Orville D. Coward, Jr.
Orville D. Coward, Jr. was born in Sylva, North Carolina on December 22, 1953. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1976 with a BA in English and went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina Law School in 1979, where he reestablished and served as President of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity. He was admitted to U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina in 1979, and to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985. He is recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the Litigation: Real Estate Section since 2019, and in the Litigation: Land Use and Zoning Section since 2020.
Mr. Coward began his practice with his father and uncle in 1979 as a trial lawyer. Later, he refined the focus of his practice to business and real estate law. Providing real estate investment and development legal services, some of Mr. Coward’s representative clients include Drake Enterprises, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Franklin Board of Realtors, Highlands Country Club, Cullasaja Club, and Highlands Falls Country Club. He formerly served as Town Attorney for Town of Highlands and Town of Webster.
Committed to involvement in the legal community, Mr. Coward served as President of the 30th Judicial District Bar (2001-2002), on the Board of Directors for Western North Carolina Legal Services (1986-2004), as a member of the U.S. District Court Western District North Carolina Rules Advisory Committee (1997-2000), and as a member of the North Carolina State Bar Special Committee on Real Estate Practice (1997-1998). Mr. Coward has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar and 30th Judicial District Bar since 1979.
Mr. Coward provides instruction for real estate classes for the Franklin Board of Realtors. He served as a Board Member for the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees from 1991 to 1995.
Mr. Coward's office is in Franklin and he lives in Webster and Asheville. He is married to Carolyn L. Coward, who is an attorney with The Van Winkle Law Firm in Asheville. Away from the office, Orville and his family enjoy a variety of the outdoor activities offered in Western North Carolina, including hiking, swimming, and mountain climbing.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Law
- Juris Doctor, 1979.
- Reestablished and served as President of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity
- Bachelor’s of Art in English (Honors)
- Magna cum laude
- Rugby and club football
HONORS & AWARDS
- AV Rated Lawyer at Martindale Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America
- Real Property Litigation Section
- Land Use and Zoning Law Section
- Member, North Carolina State Bar, admitted 1988
- Member, North Carolina Bar Association, admitted 1988
- Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors
- Attorney Member, 2000 - Present
- U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 1979
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1985
- Member. North Carolina State Bar, admitted 1979
- Member. 30th Judicial District Bar, admitted 1979
Franklin Board of Realtors
- Instructor of real estate classes
Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees
- Board Member, 1991 – 1995
Western North Carolina Legal Services
- Board of Directors, 1986 – 2004
30th Judicial District Bar
- President, 2001-2002
U.S. District Court Western District North Carolina Rules Advisory Committee
- Member, 1997 – 2000
North Carolina State Bar Special Committee on Real Estate Practice
- Member, 1997 – 1998
Coward, Hicks & Siler, PA