Recipients have demonstrated the good that can be accomplished when intellectual honesty, compassion, and practical skills are seamlessly integrated into the practice of law.
The following individuals were presented with awards:
Charles Gordon Brown has practiced law in Chapel Hill since June 1981. The firm of Brown & Bunch, PLLC observed its 41st anniversary last year. Brown has practiced in the areas of commercial transactions and business trials.
Brown is a North Carolina native. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Studies and English. After his graduation from UNC, Brown enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Law and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1975.
Brown is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and four of its sections: Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes, Business Law, Construction Law and Real Property. From 1981 to 1985, he was one of the Bar Association volunteer lecturers at North Carolina law schools. His topic was secured transactions. Brown is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association.
LeAnn Nease Brown is a member / manager of the law firm of Brown & Bunch, PLLC in Chapel Hill. Her practice areas include Zoning, Planning and Land Use, Eminent Domain, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law.
Brown received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977, a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medical Allied Health Sciences in 1981 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1984. She is admitted to practice in all North Carolina state courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the U.S. Tax Court.
She is a member of Judicial District 18 (formerly 15B), the Orange County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the North Carolina Bar Association. In 2019-2020, Brown served as the 125th President of the North Carolina Bar Association and as President of North Carolina Bar Foundation.
In addition to practicing law, Ms. Brown is a DRC Certified Mediator in Superior Court Matters (1992) and Family Financial Matters (1999). She served as a Commissioner of the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission from 2017 to 2022 and as an ex-officio member from 2013 to 2016. Her committee work for the DRC included service as chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee, Family Financial Certification Committee, Ad Hoc Awards Committee and Grievance Committee.
Hon. Pat Evans has enjoyed serving the underserved and underrepresented in her beloved community in various capacities. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She enrolled at the North Carolina Central University School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor.
In 1984, Evans was licensed to practice law in North Carolina. She went into private practice in Durham as soon as she received her law license and engaged in the general practice of law until 1990. It was at that time that she became an Assistant District Attorney for the Fourteenth Judicial District (Durham County). During her tenure with the District Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted criminal matters in the District and Superior Courts.
Most recently, Evans served as a district court judge for the Fourteenth Judicial District where she presided over Civil, Criminal, Child Support, Community Life, Domestic Violence, Family, Juvenile Delinquency, Traffic, and People’s Courts. She also served as the Adult Drug Treatment Court judge.
Robert "Bert" Carl Kemp, III received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1993 from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor in 1996 from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Kemp is a former assistant district attorney in Pitt County (Greenville) and joined the Pitt County Public Defender’s Office in 2001 as an assistant public defender. He became Chief Pitt County Public Defender in June 2007 and continues to serve in this capacity.
Kemp is past president of both the Pitt County Bar Association and Judicial District 3A Bar. He is past criminal justice section chair of the North Carolina Bar Association and is past president of the North Carolina Public Defender Association.
He is currently a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in the area of State Criminal Law and is a past criminal law specialty committee chair. Kemp is also an adjunct professor at Campbell Law School.