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Civil Litigation

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Charles F. “Frank” Hilton

Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC
Harrisonburg

Title: Member
Other legal specialties:   Medical malpractice
Birthplace:  Newton, N.C.
Education:  VMI, bachelor’s degree with high honors; Wake Forest University, law degree
Spouse:  Wanda D. Hilton
Children: Craig Hilton and Leigh Hilton Miller
Hobbies or pastimes: Fishing, golf
First job as a lawyer: U.S. Army JAG Corps
Fan of: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite vacation spot:   Maui
Recently read book: Volume 3 of William Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill, “The Last Lion”; “The Aquarian Gospel.”
Career mentors: Jonas Craig, Carter Melton, Jack Carroll, Dick Carroll

What has been your most memorable civil litigation case?
I had a case where a very large man had a heart attack at home and was DOA at the hospital.  He wouldn’t fit into the cooler in the morgue and was left on a gurney in the morgue for several days while the family argued over funeral arrangements/place of interment, etc.  The body “spoiled.” I hired as an expert William Bass, an anthropologist from the University of Tennessee, who ran The Body Farm.

You are a graduate of VMI. How did that experience contribute to your success as a lawyer?
I learned many important life lessons and habits at VMI, but two salient ones are that you may be whatever you resolve to be; and, you never know what life is going to send your way, so remain calm and thoughtful in every situation. Lawyers are professional problem solvers who must exercise calm resolve to deal with other people’s problems that they can’t fix for themselves.  VMI schooled me in that way of life.


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