, Press Release

All Things Judicial Features a Panel Discussion with Franklin Freeman, Ned Mangum, Colon Willoughby

Panel discussed court history, different court levels, and changes in the court system.

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The latest episode of All Things Judicial features a panel of three experts on the North Carolina Judicial Branch: former Supreme Court of North Carolina Associate Justice and North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts Director Franklin Freeman, former Wake County Chief District Court Judge Ned Mangum, and former Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby. The panel discussed the history of the court system, the different levels of our courts, and expressed sincere appreciation for their time serving people through their court positions. The panel was recorded before a live audience in March 2024.

"One of the things that made me want to be a part of our court system is that it's the last place left where we can get Republicans and Democrats working quietly together trying to solve people's problems," said Mangum on the podcast. "You have elected public servants who care about what they do and you never hear their names, which is the way it ought to be."

Franklin Freeman was a senior assistant to Governor Mike Easley. Prior to that position, he served as an associate justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court and as chief of staff to Governor Jim Hunt. In addition, Freeman served as director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of Courts and as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Corrections. 

Ned W. Mangum served as a Wake County district court judge for over 16 years, including over two years as Wake County chief district court judge. Before that, he served as Wake County district attorney and as an assistant district attorney.  

Colon Willoughby's 27-year career as Wake County’s district attorney ranks him as one of North Carolina's longest-serving district attorneys. In addition, Willoughby served as president of the Wake County Academy of Trial Lawyers, director of the Wake County Bar Association, president of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, and a member of the National District Attorney’s Association board of directors.