, Press Release

Chief Justice Mark Martin to Become Dean of Regent University School of Law

After 26 years of service, Chief Justice Mark Martin will become dean of Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Va.

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After 26 years of service as a North Carolina judge, and more than 20 years on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Chief Justice Mark Martin is resigning effective February 28 to become dean of Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Va.

“It has been the highest of honors to serve the people of North Carolina as their Chief Justice,” Martin stated. “I will forever cherish the memories of serving with so many amazing and capable people. It is now time to direct my focus to helping prepare the next generation of leaders.” 

Following are a few interesting facts about Martin’s judicial service:

  • In 1998, at age 35, Martin became the youngest justice in the history of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
  • In 1994, at age 31, Martin became the youngest judge in the history of the N.C. Court of Appeals.
  • In 1992, at age 29, Martin became the youngest superior court judge since colonial days.
  • In the 2014 General Election, Martin received 72% of the statewide vote, the highest percentage ever achieved by a registered Republican.
  • In 2015, Martin initiated a multi-disciplinary citizens’ commission to improve the administration of justice in North Carolina.

About Chief Justice Mark Martin
During his 26-year judicial career, Martin worked hard to improve the administration of justice and the rule of law. A few of his experiences include: (1) service on the U.S. Judicial Conference Federal/State Jurisdiction Committee (appointed by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts); (2) Chair of the  Conference of Chief Justices Professionalism and Competence of the Bar Committee; (3) Chair of the Board of Directors of the Appellate Judges Education Institute; (4) service on the Board of Directors of the Bolch Judicial Institute (located at Duke University); (5) service as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina Central law schools; (6) Chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Future of the Business Court; and (7) Chair of the ABA Judicial Division. In recognition of his lifetime of service to the courts, the National Center for State Courts inducted Martin into the Warren Burger Society in 2011. 

Significant Opinions
Bacon v. Lee (2001): Holding that a Governor who had previously served as Attorney General was not disqualified from hearing clemency appeals filed by death row inmates.

McCrory v. Berger (2016): Rejecting the General Assembly’s attempt to appoint the majority of the members of three state commissions overseeing coal ash, oil and gas, and mining regulation   

Cooper v. Berger (2018): Upholding a state law requiring Senatorial confirmation of the Governor’s nominees for cabinet posts.