Steve Mansbery | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Steve Mansbery

Candidate for District Court Judge, District 10


Full Legal Name: Steven Donald Mansbery

Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Steve Mansbery

Party: Unaffiliated

Date of Birth: December 8, 1980

Campaign Web Site:

Occupation & Employer: Attorney – Tharrington Smith, LLP

Years lived in Wake County: 6


1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing the District 10 District Court? What are your top three priorities in addressing these issues?

Efficiency and limited resources. Protracted litigation costs families not only financially, but emotionally as well. I understand the requirement of a judge to work more than just a 9-5, M-F schedule. Additionally, I think it is a good idea to utilize the resources we have available to us just a few blocks down the road; namely, Campbell Law School. I believe we can establish a district court intern program for current law students. Each judge would have an intern, and the intern would learn from the judge and help the judge with drafts of orders and case management. It is a great way for soon-to-be freshly minted lawyers to gain valuable, practical, hands-on experience and something for his or her resume, and the judges and public would benefit by having additional help for the docket.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be an effective district court judge? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.

I have been trained by some of the best lawyers not only in Wake County, but North Carolina at Tharrington Smith. They have taught and mentored me not only in the law, but also how to treat litigants and other lawyers, and how to behave in court. My practice is almost exclusively family law.

3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am unaffiliated. Politics have no place on the district court bench. District court matters pertain to an individual's family, freedom, and finances. Politics should not interfere in the judgment of these issues.

I understand the gravity and responsibility of sitting in judgment of other human beings. It is a power that one must not abuse or allow political agendas to influence.

4. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I do not have one. My job as a district court judge will be to apply the law as it is written.

5. The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

I want to make the district court accessible to all citizens of Wake County, regardless of resources. To do so, we need to run the court more efficiently to free up courtroom time. I promise to be impartial, respectful, timely, and show litigants and lawyers appropriate temperament.

6. How long do you plan to serve if elected, and how long will you be able to serve?

The entire term of 4 years, and I will run for re-election if in the best interests of the citizens of Wake County.

7. North Carolina prosecutes 16-year-olds as adults. (Thirteen-year-old juveniles who are charged with felonies can also be prosecuted as adults, if transferred from juvenile court.) A bill to raise the juvenile jurisdiction age to 18 is expected to be considered in the 2012 legislative session. Do you support the age increase? Please explain why or why not.

As a district court judge, my job will be to apply the law as written. District court judges are not legislators.

8. What is your experience in juvenile court? What can be done to prevent delinquency and gang involvement?

None. My practice has been focused on family law. I am a quick learner, however, and will have no problem learning the requirements of juvenile court.

9. What improvements could be made in the Wake County judicial system to expedite the trying of cases and ease caseloads?

See response to #1 above.

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