As you know by now, 19 candidates are running to fill the vacancy on the North Carolina Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Chief Judge Martin.  On Friday, Governor McCrory chose a 20th person to fill the void until after the election.  Judge Lisa Bell is currently a Special Superior Court Judge who is running unopposed for a resident Superior Court seat in Mecklenburg County.  Judge Bell will act as a caretaker for the Court of Appeals seat for just over four months before returning to the bench in Mecklenburg County.

You may ask: Why send Judge Bell to the Court of Appeals for such a short stint?  Remember, every appointment of a sitting judge creates another appointment opportunity.  Also, by elevating Judge Bell now, the Governor has a chance to appoint a Special Superior Court Judge to take her place before the legislative “confirmation” requirement for special judges takes hold on September 1, 2014.

We will keep you posted.

–Matt Leerberg