ALEXANDRIA – Charles S. Weems III’s considerable
contributions to the law and the community earned him recognition as a
Louisiana Legend at the Louisiana Legends Award Gala and Auctions held earlier this month by
the Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Legends program “honors the best and brightest
of Louisiana’s sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves in a
variety of disciplines and have brought honor to the state,” according to the
Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s website.
“Unlike other recognitions I had received, all of which were
and are sincerely appreciated, this was a broader validation of a lifetime of
work that crossed and melded different areas of focus -- community, civic,
legal and higher education,” Weems told the Louisiana Record. “No one on the list of past Legends looked like
me -- all were famous athletes, well-known politicians or philanthropists, so I
was especially gratified and humbled.”
Weems is the senior member and president of Alexandria firm Gold,
Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell, which specializes in business and estate
law. Through his practice, Weems acts as counsel to individuals, families,
businesses and business owners, boards, and non-profit institutions.
Weems’ Louisiana Legend honor is the latest in a long line
of professional awards. He was also previously named the corporate Lawyer
of the Year by Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Weems was recognized by
Louisiana Super Lawyers in America, was named Distinguished Attorney of 2009 by
the Louisiana Bar Foundation and received the LSBA Distinguished Service Award
in 1998, the Curtis R. Boisfontaine Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy in
1999, the LSU Law Center Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 2002, and
the LSUA Distinguished Service Award in 2013.
Weems was named to the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame in 1987.
He has also served in various officer and board roles within the Louisiana
State Bar Association. He was elected president of the Louisiana State Bar
Association in 1996 and instituted the innovative Citizen’s Summit for Justice
Reform, which translated public input on civil trials into legislative action.
Weems is also the chair emeritus of the Louisiana State Law
Institute, which is the official law reform division created by the Louisiana legislature.
“The work I'd done was always its own reward, and I never
expected any particular recognition, but it was an unbelievable feeling to know
that someone -- LPB, no less -- had noticed it all and thought it worthwhile,”
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Weems is a
past president of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, and the founder
and initial chairman of the Central Louisiana Diversity Alliance. He is a past
chairman and board member of numerous other charitable and civic organizations,
including the board of trustees of the First United Methodist Church and the boards
of directors of the Alexandria Rotary Club, the Kent Plantation House Inc., Rapides
United Way, the Central Louisiana Community Theater, Louisiana Appleseed and
the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
“I have been so blessed in my life and my career to have
worked with people in every arena who helped me grow, learn and achieve,” Weems
said. “All are stars in their respective areas, all were men and women with
whom I shared a dream and a vision of helping or making someone or something be
better. I just wish that in every area I could have accomplished more. And
maybe I can, because I'm not done yet.”
Weems graduated Order of the Coif from the LSU Law Center,
where he was editor in chief of the Louisiana Law Review. He continues to serve
the LSU Law Center as a member of its board of trustees.
Weems lives and continues to practice law in Alexandria.