The NC District Court hears civil cases involving less than $25,000 and criminal misdemeanors. District Court also oversees juvenile court and the magistrates, which handle things like small claims and evictions.Judges are elected for 4 year terms. Legislation in 2017 changed these elections to partisan elections with party primaries. There are 41 districts across the state, most of them either one or two counties.
My philosophy is one of minimalism and fealty to the law. I try to work efficiently, make well-reasoned decisions, and treat all people fairly.
I graduated from the Boston College Carroll School of Management with a Bachelor of Science degree and a concentration in Finance. I owned my own law firm in Raleigh for 11 years before becoming a district court judge in 2007. I have served as the Lead Family Court Judge in Wake County since 2013. While serving in this role, I partnered with various stakeholders to bring about positive changes in Family Court including the utilization of remote hearings during the pandemic, the development of instructional videos and form packages for self-represented litigants, the creation of an externship program for law students, and the implementation of a volunteer mediation program.
During my career, I have been actively involved in mentoring women in the legal profession. I have served in leadership roles in organizations such as the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and the North Carolina Bar Association's Women in the Profession Committee. In 2019, I was appointed by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court's Rules Advisory Commission. I was also appointed to the statewide Custody Mediation Advisory Committee.
Judicial independence is a cornerstone of our system. I am running in a partisan race, but I am not a politician. All judges bring life experiences to the bench, but we may not act based on personal opinions or political views. Our duty is to fairly and impartially interpret and apply laws. We must endeavor to treat all litigants equally and with respect, and to make well-reasoned and timely decisions for those we serve.
Given the recent events in our Nation, it is clear that racial bias permeates our justice system. It is incumbent upon judges to recognize implicit bias and work together in our communities to address the systemic racial disparities infecting the system.
Another obstacle to justice is the inability to access courts equally. Economic disparities should not prevent equal access to justice. I have worked tirelessly on instructional videos and forms for self-represented litigants, and offered my time to train pro bono attorneys who represent victims of domestic violence and children in custody cases.
When I practiced law from 1995 until 2007, I represented indigent adults charged with felonies and misdemeanors and juveniles in delinquency court. I also represented small businesses with their corporate and transactional needs. Since 2007, I have worked in all of the criminal and civil courtrooms in district court and received specialized judicial training in Child Development, Domestic Violence, and North Carolina Sentencing Laws.
I currently serve in Family Court where I typically preside over domestic violence, child custody, child support, spousal support, and marital property cases. These cases can be emotionally taxing and complicated. They require patience, hard work, and compassion. I bring these qualities, along with my experience and maturity, to the bench.