Burley Mitchell - Supreme Court Service

Supreme Court Service

Justice Mitchell served as an Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1982 to 1994 and as Chief Justice from 1995 to 1999. Gov. Hunt appointed Mitchell to the office of chief justice in late 1994 to take the place of the retiring James G. Exum. In 1996, Mitchell was elected to the post in the general election, defeating Republican Ray Warren.

As a judge, Mitchell wrote 484 decisions, including the landmark Leandro v. State of North Carolina case regarding educational opportunities for all North Carolina children. He was also well known for reducing the court's backlog. Mitchell was also known for securing additional resources for the Court System for technology and personnel through appropriations at the State level as well as projects for the criminal justice system at the federal level. Mitchell's staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts included North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Jack L. Cozort, who took leave to work for Mitchell as acting AOC director, and deputy director Jeanne Bonds, who was serving on the Knightdale Town Council at the time.

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