A new episode of the North Carolina Judicial Branch podcast All Things Judicial was released today. In this episode, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism Executive Director Mel Wright discusses and shares excerpts from a 2017 interview with former North Carolina Court of Appeals Chief Judge Gerald Arnold. Judge Arnold shares his experience arguing before the original members of the Court of Appeals, joining that Court as a judge then later as chief judge. Judge Arnold was instrumental in a restoration project in the 1990s that restored and preserved the historical value of the Court of Appeals' courtroom ceiling. In addition to providing insight into the Court's history, Judge Arnold gives time-tested professionalism advice for lawyers.
“There is nothing more important than the concept of professionalism,” Judge Arnold said. “Treat another lawyer the way you want that lawyer to treat you. It's the golden rule and your momma taught you that.”
Judge Gerald Arnold served as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1974 – 1991, and as chief judge from 1992 – 1998. Before serving on the court, Judge Arnold practiced law with former United States Senator Robert B. Morgan and served in the North Carolina House of Representatives. After his tenure on the court, he worked for Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina and retired as president of the company in 2010.
Judge Arnold is a graduate of East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina School of Law. President Jimmy Carter nominated Judge Arnold to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in 1980 but, the United States Senate did not act on his nomination before President Carter's term expired.
Mel Wright is the Executive Director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1973. Mel was a private practice attorney for 26 years until he became the Executive Director of the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism in November 1999. He served in that capacity until his retirement in August 2017 and resumed the role in March 2019.
Today’s release is the sixth episode of the Judicial Branch podcast. All Things Judicial follows a bi-monthly release schedule and can be found on all podcast apps and on NCcourts.gov.