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Retired Chief Justice Parker Honored

Retired Chief Justice Parker Honored

Retired Chief Justice Sarah Parker accepts award from Judge Frank Whitney.

The 2015 Grainger Barrett Award for Excellence, presented by the Government & Public Sector Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, was presented Friday for Sarah Parker, retired chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.

The presentation took place on Friday, May 1, at the section annual meeting and CLE held at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary. Judge Frank Whitney, section chair, presented the award.

The award is named for the late Grainger Barrett who served as county attorney for Cumberland County. Barrett died in 2009 and received the award posthumously in 2010, at which time it was named in his honor.

Chief Justice Parker, who retired last year, began her service on the Supreme Court in 1993 and became chief justice in 2006. She was North Carolina’s 27th chief justice.

A Charlotte native, she spent 15 years in private practice prior to serving from 1985-92 on the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Parker attended Meredith College for two years prior to earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1964. Following service in the U.S. Peace Corps, she earned her law degree from the UNC School of Law in 1969.

The purpose of this award is to honor an outstanding government or public sector attorney as an exemplar of the excellence, dedication and passion for justice of North Carolina’s government and public sector attorneys.

The recipient of this annual award shall be selected from among nominated active, practicing government or public sector attorneys, and must meet the following criteria:

1. The attorney must have at least five years of recent, continuous practice in public sector law.
2. The attorney must have an exemplary record and reputation in the legal community, and must follow the highest ethical standards.
3. The attorney must have an exemplary record of community service.
4. The attorney must be an exemplar of the quiet excellence of North Carolina’s government and public sector attorneys.

Previous recipients of the award are:
2001   M. Ann Reed
2003   Jo Anne Sanford
2004   John Stuart Bruce
2005   Gill P. Beck
2006   Dan McLawhorn
2007   Ann B. Wall
2008   Curtis B. Venable
2009   Jeffrey P. Gray
2010   Grainger R. Barrett
2011   James B. Blackburn III
2012   M. Lynne Weaver and Philip A. Lehman
2014   Ellis Hankins