James "Jimbo" S. Perry has been named as executive director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism (CJCP). His tenure began January 1, 2024. Perry replaces former Executive Director Melvin Wright who served in this capacity since November 1999 until his retirement in August 2017. Wright resumed his role as executive director in March 2019 and officially retired December 2023.
“I have observed Jimbo Perry for over forty years and find that he is the epitome of professionalism,” said Chief Justice Paul Newby. “He has a reputation for not only being knowledgeable but also courteous and kind to everyone in the courthouse. Certainly, he is a great role model for every lawyer.”
“I am honored to be selected for this important role,” said Perry. “I hope to make a real and positive contribution to the pursuit to enhance professionalism in our legal community.”
Perry is an attorney with Perry, Perry, & Perry in Kinston. Perry studied at the University of North Carolina School of Law where he graduated in 1980. Immediately after graduation, he worked in private practice then transitioned into the role of assistant United States attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in Raleigh until 1985. From there, Perry moved back to his hometown of Kinston to work with his father, mother, sister, and uncle in private practice after founding the firm Perry, Perry, & Perry where he continues to work today.
Perry has devoted his life to his family and service to his community through church, volunteering local public and private schools, youth sports, and local jail facilities. Other service includes serving on his local school board, working with the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Little by Little, Refuge Camp for Children, Hope Restoration, Flynn Recovery Home, and Eastern N.C. Inn of Court.
Perry has served as a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism and is the recipient of the Citizen Lawyer Award, John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, Tommy Jarrett Service Award, QC Honors Recognition, Southern Star Recognition, and the 2021 Chief Justice's Professionalism Award.
About Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
The Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism (CJCP) was established on September 22, 1998, by order of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The order established the Commission's membership and major responsibilities.
The North Carolina CJCP consists of a chairperson, who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or his / her designee; two judges serving on trial benches of the courts of the state or the United States; and one appellate court judge either from the state or United States. Other members include two law school faculty members from accredited North Carolina law schools, eight practicing lawyers, and three non-lawyer citizens who are active in public affairs. All members, with the exception of the chairperson, serve for a term of three years.
The major responsibilities of the Commission include its primary charge: to enhance professionalism among North Carolina's lawyers. In carrying out this charge, the CJCP is required to provide ongoing attention and assistance to ensure the practice of law remains a high calling, dedicated to the service of clients and the public good.