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Law Day 2017 Commemorated

Law Day 2017 Commemorated

Linda McGee, current chief judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals, accepts Liberty Bell Award from former Chief Judge Gerald Arnold.

Students from across the state gathered in Raleigh on Friday, May 5, as the North Carolina Bar Association observed Law Day 2017. Joining the students who are being honored for their efforts in the annual Law Week competitions was Chief Judge Linda McGee of the N.C. Court of Appeals who received the Liberty Bell Award.

The students were recognized for their efforts in essay writing, poster art, photo essay and moot court. The finals of the moot court competition were conducted Friday morning before a distinguished panel of N.C. jurists.

Comprising the moot court panel were Justices Paul M. Newby and Justice Robin E. Hudson of the N.C. Supreme Court, Chief Judge McGee and Judge Hunter Murphy of the N.C. Court of Appeals, and Judge Fred S. Battaglia Jr. of the Durham County District Court.

In the moot court finals, Matthew Coffey and Matt Graham of Calvary Day School in Winston-Salem defeated Emma Bass and Monique Ward of Wayne School of Engineering in Goldsboro.

The competition was followed by an awards luncheon at the City Club where NCBA President Kearns Davis presented the Law Day Proclamation issued by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The student competition winners were:

Essay Contest Winners
Junior High (Grades 6-8)
1st Place: Aiden Pomeroy, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilmington
2nd Place: Roshana D. King, Carter Community Charter School, Durham
3rd Place: Anna-Cater Meyer, Hobbton Middle School, Newton Grove

High School (Grades 9-12)
1st Place: Candis Tyndall, Midway High School, Newton Grove
2nd Place: Chloe Langston, Jackson County Early College, Sylva
3rd Place: Jessica Noble Gross, Junius H. Rose High School, Greenville

Photo Essay Contest Winners
Junior High (Grades 6-8)
1st Place: Laney Dettlebach, Northview Middle School, Hickory

Poster Art Contest Winners (Grades 3-5)
1st Place: Abigail Turner, Moyock Elementary, Moyock
2nd Place: Saila Chassin, Fred A. Olds Elementary School, Raleigh
3rd Place: Catherine Grace Todd, Ocracoke School, Ocracoke

The Liberty Bell award is presented annually by the NCBA’s Young Lawyers Division, which organizes Law Week festivities, in recognition of an individual “who has strengthened the American System of freedom under law.”

A native of Marion, McGee is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC School of Law. She served as executive director of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers (now Advocates for Justice) from 1973-78, after which she practiced for 17 years in Boone with di Santi, Watson and McGee.

McGee was appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1995 and elected to eight-year terms in 1996, 2004 and 2012. McGee has served as chief judge since August 2014.

Previous winners of the Liberty Bell Award are Judge Beth Keever, Judge Sammie Chess Jr., Maj. Gen. (retired) James B. Mallory III, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Earl Britt, Burley Mitchell, Harry C. Martin, Janice McKenzie Cole, Stacy C. Eggers Jr., E. Maurice Braswell, Herbert L. Richardson, William Joslin, Henry Frye, Robert R. Browning, Lacy Thornburg, James B. Hunt Jr., William C. Friday, Sam J. Ervin III, Terry Sanford, Herbert H. Taylor Jr., James Dickson Phillips Jr., Wade E. Brown, Hiram H. Ward, Kathrine Everett, L. Richardson Preyer, J. Frank Huskins, McNeill Smith, Franklin T. Dupree Jr., Thad Eure, Joseph Branch, Dr. Robert E. Lee, William B. Aycock, Susie Sharp and Sam Ervin Jr.

The national observance of Law Day was first proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on February 3, 1958, and is celebrated annually by the NCBA on the first Friday in May. The national theme for Law Day 2017 is The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.

Law Week 2017 events made possible by the generous funding of the Beverly C. Moore Justice Fund of the NCBA Foundation Endowment in cooperation with the NCBA Young Lawyers Division. Josephine Tetteh and Caroline Trautman co-chaired the YLD Law Week Committee.