Saturday, October 13, 2007

District 20A Bar Welcomes Court of Appeals Judge - and Democrat - Jim Wynn to Annual Dinner

Members of the Richmond, Anson, and Stanly County Bar Associations welcomed Judge James (Jim) Wynn, Jr., to the District 20A Annual Dinner held at Richmond Pines Country Club in Rockingham several days ago.

State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, also an attorney in District 20A, recommended that the Association invite Judge Wynn to be its keynote speaker for the evening. The lawmaker also formally introduced him and provided the audience a summary of his accomplishments. Judge Wynn's oration focused on the practice of law and how the novel "Slaughterhouse 5" by famed author Kurt Vonnegut has helped shape the judge's view of the legal profession and life in general.

In addition to regional attorneys and their spouses or guests, other special attendees that evening included North Carolina 's Assistant Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, Chief District Court Judge Tanya Wallace, Superior Court Judge Susan Taylor, District Court Judge Kevin Bridges, and District Court Judge Scott Brewer.

The Honorable Jim Wynn, a military veteran and scholar, is a long-time member of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He has nearly 20 years of experience as an appellate judge in North Carolina. Governor Jim Hunt appointed Wynn to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1998 to fill a vacancy. The next year he returned to the N.C. Court of Appeals, where he remains on the bench as a senior associate judge.

Judge Wynn is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Marquette University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor; and the University of Virginia's School of Law, where he earned his L.L.M.

Judge Wynn recently assumed the chairmanship of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, making him the first-ever African-American elected to the position. The division, which has more than 4,000 members, is designed to help make the judicial system more understandable, accessible and affordable.

A Special Advisor on the World Justice Project, Judge Wynn represents the Appellate Judges Conference to the House of Delegates. Most recently, he served as a drafter of the 2007 Revised Model Code of Judicial Conduct. He previously chaired the Working Group on Judicial Campaign Speech, which drafted the 2002 Revised Canon 5 of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

In the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Judge Wynn has served on the Executive Committee, Scope and Program Committee, and currently serves as a Division Chair. He served as a drafter of the Uniform Arbitration Act and Uniform Tort Apportionment Act.

Judge Wynn's other affiliations include Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Justice at Stake Campaign, and memberships in the American Law Institute, National Bar Association Judicial Council, and the North Carolina Bar Association.

A Navy reservist, Judge Wynn holds the rank of Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Most recently, he served as Commanding Officer of the Navy Reserve Judiciary Unit.

President Bill Clinton nominated him for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1990s but former Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms procedurally blocked the appointment.

Judge Wynn is married to the former Jacqueline Rollins, and has three sons – Javius, Conlan, and Jaeander.

"We were absolutely delighted that Judge Wynn accepted our invitation to attend as guest speaker," said Rep. Goodwin. "He is held in very high esteem for not only his great service to the Nation with his leadership in the military, but also his academic and professional credentials that have brought him to service on both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals."

Rockingham attorney Ira Pittman serves as President of the Association.

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Note: The following persons, all Democrats, appear in the accompanying photo: Judge Susan Taylor, Judge Kevin Bridges, State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, Appellate Judge Jim Wynn, District Court Judge Scott Brewer, and Chief District Court Judge Tanya Wallace. All but Judge Wynn hail from the 8th Congressional District.

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