Today Chief Justice Paul Newby presented retired Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant with the “Friend of the Court Award” for her years of service to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and chair of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission. This award is the highest honor given by the Judicial Branch. Judge Bryant recently retired after serving a long and distinguished career.
“We thank Judge Bryant for her years of faithful service as chair of the Judicial Standards Commission,” said Chief Justice Paul Newby. “Her role as chair was a great responsibility and service to North Carolinians.”
The Judicial Standards Commission was established in 1973 to investigate allegations of misconduct or disability made against judges and justices of the North Carolina General Court of Justice and commissioners and deputy commissioners of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The Commission also provides education and training for judges and commissioners across the state and advises them on their obligations under the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct.
Judge Wanda G. Bryant was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mike Easley in March 2001 and re-appointed in December 2002. She was elected to a full eight-year term in November 2004, and re-elected in November 2012. Judge Bryant has chaired and served on numerous Judicial Branch committees and commissions including the Public Trust and Confidence Committee on the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice and chair of the Judicial Standards Commission. In 2017, Judge Bryant held a special session of court in Brunswick County in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Originally from Brunswick County, Judge Bryant began her legal career in 1982 as an attorney with the law firm Walton, Fairley, and Jess. In 1983, she became an assistant district attorney in the 13th Prosecutorial District. She worked in this position until 1987, when she joined the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, D.C., as the first ever staff attorney. From 1989 to 1993, she worked as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia. She then joined the Office of the Attorney General as a senior deputy attorney general. Judge Bryant earned an undergraduate degree in history and comparative area studies from Duke University in 1977, then earned her Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University in 1982.