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proffitt“He was an absolute giant in the auction industry …”

J. Stephen Proffitt III, Esq. (known by most as “Steve Proffitt”) was a well-known attorney and auctioneer. He had a remarkable impact on auctioneers all over the world.

Steve was born March 27, 1948 and graduated from the University of Richmond and University of Virginia Law School; he began practicing law in 1981. He also graduated from the Missouri Auction School.

Over Steve’s career, he contributed to a weekly column in Antique Week (Auction Time,) the National Auctioneers Association’s (NAA) “Auctioneer” Magazine and maybe most famously the Maine Antique Digest where he wrote 86 articles concerning the auction industry between 2000 – 2007.

He conducted seminars concerning auctioneering (auctions, contracts, commercial law, litigation and torts) in over 30 states and Canada. He taught at both Mendenhall School of Auctioneering and Reppert School of Auctioneering.

Steve also served as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for the prestigious J.P. King auction company and was a frequent contributor to media outlets about legal and ethical issues relating to auctions, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Money Magazine, Forbes, and MSNBC. In 2004, the National Auctioneers Association awarded him its President’s Award of Distinction.

I was privy to both his writings and seminars, where I noted his particular interest and expertise regarding contracts, agency and the UCC 2-328. Twice he agreed to meet with me to discuss what most might consider somewhat obscure auction treatise — time I’ll always treasure.

Steve passed away December 25, 2015. He was survived by his seven children, his parents and a sister. As he often said, “You can’t make the DAMN stuff up,” and we’re not … he will be sorely missed; he was a wonderful presenter, teacher, educator, writer, storyteller … and a great friend to the auction industry.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Adjunct Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.