Judge Gale Receives ACBD Section Distinguished Service Award

Judge James "Jim" GaleThe NCBA Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section presented its Distinguished Service Award to Senior Business Court Judge James L. Gale on April 21.

The award was presented in conjunction with the section’s virtual annual meeting and CLE. Chief Business Court Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III introduced Judge Gale.

“The members of this Section are my peers, and there is no greater professional honor than to be given special recognition by your peers,” Gale said when asked what it meant to him to receive this award from the Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section. “The past recipients are persons I have known well and respected both personally and professionally.

“I am honored and humbled to have been considered worthy of now being included with them.”

Membership in the NCBA and the Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section, he added, has enhanced his career in multiple ways.

“The NCBA in general has been an essential part of my professional community since I first began practice,” Gale said. “Active NCBA involvement was part of my firm’s culture.  And this Section has had particular meaning for me, first in practice but now particularly after I was fortunate to join the Business Court bench.

“The success of the Business Court and its reputation in and beyond North Carolina is a shared success of the judges and those who practice before them. This section has been a steadfast advocate for protecting and advancing the Court, has served a leading role in developing the Court’s rules, and has promoted an ongoing healthy interchange between bench and bar. The opportunity to join the Section’s annual meeting is a highlight to which each Business Court judge looks forward.”

Gale graduated from Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College) in 1969 and received a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia (1974). He has been admitted to practice in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Following a clerkship with Judge Franklin T. Dupree Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of N.C., Gale joined what later became Smith Moore Leatherwood and is now Fox Rothschild. He maintained a commercial litigation practice for 35 years and served as managing partner for the firm’s offices in Raleigh and Tampa, Fla.

A certified mediator, Gale serves as a judicial advisor to the Sedona Conference, as co-chair of the ABA Business Law Section’s Business Courts Subcommittee, and as an adjunct professor at Elon University School of Law.

The Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize members of the North Carolina Bar Association Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section (or others under extraordinary situations) who:

  • have demonstrated the highest ethical standards;
  • have shown a high level of professional competence; and
  • have made significant contributions (a) to the Section, (b) to scholarship in the fields of antitrust or complex business disputes law, and/or (c) to advocacy on behalf of clients, consumers, or the public in the fields of antitrust or complex business disputes law.

The award is given by the section every other year. Previous recipients are:

  • John F. Graybeal (2009)
  • Everett J. Bowman (2011)
  • Noel L. Allen (2013)
  • Judge John R. Jolly Jr. (2015)
  • Matthew Sawchak (2017)
  • Jon Heyl (2019)

Source credit: North Carolina Judicial Branch