Rising to the Challenge: A Message from Our Current and Past Presidents

April 22, 2020

We, the Current and Past Presidents of NCAJ, have an important request.

Much like our society at large, the many communities within NCAJ have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We ask that you join us now in coming together to lead with strength, grace and empathy for one another and for our fellow North Carolinians.

We represent firms large and small from across the state. We understand your anxiety. We feel it too. We write to you today to thank you for your membership in NCAJ and to remind you that your support is vital to fulfilling our mission. Every reason you had for being an NCAJ member before COVID-19 still exists and will continue to exist after the crisis passes.

We make this request because of a mutual need.

You need NCAJ, and NCAJ needs you.

In keeping with our commitment to member needs, NCAJ has risen to the challenges of this unprecedented time by creating new and evolving resources and services. NCAJ’s remarkable staff, led by Kim Crouch, is performing at the highest level despite operating under significant stress. NCAJ has quickly put together rapid-response webinars on timely topics such as how to operate remotely and apply for small business loans through the CARES Act.

NCAJ’s advocacy team is keeping its eyes to the horizon to spot new ways to advocate for you as the COVID-19 situation changes. Our continued advocacy includes explaining how legal services are essential, educating legislators about the intricacies of trial work and how it impacts their constituents, working with the executive branch to encourage compassionate release for inmates, and urging modification of some statutory requirements, such as in-person notarization of documents. NCAJ is in constant communication with all three branches of government to ensure that our members are well served during these uncertain times.

The NCAJ PAC is positioned to help educate North Carolina voters about the importance of our judiciary as an equal branch of government during the critical 2020 election. It is important to remember that there will be a return to “normalcy” on the other side of this crisis and NCAJ’s robust presence in that landscape is vital to safeguarding every individual’s right to justice.

You can rely on NCAJ to be a responsible steward of the resources you invest in us. NCAJ is reviewing its operations and finances to ensure that it manages its budget efficiently. NCAJ is well-poised to weather this storm if we all pull together.

With the adoption of the 2019 Strategic Plan, we renewed our mission to empower a strong community of trial lawyers. NCAJ needs your participation and support to ensure that it can continue doing its vital work of protecting people, preventing injustice and promoting fairness for all North Carolinians.

We are grateful for your membership and thank you in advance for renewing with NCAJ.

NCAJ Current and Past Presidents

Vernon Sumwalt, President
David S. Henson, President-Elect
Douglas B. Abrams, 1995-1996
Margaret S. Abrams, 2008-2009
Philip A. Baddour Jr., 2010-2011
Bradley Bannon, 2017-2018
Janet Ward Black, 2002-2003
Clifford Britt, 2005-2006
Rebecca J. Britton, 2006-2007
Wade E. Byrd, 1996-1997
Joseph B. Cheshire V, 2007-2008
Guy W. Crabtree, 2012-2013
James C. Fuller Jr., 1989-1990
Danny R. Glover Jr., 2014-2015
Richard S. Hunter Jr., 1993-1994
Gary W. Jackson, 2011-2012
Elizabeth F. Kuniholm, 1998-1999
William S. Mills, 1999-2000
Christopher R. Nichols, 2015-2016
E. Spencer Parris, 2004-2005
David C. Pishko, 2009-2010
Mary S. Pollard, 2018-2019
Bill Powers, 2016-2017
Mark T. Sumwalt, 2003-2004
David R. Teddy, 2013-2014
James R. Van Camp, 1983-1984
John D. Warlick Jr., 1982-1983