NCBA Observes Law Day
Students from across the state gathered in Raleigh on Friday, May 6, as the North Carolina Bar Association observed Law Day 2016. Joining the students who are being honored for their efforts in the annual Law Week competitions was Judge Elizabeth Keever (ret.) of Fayetteville who received the Liberty Bell Award.
The students were recognized for their efforts in essay writing, poster art and moot court. The finals of the moot court competition were conducted Friday morning before a panel of N.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices and judges, respectively.
Comprising the moot court panel of judges were Justices Paul M. Newby, Robin E. Hudson, Cheri Beasley and Sam Ervin IV of the N.C. Supreme Court and Judges Donna S. Stroud, Mark A. Davis and R. Christopher Dillon of the N.C. Court of Appeals.
Jordan Franco and Avery Horne of South Point High School in Belmont took first place in the Moot Court competition. Matthew Coffey and Matt Graham of Calvary Baptist Day School of Winston-Salem took second.
The competition was followed by an awards luncheon at the City Club where NCBA President Shelby Benton presented the Law Day Proclamation issued by Gov. Pat McCrory.
The student competition winners were:
Essay Contest Winners | Junior High (Grades: 6-8)
1st Place: Ashley E. Lamb, Cary Classical Arts & Sciences Academy, Cary
2nd Place: Sebastian Zagler, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilmington
3rd Place: Thomas Higgins, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilmington
Honorable Mention: Carter Jones, Jones Home School, Raleigh
Honorable Mention: Roshana King, Charter Community Charter, Durham
Essay Contest Winners | High School (Grades: 9-12)
1st Place: Abigail Scholer, J.T. Hoggard High School, Wilmington
2nd Place: Kamie Chester, Caldwell Early College High School, Hudson
3rd Place: Ty Meyer, Hobbton High School, Newton Grove
Honorable Mention: Gavin Deiss, East Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte
Photo Essay Contest Winners | Junior High (Grades: 6-8)
1st Place: Kylie Ann Finiff, D.C. Virgo Prepatory Academy, Wilmington
2nd Place: Kayleigh Clarke, Southern Middle School, Timberlake
3rd Place: Kristina Marraccini, Southern Middle School, Timberlake
Honorable Mention: Kelsea Abbie Jacobs, D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, Wilmington
Poster Art Contest Winners | Grades: 3-5
1st Place: Cardalia Mckelvy, Fred A. Olds Elementary School, Raleigh
2nd Place: Cameron Seth Doby, C. G. Credle Elementary, Oxford
3rd Place: Kathy Alvizo-Guerra, D.F. Walker Elementary School, Edenton
Honorable Mention: Taylor Allen Jones, Jones Home School, Raleigh
Honorable Mention: Jada Tyson, Creedmoor Elementary School, Creedmoor
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.”
Keever spent 32 years on the bench before retiring Dec. 31, 2014, at the end of her term. She was appointed by Gov. Hunt in 1982 and served as chief District Court judge for the 12th Judicial District (Cumberland County) from 1994 until her retirement. She was elected a total of seven times, including five times without opposition.
Keever is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of North Carolina School of Law. Prior to her service as a judge she was an assistant prosecutor in the 12th Judicial District.
Among her many career recognitions and honors, Keever received the Franklin N. Flaschner Award from the National Conference of Specialized Court Judges at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Previous winners of the Liberty Bell Award are Judge Sammie Chess (ret.), 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.
Tenisha S. Jacobs chaired the YLD’s Law Week Committee. Also serving on the committee were Shawn J. Handy, Moot Court contest chair; Jennifer C. Henson, Liberty Bell Award co-chair; Brooks F. Jaffa, YLD division director; Sherri H. Lawrence, luncheon chair; Caroline P. Mackie, Poster Art Contest chair; Kimberly S. Murrell, Photo Essay Contest chair; John W. O’Hale, Liberty Bell Award co-chair; Josephine N. A. Tetteh, outreach coordinator; and Caroline L. Trautman Essay contest chair.
Funding for Law Day and Law Week events is provided by the Beverly C. Moore Justice Fund of the NCBA Foundation.