Social commentators have described our nation’s current labor market as the “Great Resignation.”  Baby Boomers are retiring to spend more time with loved ones.  Workers are leaving current employers for more flexible work arrangements. And in both the public and private sector, the tight labor market is providing opportunities for mobility and promotions. Unsurprisingly, the appellate world is not immune to those forces.

First, Justice Robin Hudson, the Supreme Court’s senior associate justice, recently announced that she will not seek reelection in 2022.  Justice Hudson’s retirement decision is not surprising.  Even if she won another term, she was facing mandatory retirement in February 2024.  Justice Hudson’s successor has big shoes to fill.  Justice Hudson is the second-longest serving justice (after Chief Justice Newby). And if you count her Court of Appeals’ service, she has more judicial appellate experience than any other active appellate jurist.  What’s more, Justice Hudson’s appellate experience predates her time on the bench.  With 27 years of service on the NCBA’s Appellate Rules Committee (and counting), Justice Hudson is the committee’s longest-serving member.  On behalf of the entire team, thank you Justice Hudson for your faithful service!  We wish you all the best as you finish out your term and get ready for new endeavors!

Second, the Supreme Court is facing its third Clerk of Court change since Christie Cameron Roeder’s 2016 retirement.  Amy Funderburk, who has been a ray of competence, patience, and sunshine since assuming the Clerk of the Supreme Court position in 2018, will be stepping down in February 2022.  She has accepted an in-house position in the private sector.  As Amy’s love for beach living is well-known, I suspect the siren’s irresistible call included the opportunity for a more flexible work environment.  For those interested in succeeding Amy, the link to the job posting is here.

Finally, Jaye Bingham-Hinch resigned as Director of Office of Staff Counsel in November.  Little danger that Jaye will become a stranger—she’s returning to private appellate practice at the beginning of 2022.  She will be missed at the Court, but I am hearing that long-time assistant director, David Lagos, will be leading the daily work of the Office of Staff Counsel under the direction of the Court of Appeals’ new general counsel, Jonathan Harris.  We wish David and Jon the best of luck—including filling two new Office of Staff Counsel positions, details of which can be found here.

To quote the Beatles: “You say, ‘Goodbye’ and I say, ‘Hello, hello, hello.’”

–Beth Scherer