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Starnes Aycock Law Firm
118 North Sterling Street
Morganton, North Carolina 28655

828-437-3335 Phone
828-438-4929 FAX

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Samuel E. Aycock


I was born and raised in Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina.

I received my undergraduate education at Davidson College, where I was inducted into “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges”. I was also inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership fraternity.

I received my legal education at the University of North Carolina, where I become Law Review eligible after my second year. While in law school, I was employed as a research assistant at the North Carolina Institute (now School) of Government. In this role, I assisted in the development of a courtroom manual to be used by District Court prosecutors. This manual is still in print, and is still being used throughout North Carolina.

Upon graduation from Law School in 1972, I moved to Morganton, where I have worked in private practice since August 12, 1972.


I have been licensed to practice law in North Carolina since August 12, 1972. I have practiced law in Morganton at all times since August 1972. I was a partner in the Simpson Aycock, P.A. law firm until September 30, 2000, when I became a partner at Starnes Aycock Law Firm. I am a member in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar.

I am a member and Past President of the Burke County Bar Association. I am also Past President of the 25th District (Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties) Bar. I am a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. I am certified as a Superior Court Mediator by the Dispute Resolution Commission of North Carolina. I have conducted in excess of 1,425 mediated settlement conferences. I have been a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Arbitration Panel.

I have served as Treasurer of the Litigation Council of the North Carolina State Bar, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the State Judicial Council. I have been a member of the Dispute Resolution Section Council and was a member of the Education Law Section Council of the North Carolina Bar Association.

I presented “Ethical Considerations in Mediation and Settlement” at a seminar, “Mediation & Settlement: Techniques & Tips From the Masters”, on November 21, 2003. This same presentation was given at a seminar, “Major Damages”, on April 16, 2004. Both seminars were sponsored by the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. I also served as a panel member for a seminar entitled “The Renaissance of Professionalism” on October 13, 2006, sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation. I am also a member of the North Carolina Academy of Superior Court Mediators, which is a statewide association whose membership consists of the State’s best established mediators, and am one of approximately 800 members of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

My practice is now limited to Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediations and arbitrations). I have mediated in excess of 1,600 cases. Though no longer a partner, I remain affiliated with Starnes Aycock Law Firm.


  • “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory since 1990
  • Best Lawyers in North Carolina – Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Best Lawyers in America – Dispute Resolution


I have served as legal counsel for the Burke County Board of Education and Western Piedmont Community College.


I have been active in civic, community, and church activities.

I am a member and former director of the Morganton Rotary Club. I am a past member of the Morganton Jaycees and the Morganton Lions Club.

I have been a member of the City of Morganton Planning and Zoning Commission.

I am a past member of the Board of Directors of The Good Samaritan Clinic of Burke County and Phoenix Group Homes, Inc. I have served on the Board of Directors of Options, Inc., which operates a shelter for battered and abused women and their children in Morganton. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity.

I am an active member of First Presbyterian Church and have served as a Member of Session (Elder) and as Chairman of the Stewardship Committee.

I was a performing member of the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra in Hickory from 1982 through 1997. I also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Piedmont Symphony.

I am a member of the Knob Mountain Motorcycle Chapter, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, BMW Riders Association, and the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians. I am a member, director and former secretary of Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club.


I am married to Laura R. Aycock, who is a retired public school teacher.

Laura and I have two sons, Judge David Woodall Aycock and Dr. Samuel Tyler Aycock. David graduated from Davidson College in 1998. He then served four years in the United States Army, where he achieved the rank of Captain. He graduated from Wake Forest Law School in 2005. David was elected District Court Judge for the 25th Judicial District (Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties) in November 2014, and is presently serving in that capacity. Tyler graduated Davidson College in 2000. He achieved his second undergraduate degree (Summa Cum Laude) from NC State University in 2002. Tyler then graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State in 2006. He is currently employed at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the Laboratory Animal program.