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NC Chamber Applauds Governor Cooper’s Nominations to the N.C. Business Court

| Tort Reform & Legal Climate

New and Returning Judges Promise Expertise and Fairmindedness on Complex Legal Matters Impacting Business

Governor Roy Cooper has nominated four individuals to serve as Special Superior Court judges on the North Carolina Business Court, including two returning Business Court judges, the Honorable Adam Conrad and the Honorable Michael Robinson, and two individuals, the Honorable Mark Davis and Julianna Earp, who would sit on the Business Court for the first time.

“The NC Chamber applauds the decision by Governor Cooper to nominate these four leaders to the North Carolina Business Court,” said Ray Starling, general counsel at the NC Chamber and president of the NC Chamber Legal Institute. “Judge Robinson and Judge Conrad have already shown their commitment to fair and expert decision-making on the Business Court, while former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Davis and Ms. Earp have demonstrated similar commitments to these values throughout their careers. Members of the Business Court must often decide, individually, cases of critical importance to the state’s business community, and these selections are a promising sign that job creators can continue to expect fairmindedness and predictability on all matters decided by this court.”

The North Carolina Business Court is a specialized forum of the General Court of Justice whose five members are selected from a pool of ten Special Superior Court judges and charged with ruling on civil cases involving complex questions of corporate and commercial law. Following confirmation by the General Assembly, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina specially assigns the judges to the Business Court to serve five-year terms.

In recent years, the Business Court has provided substantial clarity around the body of case law impacting North Carolina’s job creators, enabling the state to regain lost ground in national comparisons of state legal climates. North Carolina’s legal climate was previously ranked among the 10 most appealing for business by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), before falling to 33rd in the ILR’s 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey. In 2019, the state recovered to 16th in this index, thanks in part to a Business Court that decided cases predictably, in accordance with state law.

The NC Chamber, as part of our commitment to advancing policies that will enable North Carolina to reestablish a top-10 business legal climate, will continue to prioritize the appointment of exceptional Business Court jurists with the requisite expertise in the Business Court’s special area of law. The Governor’s nominations demonstrate continued excellent stewardship of this important institution.