, Press Release

Former N.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge John C. Martin Honored During Portrait Presentation

Martin served as judge from 1985-1988, and 1992-2004, and as Chief Judge from 2004-2014.

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A ceremonial session of the Court of Appeals was held today in the Court of Appeals courtroom for the portrait presentation of former N.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge John C. Martin. The event was attended by family, friends, current and former members of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Court of Appeals, as well as other judges and attorneys. All participated in honoring Judge Martin for his service to the Court as a judge from 1985-1988, and 1992-2004, and as Chief Judge from 2004-2014.

“On behalf of the Court of Appeals, we would like to thank former Chief Judge Martin for his ten years of leadership and many more years of service to the Court,” said Chief Judge Donna Stroud. “I had the privilege of serving with him while he was Chief Judge, and many of his improvements to the Court endure today. We are honored to accept this gift and we will proudly display it in our courtroom.”  

Chief Judge Martin's portrait was painted by nationally acclaimed portrait artist Jamie Lee McMahan who lives in Shelby County, TN. He has painted the portraits of a wide range of subjects, including U.S. Senators, governors, judges, university presidents and others, including Alex Haley, the author of "Roots." 


JOHN CHARLES MARTIN was born in Durham, North Carolina on November 9, 1943. He received his B.A. (1965) and J.D. (1967) from Wake Forest University. He was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 1967. From 1967 until 1969, he served in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps as a first lieutenant, and then entered the private practice of law in Durham. He also served as a member of the Durham City Council.

In December 1977, he became a Superior Court judge and served in this role until November 1984, when he was elected to the Court of Appeals. He served on the Court until January 1988 at which point he resigned to re-enter private practice in Durham. He was again elected to the Court of Appeals in November 1992. He was re-elected for a second full term in November 2000. In February 2004, then Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. appointed him Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. He was re-elected without opposition to a third term in 2008. He served as Chief Judge for ten years, retiring from the Court in 2014.

During his service on the Court, Chief Judge Martin served as Chairman of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission from 2001 to 2013, and as a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism from 2004 to 2014. He was elected President of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal (CCJSCA) in 2013 and was named to the CCJSCA Hall of Fame in 2021. In 2013, Chief Judge Martin was awarded the John J. Parker Award, the highest honor bestowed by the North Carolina Bar Association, in recognition of his service to the cause of jurisprudence in North Carolina.

Chief Judge Martin is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh and has served on multiple committees and as a member of its vestry. Chief Judge Martin is married to Margaret Rand Martin; they are the proud parents of five children and proud grandparents of nine grandchildren.


Former Chief Judge Martin (left) poses with his portrait along with his wife.
Former Chief Judge Martin (left) poses with his portrait along with his wife.