James A. (Jim) Wynn | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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James A. (Jim) Wynn

Candidate for N.C. Court of Appeals


Name as it appears on the ballot: James A. (Jim) Wynn
Date of birth: March 17, 1954
Campaign website: www.judgewynn.com
Occupation & employer: Senior Associate Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals
Captain, U.S. Navy Reserves, Certified Military Trial Judge
Chair, Judicial Division of the American Bar Association
Years lived in North Carolina: Aside from time in law school and the Navy, I’ve spent my life in North Carolina. I was born and reared in Robersonville and attended UNC-Chapel Hill for college. After law school and time in the Navy JAG Corps, I returned in 1984 to practice law in Wilson and Greenville, where I remained until my election to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1990.

Dear Independent Weekly,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit information about my candidacy for re-election to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. I applaud your efforts to provide your readers with educational materials about state political and judicial candidates.

I have been honored to serve the people and justice system of our great State as a judge for over seventeen years, and I have worked hard to apply the law fairly and to treat everyone with respect. To that end, and out of consideration for my status as an appellate judge, I have had a longstanding policy of declining to make specific statements about issues that may appear before me on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

As you know, judicial elections in North Carolina are now non-partisan, a reform that I long championed before it went into effect. Moreover, the judicial canon of ethics requires me to abstain from public comment about the merits of a pending proceeding in any state or federal court dealing with a case or controversy arising in North Carolina or addressing North Carolina law. I take that prohibition seriously and believe it equally applicable – and important – to issues that may arise in the future. Indeed, as Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has said, “The law makes a promise – neutrality. If the promise gets broken, the law as we know it ceases to exist.”

Nevertheless, I emphasize again that my only agenda on the Court is to discharge my duty to uphold our Constitution and our laws, rather than to attempt to satisfy the popular will or political climate of the moment. I believe strongly in judicial independence – a judiciary free of partisanship, political pressure, and special interests – and one guided only by the sovereign will of the people, as embodied in our Constitution. Because of my hard work and experience, I have been endorsed in this race by, among others, the N.C. Association of Educators, the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, EqualityNC, the N.C. Troopers Association, the N.C. AFL-CIO, and former Chief Justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court Burley Mitchell, James Exum, Henry Frye, and Rhoda Billings. This broad support, from such diverse groups and points of views from throughout our State, is a reflection of my record of service and fair treatment of all litigants, with even-handed application of our state laws. Further, a review of the opinions I have authored, such as my concurrence in Broderick v. Broderick, 175 N.C. App. 501, 623 S.E.2d 806 (2006), will illustrate my steadfast commitment to ensuring access to the courts for all citizens, not just lawyers, and to reviewing the substantive merits of arguments on appeal, rather than denying justice by dismissing cases for technical rules violations.

On a more personal note, I was born and reared in Robersonville, North Carolina, and practiced law for a number of years in Greenville and Wilson prior to my election to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1990. My wife Jacqueline and I currently reside in Cary, and I am the proud father of three sons. In addition to sitting on the Court of Appeals, I have served our country for over twenty-eight years in the United States Navy Reserves, including my current duty as a Captain in the Navy JAG Corps and a Certified Military Trial Judge. Voters can learn more about me and my background, including a list of those who have endorsed my campaign for re-election, at www.judgewynn.com.


Judge James A. “Jim” Wynn, Jr.

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