Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope retired February 1 after a 48-year legal career.
“We wish Judge Pope well in his retirement in hopes that he will enjoy his time riding horses and gardening on his beautiful mountain farm,” said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg. “He will undoubtedly, however, be back soon to lend his experience and good judgment to our legal community.”
COVID-19 restrictions prevented his colleagues and friends from holding an in-person retirement party. Instead, a slideshow tribute was created with images from his long and distinguished career.
Judge Pope began practicing law in 1973 in Asheville after graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law. Over the next 28 years he tried cases in criminal, civil and domestic courts throughout Western North Carolina as well as in federal and appellate courts.
In 2001, Judge Pope was appointed to the district court bench by Governor Jim Hunt. He was elected to the superior court in 2010 and served with distinction until his retirement February 1, 2021. He gained a reputation for legal scholarship, his respectful courtroom demeanor, and efficiency in moving cases.
In 2014, Judge Pope founded and has since presided over the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court, which offers treatment and structure to veterans suffering from substance use and mental health disorders.
Judge Pope is a committed public servant who has served many times as a guardian with the Honor Flight Network, escorting veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. He is an Eagle Scout and loves to help scouts achieve Eagle Scout and other merit badges and awards.
He is an active member of his Masonic Lodge, has taught self-defense and personal safety classes as well as hunter safety classes to children and adults. He has served as the chairperson of the congregation at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Asheville and can be seen each advent playing the role of Joseph in a local passion play (often with a grandchild serving as Jesus).
Judge Pope is married to retired Judge Rebecca Knight.