After 12 years of service on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Judge Sanford Steelman retired from the bench effective June 30, 2014. (For the curious, this is part of the reason for the flood of opinions issued by the Court of Appeals over the last several weeks, as the court needed to clear out Judge Steelman’s docket.) I, for one, am particularly grateful for Judge Steelman’s years of service to the Appellate Rules Committee, and wish him well going forward.
Yesterday, Governor McCrory appointed Yadkinville lawyer Valerie Johnson Zachary to fill Judge Steelman’s vacant seat on the Court of Appeals. You may recall that Judge Zachary was one of the nineteen candidates who ran in 2014 for the seat now occupied by Judge Tyson. Judge Zachary’s LinkedIn profile states that she has many years of experience with estate planning, elder law, and related issues, which expertise should prove quite valuable to litigants in our intermediate appellate court.
As with all appointments, of course, Judge Zachary will have to run for her seat in 2016, joining Judges Stephens, Hunter, and Dietz as sitting Court of Appeals judges who may be running next fall.