2022 NCAJ PAC Judicial Endorsements

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The NCAJ PAC Trustees represent a diverse group of NCAJ members in gender, race, age, practice location, practice area, section membership, and political affiliation. In July, the NCAJ PAC Trustees met to consider endorsements in statewide judicial races on the November 8, 2022 ballot.

Following a rigorous and in-depth analysis of the candidates which is detailed below, the NCAJ PAC believes these candidates merit support in the upcoming election, and will be making further efforts to promote the endorsements and empower NCAJ members to communicate with clients, friends and family in support of these endorsements. 

Our 2022 Judicial Endorsements

Lucy Inman

NC Supreme Court, Seat 3

Lucy Inman

NC Supreme Court, Seat 3

Judge Lucy Inman was raised in Raleigh and received her entire education from North Carolina public schools.

Judge Inman’s first career was as a newspaper reporter. While covering court proceedings, she was inspired to participate in the justice system and earned her law degree from UNC School of Law in 1990. Her first job after law school was working as a law clerk for North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Exum.

From 1992 to 2010, she practiced civil litigation in matters including commercial disputes, catastrophic injury, medical negligence, and sexual abuse.

From 2010-2014, Judge Inman served as a special Superior Court judge, presiding in hearings and jury trials across North Carolina. She was elected statewide to the Court of Appeals in 2014. She has authored more than 500 appellate opinions and participated in thousands of other decisions. Her record shows that she applies the law honestly, fairly and impartially, understanding that each decision affects people of all walks of life in communities as varied as North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Judge Inman brings hard work and respect for all others to her personal and professional life every day. She will bring these values to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Sam J. Ervin IV

NC Supreme Court, Seat 5

Sam J. Ervin IV

NC Supreme Court, Seat 5

Justice Sam J. Ervin, IV, was elected to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2014. Since joining the Supreme Court, he has participated in deciding more than 540 cases and has authored more than 75 majority and 18 dissenting or concurring opinions in fully argued cases.


Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Ervin served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2009 to 2015 and the North Carolina Utilities Commission from 1999 to 2009.

He graduated from Davidson College, and earned his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

From 1981 until 1999, Justice Ervin practiced law in Morganton, North Carolina. He handled a wide variety of civil, criminal, and administrative matters, including numerous appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.Justice Ervin was born in Morganton and lives in the house where his grandfather, Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr., was born. He is married to Mary Temple Ervin and has two stepchildren and two children. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he has served as a deacon and an elder. He has been active in various charitable and bar-related activities and officiates youth, middle school, and high school soccer matches.

Carolyn Jennings Thompson

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 8

Carolyn Jennings Thompson

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 8

Judge Thompson is a former District Court judge and Superior Court judge with over 25 years of combined legal and judicial experience. As a seasoned trial attorney and former jurist, she understands the importance of upholding the Constitution and applying the law to the facts
of each case. She is the only candidate for this seat with judicial experience.

Judge Thompson earned her BA from Hampton University and my JD from NC Central University School of Law. She is fortunate to be the daughter of parents who taught her the importance of earning her way in this world through hard work and educational accomplishments. Her parents’ servant leadership testament instilled in her at an early age that “to whom much is given, much is required.” Judge Thompson and her husband are the loving parents of a blended family of five adult children and four beautiful granddaughters.

True justice is independent of party affiliation, divisive ideologies, and social differences. Judge Thompson is committed to serving with integrity, fairness, and impartiality.

Endorsements:

  • Gov. Roy Cooper
  • Congressman G.K. Butterfield
  • Congresswoman Eva Clayton
  • Congresswoman Deborah Ross
  • Sen. Jay Chaudhuri
  • Sen. Toby Fitch
  • Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People
  • NC State AFL-CIO
  • People’s Alliance PAC
  • NC-AAPI.

Donna Stroud

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 9

Donna Stroud

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 9

Chief Judge Donna Stroud was born and raised in Kinston, North Carolina.  She is a 1988 graduate of the Campbell University School of Law where she was ranked first in her class, and she also obtained an LLM in Judicial Studies from the Duke University School of Law in 2014. As an attorney in private practice for 16 years, she represented individuals, businesses, and municipalities in a broad range of cases in many counties. In 2004, she was elected as District Court judge in Wake County. She was first elected to the Court of Appeals in 2006 and began serving as Chief Judge in 2021. Since 2008, she has served as an adjunct law professor at Campbell Law School, teaching judicial process.  

Chief Judge Stroud has worked to improve North Carolina’s courts at all levels by serving on many commissions and committees, including as a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the Family Court Advisory Commission, the NCBA Appellate Rules Committee, and as Chair of the Chief Justice’s Rules Advisory Commission.  She is honored to have wide bipartisan support, including endorsement by the two previous Chief Judges of the Court of Appeals.

Gale Murray Adams

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 10

Gale Murray Adams

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 10

Raised in rural Warren County by a single mother of four, Judge Adams later attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University School of Law before joining the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (JAG).

As a JAG officer, Judge Adams assisted service members in various criminal, civil, and administrative matters. After her military service, she served as an Assistant District Attorney, working closely with victims and law enforcement officers, and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, representing defendants in various criminal matters.

In 2012, she was elected to serve as a Superior Court Judge in Cumberland County where she presides over various criminal, civil, and administrative matters. As a judge, she believes in following the law, being fair and impartial, and treating people with dignity and respect. Her humble background and diverse legal experience balance her perspective and equip her to fulfill this commitment to our citizens.

Married for 37 years, Judge Adams and Attorney Glenn Adams are the proud parents of four children. They have also served many years as licensed foster parents.

Judge Adams is active in the community and in the church where she works with the youth and teaches Sunday school.

Darren Jackson

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 11

Darren Jackson

NC Court of Appeals, Seat 11

Judge Darren Jackson is a lifelong resident of eastern Wake County, father of three and grandfather of one. He and his wife Tina live outside of Knightdale.

Judge Jackson attended public elementary and middle schools in eastern Wake County, UNC-Chapel Hill, and then Duke University School of Law.

After graduating law school, Judge Jackson practiced law with the firm of Gay, Stroud & Jackson (later renamed Gay, Jackson & McNally) in Zebulon. There, he enjoyed a typical small-town general practice with an emphasis on real estate and civil litigation. In his twenty- five years of practice, he litigated both criminal and civil cases in all levels of the state courts, from Small Claims Court to the North Carolina Supreme Court, as well as United States District and Bankruptcy Courts as well as working on appeals to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition to his law practice, for 12 years, Judge Jackson served in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Professional Organizations

  • North Carolina Sentencing Commission (appointed by Speakers Tillis and Moore; 2013- 2017)
  • North Carolina Courts Commission (appointed by Governors McCrory and Cooper; 2015-2017)

Honors and Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving Legislator of the Year (2013, 2015)
  • State Employees Association Lisa B. Mitchell Legislator of the Year (2102, 2018)
  • North Carolina Sherriff’s Association Defender of Public Safety (2019)
  • Police Benevolent Association Legislative Excellence Award (2018)

Decision Process

A PAC process was developed as part of the NCAJ Advocacy Strategic Plan to provide a more defined structure for trustee decision making.

Although trustees are strictly prohibited from discussing deliberations pursuant to confidentiality requirements contained in the PAC bylaws, the PAC is allowed to share that the following structural factors provided by the PAC process were considered:

Access the 2022 Judicial Endorsements Toolkit for NCAJ Members

This toolkit has everything NCAJ members need to support and promote the NCAJ PAC endorsements for statewide judicial races in the coming election. NCAJ members can make a difference in these races if we all join in the effort.

*Please note that you must be logged into your myNCAJ account using your NCAJ username and password to access the toolkit.*

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