Candidates for N.C. Supreme Court & Court of Appeals present at Campbell Law

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University was honored to host the entire group of candidates running for statewide judicial offices in the Law School’s auditorium on April 16 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. for a candidates forum. All participants are vying for a spot on the Supreme Court of North Carolina or the North Carolina Court of Appeals. More than 100 Campbell Law students and members of the community attended the event.

This event was the only time that these candidates for statewide judicial office have been gathered in advance of the May 4, 2010 primary elections. A copy of the 2010 North Carolina Primary Voter Guide can be accessed by clicking here

The program at Campbell Law can be watched in its entirety at:

Campbell Law Professor Greg Wallace moderated the event. Each candidate had up to five minutes to tell attendees about themselves, their accomplishments and judicial philosophy. Following the presentations, panelists responded to questions from the audience.

The following candidates participated in the forum:

Supreme Court of North Carolina (Brady Seat)

Robert C. “Bob” Hunter

Judge Bob Hunter has served as an appellate judge on North Carolina’s Court of Appeals for over 11 years, where he has decided over 3,500 cases and authored over 1,000 opinions. Before that, he practiced law for 29 years in Marion, NC. He also represented North Carolina’s 49th District in the House of Representatives for 18 years. Hunter is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law.

Barbara Jackson

Judge Barbara Jackson has served as an appellate judge on North Carolina’s Court of Appeals since 2004. Prior to that she served as general counsel for North Carolina Department of Labor for four years. From 1992-1996, she served as on the Governor’s Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities (GACPD) as Deputy General Counsel. She left GACPD in 1996 to work with the law firm of Holt York McDarris & High which later merged with Smith Moore Leatherwood. Jackson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law.

N.C. Court of Appeals (Calabria Seat)

Ann Marie Calabria

Judge Calabria has served in North Carolina for nearly 14 years as a judge and mediator on the NC Court of Appeals in District and Juvenile Court. A graduate of Campbell Law School, she has handled over 2,000 appellate cases over 50,000 civil, criminal, and juvenile district court cases.

Jane Gray

A Raleigh resident and a graduate of the University of Florida and Campbell Law School, Judge Gray has served as a District Court Judge for the past eight years. She also spent 19 years with the Attorney General’s Office where she handled civil and criminal appeals, as well as serving as General Counsel for the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mark Klass

Judge Mark Klass currently serves as the Senior Superior Court Judge in Davidson and Davie Counties, a position he has held since 1998. Prior to this, Judge Klass was a private practice attorney in Lexington, NC. He has also served as an assistant district attorney. Judge Klass is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Campbell Law School.

N.C. Court of Appeals (Elmore Seat)

Alton “Al” Bain

A resident of Lillington, Al Bain graduated from Duke University in 1982 and earned his law degree at the University of North Carolina in 1985. Bain is a partner at Bain, Buzzard & McRae, LLP, where he has a general practice with an emphasis on representing senior citizens. He as served as president of both the Harnett County Bar and the Eleventh Judicial District Bar.

Leto Copeley

A partner at Patterson Harkavy, LLP, Leto Copeley handles cases in family, juvenile and employment law, domestic violence, workers’ compensation and civil litigation. She is a graduate of Hunter College and Harvard Law School. Copeley lives in Hillsborough, N.C.

Rick Elmore

Judge Elmore has served on the Court of Appeals since 2003 and has decided more than 2,000 cases and written more than 700 opinions. Before his election, Elmore practiced law for 20 years in his hometown of Greensboro. Elmore is a graduate of Guilford College and North Carolina Central Law School and currently resides in Raleigh.

Steven Walker

A Selma resident, Steven Walker is a graduate of Campbell Law School and Clemson University. Walker currently clerks for the Honorable Justice Edward Thomas Brady of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, where he has spent the last five years reading opinions of the Court of Appeals and making recommendations.

Martha Geer

Judge Geer is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of North Carolina, where she attended law school as a Morehead Fellow. Since her election to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 2002, she has participated in deciding more than 2,000 appeals. Of those appeals, she has written the deciding opinion in nearly 700. Before her election, Judge Geer practiced law in the area of complex civil litigation for 19 years, first with a major firm in New York and then with a firm in North Carolina.

Dean Poirier

Dean Poirier, an Appeals Referee with the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, has conducted over 12,000 contested case hearings. A graduate of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law, Poirier has practiced law in the areas of real estate, wills, trusts and estates and business and corporate law.

N.C. Court of Appeals (Steelman Seat)

Sanford Steelman

Judge Steelman was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2002 and has authored more than 700 opinions and dissents, and has participated in another 1,400 cases. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Steelman served as Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of Judicial District 20-B and held court in 32 counties. A graduate of Davidson College and University of North Carolina School of Law, Steelman resides in Raleigh.

About Campbell Law School: Since its founding in 1976, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The School has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,200 alumni, including 2,200 who reside and work in North Carolina. For 21 years, Campbell Law’s record of success on the North Carolina Bar Exam has been unsurpassed by any other North Carolina law school. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a new state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit

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