When it rains, it pours. Several weeks ago, we blogged about John Connell’s impending retirement from his post as Clerk of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. We have now learned that Christie Speir Cameron Roeder, long-time Clerk of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, is also set to retire on June 1, 2016.
Christie announced her retirement plans early to ease the Supreme Court’s transition to a new Clerk. The announcement, made with little fanfare, initially slipped under our radar. Like John, however, Christie has been an appellate court mainstay, and a ready resource for how our state Supreme Court works in practice. Upon her retirement, Christie will have served as Supreme Court Clerk for over 25 years. She has overseen trailblazing advancements at the Supreme Court— including the Supreme Court becoming the nation’s first state appellate court to accept all documents by electronic filing, now more than 15 years ago. She also has served in numerous national leadership roles, including president of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks and as a recipient of the organization’s J. A. Sentell Award.
We are so grateful for Christie’s leadership, openness, and accessibility, and her tireless initiative in ushering our appellate courts into the digital age. Christie, you will be sorely missed. I know many of our readers share in our extension of thanks to Christie and best wishes for a happy retirement. (Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below).
Looking forward, many assumed that Christie’s experience would assist the Court in implementing several changes set to impact the Supreme Court—including the General Assembly’s expansion of the Supreme Court’s direct appellate jurisdiction and the Chief Justice’s initiative to move all state courts into the digital, e-filing era. The bulk of that work will now fall to the new Clerk.
More broadly, the leadership of our appellate courts—after staying relatively constant for the past decade—is now undergoing a complete overhaul. In the span of a little over a year, the former Chiefs of the Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals both retired, and both appellate clerks have announced their impending retirement. With fondness for the departing leaders, we also look forward to seeing the changes the next decade will bring under the appellate courts’ next generation of leaders. As always, we will keep you posted.