A fair, consistent and efficient judicial system depends on having judges who respect and understand both the law they apply and the people they serve.

Respect

I believe judges that have respect for people, the law,  and for constitutional principles are imperative for building and maintaining confidence in our judicial system.  As your district court judge, our U.S. and North Carolina constitutions would be my polar star.  A respect for the constitutional rights and for the laws that are consistent with those rights must be the foundation of every judge’s decisions and actions if we are to maintain a fair and effective judicial system.  Additionally, the ability to maintain an even temper and to understand that people are often in a vulnerable state when appearing in court, are also qualities that a district court judge must possess.  It is important to me to treat all citizens, court personnel, attorneys, and law enforcement officers appearing before me with empathy, attention, and respect, while also mandating that all appearing in district court treat each other with that same respect. The manner in which the judge addresses the parties, their lawyers, witnesses and court personnel, is an important part of maintaining a legal process that our citizens can respect and rely upon to administer justice in all cases. Being cognizant and concerned about the time, money, and emotional energy that each person invests in preparing and appearing for their court cases is one example of how I would show my respect for the participants in our judicial system. Balancing the important issues presented in each case with limited time and court resources, is a difficult task that I am prepared to tackle.

Equity

I believe that every person appearing in district court should have equal access to justice.  Unfortunately, the  judge alone cannot ensure such equality, and lack of equal access to justice is an inequity that is  present in our legal system despite the efforts of many judges, lawyers, and community groups who are dedicated to improving access to our courts.   Though a judge cannot solve this systemic problem alone, she is an integral part of any solution. As your district court judge, I would be committed to confronting the biases and barriers that many citizens face when seeking access to justice, and I would work with members of our community and legal system to improve such access.  

Consistency

I believe that consistency in the application of the law is important because it creates confidence among citizens, lawyers, law enforcement, and other court personnel that everyone appearing before the court will be afforded a fair hearing.  I believe it is important for a judge to be cognizant of and to articulate the facts and the law that form her decisions in each case. As your district court judge, I will work to apply the law consistently in each case without regard to personal bias or community pressures.


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