All Things Judicial is a podcast about the important role of the North Carolina Judicial Branch in state government. The podcast follows a bi-monthly release schedule with each new episode available for download every other Wednesday beginning February 10, 2021.
On this podcast you’ll hear interviews from recognizable figures in our judicial communities and learn about topics you may not have realized were related to what we do every day – human trafficking prevention, civics education, and the increased modernization of our courts. We think we’ve found a podcast format that really works with rotating guest hosts that will keep each episode fresh and interesting to our listeners.
All Things Judicial is available on all podcast platforms or below on NCcourts.gov.
Episode 9 – This episode of All Things Judicial features excerpts from an interview with former Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. The interview was conducted in 2006 by former Associate Justice Willis Whichard as part of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism's Historical Video Series. Chief Justice Lake served as a superior court judge, associate justice, and chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In 2002, Lake established the Criminal Justice Study Commission to review factors that may contribute to wrongful convictions in North Carolina. The study commission recommended reforms which led to the creation of the Innocence Inquiry Commission in 2006.
"We have the best criminal justice system in the world, but that doesn't mean we can't make it better," former Chief Justice Lake said in the podcast. "It is incumbent on members of the legal profession to take that leadership role, step into that public service arena, accept that responsibility, and teach and guide and lead our people in the right direction pursuant to the blueprint laid out in our Constitution."
Interviewer and Guest
- Former Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. was appointed as a superior court judge in 1985. Lake was appointed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 1992, but was defeated for election that same year. He was elected as an associate justice in 1994 and elected as the court's chief justice in 2000. During his tenure as chief justice, Lake established a study commission which led to the creation of the Innocence Inquiry Commission, the first of its kind in United States. Lake served as chief justice until his retirement in 2006 and passed away in 2019.
- Former Associate Justice Willis Whichard was appointed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 1980 where he served until he became an associate justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 1986. He retired from the court in 1998 and served as dean of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University until 2006. After that, Whichard has worked as an attorney in private practice.
Episode 8 – In this episode, All Things Judicial takes a deep-dive into the history, story, and controversy surrounding this event. Guests are Chief Justice Paul Newby who shares the origins of our rights and liberties contained in America's founding documents, and Robert Ryals who takes listeners on a tour of Charlotte's Liberty Walk to visit historical locations around the Queen City. In addition, author and attorney Scott Syfret discusses the controversy surrounding the declaration and its impact on North Carolina and the city of Charlotte over the years.
"The 'shot heard round the world' is the fact that our rights don't come from King George. Our rights come from a higher source," Chief Justice Newby said in the podcast. "That's the beauty of our system where we say our rights come from God, our creator, that all are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness."
- Chief Justice Paul Newby is the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Chief Justice Newby was first elected to the Supreme Court as associate justice in 2004 and was elevated to the highest judicial office in North Carolina in the 2020 election. In addition to his service on the court, he is an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law, where he teaches courses on state constitutional law and appellate practice. He is the co-author of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2nd ed. 2013) with Professor John V. Orth of the University of North Carolina School of Law.
- Robert Ryals is a docent for the Mecklenburg Historical Association. He specializes in creating and delivering interpretive talks and educational programs for historical venues and organizations throughout metropolitan Charlotte. Tours of the Liberty Walk are available through the the Mecklenburg Historical Association.
- Scott Syfert is a corporate attorney in Charlotte and cofounder of the May 20th Society, which is dedicated to commemorating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He is the author of the books, The First American Declaration of Independence? and Eminent Charlotteans.
Episode 7 – This episode focuses on North Carolina's recovery courts which handle chemically dependent adults and juveniles in criminal court. Recovery courts also serve juveniles with abuse, neglect, and dependency cases, veterans, and people with mental health issues who find themselves in court. The program offers individualized treatment plans which include counseling, supervision, drug testing, sanctions, and incentives for meeting recovery goals.
The host for this episode is Yolonda M. Woodhouse, court management specialist for Court Programs. Guests are: (in order of appearance) Janeanne Gonzales, treatment court administrator for the Mecklenburg County Recovery Courts, Special Superior Court Judge J. Stanly Carmical, the original judge for the Robeson County treatment court, and District Court Judge James H. Faison who serves in New Hanover County's recovery courts.
“Recovery courts are a program that truly does save lives. We can help that person regain their lives, and then as a result of that, they are able to reconnect with family,” Judge James Faison said in the podcast. “It really doesn't get any better than that.”
Host: Yolonda Woodhouse, court management specialist for Court Programs
Guests (in order of appearance):
- Janeanne Gonzales, treatment court administrator for the Mecklenburg County Recovery Courts
- Special Superior Court Judge J. Stanly Carmical, the original judge for the Robeson County treatment court
- District Court Judge James H. Faison who serves in New Hanover County's recovery courts
Episode 6 – In this episode, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism Executive Director Mel Wright discusses and shares excerpts from a 2017 interview with former North Carolina Court of Appeals Chief Judge Gerald Arnold. Judge Arnold shares his experience arguing before the original members of the Court of Appeals, joining that Court as a judge then later as chief judge. Judge Arnold was instrumental in a restoration project in the 1990s that restored and preserved the historical value of the Court of Appeals' courtroom ceiling. In addition to providing insight into the Court's history, Judge Arnold gives time-tested professionalism advice for lawyers.
“There is nothing more important than the concept of professionalism,” Judge Arnold said. “Treat another lawyer the way you want that lawyer to treat you. It's the golden rule and your momma taught you that.”
Host: Chris Mears, North Carolina Judicial Branch Communications Office
- Mel Wright, Executive Director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
- Former Chief Judge Gerald Arnold, North Carolina Court of Appeals (pre-recorded interview)
Bonus Episode – In this bonus episode released on the 245th anniversary of the Halifax Resolves, we take listeners on a trip to the Historic District in Halifax, North Carolina, to speak with Frank McMahon, a historic interpreter with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Frank shares what life was like in 18th/19th century Halifax, North Carolina. Then, Chief Justice Paul Newby joins us in studio for a discussion about the Halifax Resolves and the events leading up to its adoption on April 12, 1776.
“We were the first state to authorize our delegates to vote for independence,” said Chief Justice Newby in the podcast. “As the Halifax Resolves authorized our delegates to vote for freedom, it implicitly said that we are going to form our own constitution.”
Host: Camden Roessler, North Carolina Judicial Branch Communications Office
Guests (in order of appearance):
- Chris Mears, North Carolina Judicial Branch Communications Office
- Frank McMahon, Historical Interpreter, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
- Chief Justice Paul Newby, Supreme Court of North Carolina
Episode 5 – This episode features the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program which equips community volunteers to serve abused and neglected children by advocating for their best interests in court. This episode's guests are GAL volunteers who share why they decided to volunteer, their experiences in the program, and the joys and challenges of representing children in the court system.
“Children deserve to be protected. Children deserve to be nurtured and to be cared-for,” GAL advocate Julia Lee said in the podcast. “Yes, it can be really, really hard. It can also be really, really sad, but it can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.”
Host: Bwana Bomani, Recruitment and Retention Specialist with the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program.
- Ellis Hankins, 5 years of service as a GAL advocate.
- Julia Lee, 10 years of service as a GAL advocate.
- Luvenia Williams, 4 years of service as a GAL advocate.
- Michelle Hillison, 3 years of service as a GAL advocate.
Episode 4 – This episode celebrates women’s history in the Judicial Branch and is hosted by former North Carolina Court of Appeals Chief Judge Linda McGee. Guests include current Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Stroud, Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman, and Court of Appeals Judge Valerie Zachary. They discuss their paths to the bench, the people who influenced their lives, and organizations that they found particularly meaningful throughout their careers.
“When I came there I was the only woman on the Court. Our numbers continued to grow and within a few years we had our first all woman panel, and a few years after that, we actually had a majority of women on the Court of Appeals,” former Chief Judge McGee said in the podcast. “It's been great to be able to have one another to be able to talk with, be able to share stories with, and be encouraged by.”
Host: former Court of Appeals Chief Judge Linda McGee
- Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Stroud
- Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman
- Court of Appeals Judge Valerie Zachary
Bonus Episode – This episode begins with Supreme Court of North Carolina Clerk of Court Amy Funderburk who shares her impression of the Court’s grand courtroom, and identified historic courtroom artifacts that are hidden in plain sight. In addition, Supreme Court of North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby introduces excerpts from remarks given by North Carolina’s newest appellate court judges during their investiture ceremonies held earlier this year.
The Supreme Court investiture excerpts included in this podcast episode are from Chief Justice Newby, Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., and Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer. They were formally installed at the Supreme Court of North Carolina on January 6, 2021. The audio was taken from the virtual swearing-in ceremony that was streamed online for guests, the media, and the public.
The excerpts for the North Carolina Court of Appeals investiture ceremonies are from Judge Jeffery K. Carpenter, Judge April C. Wood, Judge Fred Gore, Judge Jefferson Griffin, and Judge Darren Jackson. They were formally installed at the North Carolina Court of Appeals on January 14, 2021, and as with the Supreme Court excerpts, the audio was taken from the virtual swearing-in ceremony streamed online.
Episode 3 – Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism Executive Director Mel Wright welcomes Kinston attorney James S. “Jimbo” Perry to All Things Judicial. They discuss Jimbo’s career as an attorney and the calculus that many lawyers make between prioritizing work over people and relationships in their lives. Jimbo shared his personal experiences and desires to bring about change in his community through acts of service.
“One of the struggles that we as attorneys have is we sometimes work so hard that we don’t take care of the things that are most important,” Jimbo Perry said during the podcast. “The way to have joy and happiness is not by having and getting but by giving and serving.”
Host: Mel Wright, Executive Director of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism
- Jimbo Perry, Kinston Attorney
Episode 2 – In this episode hosted by Supreme Court of North Carolina Associate Justice Michael Morgan and entitled “Black History Made Me Who I Am,” Justice Morgan welcomed retired Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant and current Court of Appeals Judge Fred Gore. They discussed their journeys from “birth to bench,” mentors who influenced their lives, and advice they would like to share with the next generation of African Americans entering the legal profession. Justice Morgan and Judge Bryant shared their personal experiences of being the first African American children integrated into their local elementary schools. Judge Gore shared his deep commitment to using his judgeship as a positive influence on the youth in his community.
Host: Supreme Court of North Carolina Associate Justice Michael Morgan
Episode 1 - In its inaugural episode, All Things Judicial highlights the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission and its mission to prevent human trafficking in North Carolina. Hosted by North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission Executive Director Christine Long, the episode focuses on the role of the Commission and delves into the grim realities of human trafficking in our state, signs to look for, and how to prevent this horrific crime.
- Jennifer Haigwood, Chair, North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission
- Deana Joy, Executive Director, Children's Advocacy Centers of North Carolina
- Jasmine McGhee, Special Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Public Protection Section, North Carolina Department of Justice
- Angelica Wind, Executive Director of Our VOICE, Inc.
Trailer - In this trailer for the new podcast All Things Judicial, Chief Justice Paul Newby shares information about the podcast and his vision for the North Carolina Judicial Branch.
Do you have feedback or episode ideas? Please reach out to AllThingsJudicial@nccourts.org.