. 

“Fred has meant a lot to a great number of young men in Selma through the years,” Wilson said. “He’s had hundreds of young men to come through his troop. The length of time Fred has served as scoutmaster has been impressive. I really appreciate his dedication and being involved in Boy Scouts.”