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I was raised on a tobacco farm in Caswell County and attended Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Morehead Scholarship, where I earned a degree in Political Science in 1959 and a Law Degree in 1963. Upon graduation from law school, I was selected to serve as a one year law clerk and research assistant for Justice Clifton Moore of the North Carolina Supreme Court in Raleigh. Before returning home to Caswell County, I decided to cast my hat in the race for recorder’s court judge back home and won the election over the incumbent. After six years in that part-time job and a limited practice of law on available days with James Ramsey of Roxboro, I was appointed judge of superior court by Governor Bob Scott and served in that capacity until my retirement in 1994.
During the early years of the 1990s, I served on a North Carolina Bar Association Committee that implemented the passage of legislation and Supreme Court rules establishing court ordered mediation for pending superior court civil cases. My judicial district was chosen by the Supreme Court to be the first pilot district for that program. After retirement from the bench in 1994, I have spent the last 19 years as a certified mediator in North Carolina, mediating more than 2,450 cases, the majority being court cases pending in the superior courts of our state. In 2010, upon the removal from office of our local district attorney, Governor Beverly Perdue asked me to fill the one year unexpired term as district attorney of Judicial District 9A (Person and Caswell counties). I accepted that appointment. Thus my 50 years as a member of the State Bar has been spent as a judge for 30 years, a mediator for 19 years, and a prosecutor for one year.
My proudest moments as a lawyer have been my commissions by the chief justice to preside over high publicity cases including the Nazi-Klan murder trials in Greensboro andthe televised bribery trial of Lt. Governor Jimmy Green in Raleigh.
I have been married to Catherine Carden from Burlington and UNC-CH for 51 years. We have a son David, a daughter Mary Catherine, and four grandchildren.
Source: North Carolina State Bar 2013 Fifty-Year Lawyers Luncheon (October 24, 2013 in Raleigh, NC)