Chief Justice Paul Newby Presents Professionalism Awards

Main Justice Paul Newby presented the 2020 and 2021 Main Justice’s Professionalism Award to six recipients on Wednesday, April 20, at the joint reception and supper of the N.C. State Bar and the N.C. Bar Association at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. The recipients ended up honored with this yearly award for their determination and commitment to the rules of professionalism and public provider in North Carolina.

The awards were being offered to the subsequent:

  • The Hon. J.C. Cole, excellent courtroom decide (Ret.)
  • The Hon. Forrest D. Bridges, senior resident excellent courtroom decide
  • Legal professional Debra L. Foster
  • Lawyer James “Jimbo” S. Perry
  • Attorney Richard S. Towers
  • Legal professional David B. Freedman (posthumously)

2020 Recipients

Choose J.C. Cole retired in 2021 right after serving a long and distinguished occupation on the district and outstanding court docket benches.

Cole was appointed to the district court docket by Governor James B. Hunt in 1994. He was later appointed to the superior court bench by Governor Beverly Perdue in 2009. He was elected to a full eight-year phrase in 2010 and re-elected in November 2018.

Cole earned his undergraduate diploma from Livingstone School. He also gained a masters diploma in felony justice from North Carolina Central University and his juris physician from North Carolina Central University Faculty of Legislation. He commenced his law vocation in personal practice in Hertford.

For the duration of his time on the bench, Cole was recognised for his interest in the folks who appeared prior to him. He primarily encouraged younger people today to do far better and be greater for their very own foreseeable future properly-currently being.

Chief Justice Paul Newby Presents Professionalism Awards
Main Justice Paul Newby provides Decide Cole with the Professionalism Award. 

Decide Forrest “Don” Bridges is the senior resident excellent court choose for District 27B (Cleveland and Lincoln counties). He was first elected to the Exceptional Courtroom in 1994 immediately after functioning in private exercise for 17 many years in Shelby. His areas of focus in personal exercise bundled civil and prison trials, personal bankruptcy and domestic relations. Bridges also served as counsel for the Cleveland County Sanitary District, a county-broad water technique. Although serving on the Outstanding Courtroom, Bridges has served as president of the Conference of Outstanding Court Judges, as a member of the Schooling Committee, and as chair of the Pattern Jury Instruction Committee. A single of his most loved volunteer pursuits as a choose has been doing work every yr as a facilitator in the Faculty for New Superior Court docket Judges at the Faculty of Government in Chapel Hill. Bridges also served on the Chief Justice’s Fee on Professionalism in 2006-07.

Bridges obtained his legal training at Wake Forest University School of Law, graduating in 1977 and, prior to regulation faculty, attended the United States Air Pressure Academy and UNC-Charlotte. Bridges and his wife have been married for 38 a long time. Their household contains 3 adult youngsters and two grandchildren.

Chief Justice Paul Newby presents Judge Bridges with the Professionalism Award
Main Justice Paul Newby presents Decide Bridges with the Professionalism Award

Debra L. Foster is an lawyer in Charlotte who represents customers through North Carolina, focusing on issues of estate organizing, estate administration, and trusts and probate. Foster has additional than 30 several years of working experience advising customers and assisting them in the improvement of efficient estate planning tactics. Foster has compassion for each and every shopper and acknowledges the want to fully grasp each individual client’s personal circumstance and concerns.

Foster is a Fellow in the American Faculty of Belief and Estate Counsel and a North Carolina Point out Bar Board Qualified Expert in Estate Preparing and Probate Regulation.  She is a previous Chair of the Estate Arranging and Fiduciary Legislation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and a former Chair of the Estate Scheduling and Probate Regulation Specialization Committee of the North Carolina Point out Bar.

Acknowledged consistently as 1 of Small business North Carolina’s Legal Elite (2002-2017), Foster was voted by her colleagues in the course of North Carolina as the major estate preparing lawyer in North Carolina in 2017. On top of that, Foster has been specified as a North Carolina SuperLawyer (2005-2017), where she persistently ranks among the the best 50 woman lawyers in any subject of law in North Carolina, and as just one of the Ideal Legal professionals in America (2007-2017).

2021 Recipients

James “Jimbo” S. Perry is an lawyer with Perry, Perry, & Perry in Kinston. Perry studied at the College of North Carolina Faculty of Regulation in which he graduated in 1980. Straight away soon after graduation, he moved back to his  hometown of Kinston to do the job with his father, mom, sister, and uncle in private observe from 1980-1981, then transitioned into the purpose of assistant United States legal professional in the United States Attorney’s Business office in Raleigh till 1985. From there, Perry moved again to Kinston and founded the business Perry, Perry, & Perry wherever he proceeds to work nowadays.

Perry has devoted his daily life to his household and company to his community by means of church, nearby colleges, youth sports, and local jail services. Other service features functioning with the Salvation Military, Boys and Women Club, Very little by Minimal, Refuge Camp for Children, Hope Restoration, Flynn Restoration House, and Jap NC Inn of Court.

Perry is a member of the Chief Justice’s Fee on Professionalism and is the recipient of the Citizen Attorney Award, John B. McMillan Distinguished Company Award, Tommy Jarrett Assistance Award, QC Honors Recognition, and Southern Star Recognition.

Chief Justice Paul Newby presents Jimbo Perry with the Professionalism Award
Chief Justice Paul Newby offers Jimbo Perry with the Professionalism Award

Richard S. Towers is an lawyer whose vocation expands for a long time possessing been in private follow because 1976. Prior to staying in non-public practice, Towers was the to start with complete-time public defender in Significant Position. In 2018, he was recognized for 50 a long time of provider by the N.C. Condition Bar.

Towers graduated from Monmouth College (New Jersey) and obtained his juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Legislation. He also served in the United States Marine Corps as a JAG Officer.

Chief Justice Paul Newby presents Richard Towers with the Professionalism Award
Main Justice Paul Newby offers Richard Towers with the Professionalism Award

David B. Freedman was an attained and revered lawyer, owning represented customers in a variety of areas which includes civil, legal, and experienced-exercise proceedings for the duration of his 40-yr tenure in the observe of legislation. He handed absent on September 3, 2021, because of to problems from COVID-19.

Freedman was just one of North Carolina’s most completed and respected lawyers. He crafted his career on delivering amazing company to shoppers in civil, criminal and expert-observe proceedings. He considered that each case was critical and that each customer deserved an legal professional who represented them with zeal, expertise, and experience.

Freedman obtained his undergraduate degree in 1979 and his J.D. in 1982 from the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a licensed as a specialist in criminal regulation in Point out and Federal observe. He served as president of the Forsyth County Bar Association and as chairman of the Legal Regulation Part of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Faculty of Trial Legal professionals in 2020. He was listed in The Most effective Legal professionals in The us both of those in white collar and non-white collar legal legislation and in 2012 was named the publication’s Attorney of the Yr for prison defense white-collar and in 2013 the Lawyer of the 12 months for felony defense non-white collar. Freedman was detailed in The Bar Sign-up of Preeminent Legal professionals, printed by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2006, he was named by Enterprise North Carolina as the state’s prime criminal defense lawyer and is mentioned in the magazine’s Authorized Elite Corridor of Fame. He has been shown in Super Legal professionals of North Carolina given that 2006.

Freedman taught criminal method and demo follow at Wake Forest University Faculty of Legislation for 15 yrs and also lectured at Harvard Regulation College.

Chief Justice Paul Newby presents  the Professionalism Award to David Freedman's daughter.
Chief Justice Paul Newby offers the Professionalism Award to David Freedman’s daughter. 


The main charge of the Main Justice’s Commission on Professionalism (CJCP), chaired by Chief Justice Paul Newby, is to boost professionalism between North Carolina judges, legal professionals and regulation pupils. In carrying out this demand, the CJCP is dependable for supplying ongoing focus and guidance by way of a assortment of plans, assignments, and publications, in get to make sure that the apply of legislation stays a substantial contacting that is dedicated to the company of shoppers and the community excellent.

For info about the Main Justice’s Professionalism Award or the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, please get hold of the Commission place of work at 919-890-1455.