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House | April 27, 2016 | Committee Room | House Judiciary I

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] I would like to call the committee on Judiciary one to order. We have a number of pages here, very nice-looking young people. I'd like to start from my left If you don't mind say what year you are in school, where you live and your name. >> My name is [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] >>Get a microphone please. >>My name is Mariah Magyar I'm 11th grader I'm an exchange student from Ukraine I live here in [UNKNOWN] county and go to South [UNKNOWN] high school. >> My name is Jacob Hart I go to East Surry High School Surry County and I'm in 10th grade. >> My name is Kayleigh Howard I'm a sophomore in [UNKNOWN] high school. My name is Gail I go to Georgian and I live in Durham and I'm 17 I'm a junior. >> My name is Julian Heiss. I'm a freshman in North Mecklenburg High School and I live in Charlotte. >> My name is Brandon Buchanan, I'm a freshman at South West High School and I live in Guilford County. My name is Vera Collins I'm a junior at East Bladen and I live White lake in Bladen county. >> We'd like to have you all of you here today. This particular meeting is going to be a delightful meeting because we have three very special people who we want to Confirm as our superior court judges, our special judges. What they do they what we call a business court which is the gold standard of courts. Hears complex cases by corporations and individuals and they are able to hear this cases. And the business community really like Like this courts. And so we are here to day to try and confirm by joint resolution three of the superior court judges. At this time I think, David, you like to come up and introduce the judge the candidate for conformation? Thank you Mr chairman and members of the committee. I do have the honor and the privilege today to introduce to you three very special and important public servants. The first Mr Chairman is Is Michael Winsy Robinson, Mr Robinson is a well respected transactional and business lawyer, who is a managing partner and his law firm Robinson and Lawing. He has practiced law for over 34 years in a variety of areas including complex civil litigation Intellectual property matters and corporate litigation. Before practicing law Mr. Robinson was an undergraduate student at Davidson college where he received a bachelor of arts degree in Economics. He went on to study the law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with high honours. Mr. Robinson Robinson, he's married and has four children, he's an active member of his community colleagues and peers of Mr. Robinson, have described him as having as strong, work ethic. Should I proceed Mr. Chairman or do wish to take it one at a time? >> Let's take it one at a time Recognize Judge Warner/g at this time to say a couple of words about >> Thank you Mr. Chair, it is anticipated but thank you for this high honor and privileged that you accorded the judicial branch and the chief justice but my presence here today in address, the nomination of Mike Robinson As newer special that will be dedicated as a business judge. It is incredible to work ethic and the respect which he has across the State. His nomination, will help complete an incredible strong vibrant Excuse me, business court bench that has earned the respect of the chillary/g court of Delaware, help molded the business court of Tennessee embrace to their bench a bar that respect and hold the utmost of the decision and the opinions that crafted The business code and soon to be hopefully confirmed attorney. Mark Robinson will be proudly welcomed by the judicial branch as

Judge Mike Robinson. Thank you Sir. >> [INAUDIBLE] questions on the candidate Anyone? >> Yes sir, Representative [INAUDIBLE] >> Thank you, and I appreciate the packet of information that I have received on the candidate and the kind words that Judge Warner gave to him in the introduction. But I would just like For the candidate Robinson/g to may be elaborate a little bit more on why he thinks that he would be good candidate for a business core judge, may be get in the weeds/g more a little bit more may be. [SOUND] >> Thank you Representative I'm grateful to all the members of the committee for allowing me to here today with you ->> Identify yourself >> Sure I'm Mike Robinson, I'm a lawyer from Winston Sale. I think in summary having practice law doing complex cooperate business litigation for 35 years including being in the court with a number of cases This is in watching the judges in that court work and having cooperate clients who tell me routinely that the three things they are most concern about being in litigation and specifically being in North Carolina, in litigation is the uncertainty of the outcome, the cost and expense of Doing litigation and the time it takes to resolve a dispute, unfortunately for us the business court does a great deal to try and resolve all three of those issues as much as they can. I met a number of you in my campaign for supreme court in 2014 Going around the state meeting legislators and business people and men and women. And the fact of the matter is the judiciary North Carolina is one of our real strengths. And I think we attract cooperate clients by having justice system that provides them as much as possible with a speedy, cost effective To the extent you can be certain about anything. The certainty that you're gonan have a judge who understands business matters, is concerned about business matters and wants to get it right. >> the other questions Mr Robinson if not. >> Mr, Chairman. >> Yes. >> For comment. >> Yes. Just like to point thsi is one of the most impressive undergraduate and graduate educational background I've ever seen anyone with those qualifications is clearly qualified for any job in government. >> [LAUGH] >> I doubt anybody else has those qualifications. I'll do a search and see Mr Chairman. >> [LAUGH] Thank you Mr chairman I'll proceed the second governors nominee to be considered today is judge Gregory McGuire. Judge McGuire was appointed as special superior court judge by Governor Pat Mccory 2014. To fill the unexpired term of special superior court judge Lisa Baile/g. He was subsequently assigned to the North Carolina business court for complex business cases. Prior to his appointment to the bench he was a shareholder with [UNKNOWN] one of the nations leading work place law films. where he spent 26 years as a Councillor, a litigator for companies of different sizes. judge Mcguire Obtained his bachelor of science from Cornell university in 1987. And his jurors from the University of north Carolina in Chapel Hill. And I do respectively submit his name for consideration. >> Are there any questions? [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] >> Mr Stenberg does judge warren have anything he'd like to say about this candidate. >> Are you able to say anything about this particular candidate? >> Once again it's an anticipated honor and privilege >> [LAUGH] Representatives Stenberg/g. >> Yeah actually I came. >> I had the privilege of coming and working with this body starting almost exactly a year ago on April the 1st last year. In doing so is becoming the interim administrative director of the courts. I learned very quickly that the important component of our court was the business order it is It is where complex litigation ensured that it was being brought to bearing cases that would go into other places. Delaware, Georgia, Tennessee was trying to get business. 27 months ago Judge Maguire took the position that had been vacated with Judge Lisa Bailey becoming a regularly Elected Superior court judge, and having spent some time on the court of appeals to help with the workload while there was an absence there.

And filling those large shoes with his background at Deakin Ogletree and his business acumen. He has done an incredible job craftsman and workman wise. keeping up the load, making sure that litigants felt as if they were getting the trial that not only they deserved, but they needed to complete and bring to provision the litigation have been brought to bear and it is with high regard though I do not personally go in, but I know this work now will be a permanent director and trying to ensure this support for the business court as they're now established. I ask/g and highly endorse judge Maguire/g to be confirmed among these nominations of the governor. >> >> Representative Steinberg Thank you Mr Chairman. [UNKNOWN] For bringing the endorsement. Thank you very much. Mr Maguire, I wonder as the previous candidate lay down previous his personal qualifications. Perhaps, he will be willing to share that with us as well. Why you feel that you are qualified for this job in your words. >> Thank you, yes I'm Greg Maguire as indicated I'm currently a special superior court judge. I'm assigned to the North Carolina business court for complex business cases and I sit here on the Raleigh office of that business court as most of you probably know. We also currently have judges who sit in Charlotte and Greensboro. Mike Robinson if confirmed will take a spot in Winston Salem, North Carolina where the Wakeforce law school has already a courtroom under construction and I know he's I know he's very excited about that. I guess one thing I wanna say before turning to the representative question is it has been probably a greater privilege and honor, than I could have anticipated it would be to serve the people of North Carolina in this job. I took my seat on October 13th of 2014 because of the new business court law that had been passed this year there was a gap when Judge Jolley retired. And I took a seat to make sure the business court of Raleigh continued to operate during the period until Judge Jolley's successor could be nominated. That is now me being nominated for his full term. in his seat. Prior to being appointed to the bench as indicated in the biographical material. I practiced for about 20 years with a firm with when I started had 32 lawyers and that seemed like about the right size for me and when I left hat 795 lawyers. So things change quite a bit over Over those years but I had a very fortunate opportunity with a group of terrific lawyers to practice law in complex cases. Cases of this nature and I think the highest level including trying jury trials all over the country and handling other types of administrative hearings in front of federal and state bodies I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the courts so far. One of the things I was tasked with in Rayleigh was to try to address something of a back logging cases in that court the average age is of the case and my docket when I took the bench was 700 days. So right at two years, the average age as of today according to my assistant of our cases is 445 days. So we have reduced the length of time it takes the litigants in our court to get a decision by some eight months seven to eight months in the short time I have been here the judges Other courts have done likewise in that time, I hope I have done and from the feedback at least I get from people in the bar, I think I have done a respectable job for the court. I think my decisions have been I hope just and correct ones. I'm trying my best to figure out what the just and correct answer is as any judge is and I look forward to have an opportunity to serve the state for a full term of five years. >> Yes, sir representative Hall >> Thank you Mr Chairman and I appreciate the information that was provided in the package for judge Mcguire. But unlike judge Robinson it does indicate any of the information regarding his public service otherwise or community service I had hope he would give us a little information about that. And some of the activities he has done in the community. Yes I'm Greg McGuire I have in all honesty I haven't done a lot of community activities I'm active in my neighborhood. I live out the carry where my wife is currently the president of

Home Owners Association I do a lot of work with that group and I've been fairly active in the local bar and was active in the state bar particularly I moved from Greensboro. When I was in our office in Greensboro I was on some committees in the North Carolina State bar. >> Any other question? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you >> Mr. Chairman the final nominee that would appreciate consideration from the committee for today is Casey Viser. Casey Viser is a native of North Carolina, he's a husband and father of three young children Mr. Viser graduated from Hampden Sidney college with a bachelor of arts in Economics Spanish Mr Vizer attended Campbell university school of law where he obtained his Juror doctorate in 2000, upon graduation he moved back home to Charlotte where he began his legal career as an associated James MacRoy and [INAUDIBLE] he became a partner in 2005. He was elected by the Mecklenberg county bar in 2013 and appointed by Governor Pat Mccory to fill the unexpired term of former chief judge Lisa. Mr [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] spent 13 years practicing several litigation and criminal law before joining the bench. [UNKNOWN] also serves a numerous roles around his community. I would respectfully ask for a consideration of his nomination. Are there any questions regarding this applicant? >> Derek Warner would you like to say a word or two? [LAUGH] >> I can no longer say it Participated. >> [LAUGH] >> But it is still a high honor and privilege to address this Judiciary Reforms Committee being chaired by representative [INAUDIBLE]. I actually know [UNKNOWN] he was just the district court judge same old bench while I was still in the business court bench. We had various social platforms in Charlotte mostly more of a campaign nature, and with the [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] nature of being special superior court judge. Because his position is different from the two that we mentioned for judge Maguire and Judge Robinson. His will be [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] pleasure of the Chief Justice through the commission given by assistant director David [INAUDIBLE]. It will take the intimate knowledge of how a court runs, how a district court runs, to take that to the superior court and be plugged in to any courthouse that he goes to. And I believe that Mr Vicer/g with his previous experience in places such as Charlotte, there was a community support that I saw when I was in Mecklenburg county will be able not only to proudly represent Mecklenburg county as the governor's nominee to this August body. But rather all of at least middle and Western North Carolina and I'm sure that we hope to see him down East where we're [INAUDIBLE] Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. >> Judge Riser/g, I think perhaps we should recognize you at this point. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is my honor and privilege to be here before you today. I thank you for the opportunity. I am honored and humbled by judge [LAUGH] I was gonna say [INAUDIBLE] do we still call you judge. [LAUGH] >> Call me [INAUDIBLE] when you get a pay check >> [LAUGH] Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it. I'm also honored to be here today with two very distinguished members of our bar as a practicing attorney and as a former Former district court judge it is really incredible to see a gentleman of their character, and experience, and ability, step up and be willing to take on the task of running our business court. Which is one of the greatest things I think about North Carolina, and we are heading in the direction where corporations want to resolve their disputes in North Carolina rather than go to Delaware. Our business court has been augmented in the last several years and we are fortunate to have fine jurists there that understand business cooperate litigation, and can address those issues. So it is my honor to be here in the same position as this gentlemen. I'm happy to answer any questions about my past service. I think as it, as you've been conveyed, as been conveyed to you, I practice law in Charlotte North Carolina for a little over 13 years.

I practice both criminal and civil litigation and 13 I did become a district court judge. I believe I was uniquely qualified at that time and still uniquely qualified to handle the job of a judge, a trial court judge, in the state of North Carolina with my experience with trying all sorts of cases around the state. Again I'm happy to address any specific questions that anyone has. >> Do the members have a question? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Yes [INAUDIBLE] I just wonder about the extent of your criminal experience, any cases, did you do felonies? [INAUDIBLE] I'm just wondering , a lot of times specials are assigned to big capital cases or cases of that nature. >> I have not tried a capital case, I have been involved in several homicide trials. I did extensive work with felony cases in both State and Federal court. For 13 years before handling district court cases. >> Thank you. >> Any one else? Representative Louis do you have a motion at this time? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I understand we've got to do three separate votes representative Hall >> Thank you Mr Chairman I just want to make a comment before we do vote on this nominees, and certainly all appear to be a great character and accomplishment. And that I just wanted to for those who were listening or maybe present and understand this process Because this are being appointed by the governor to be approved by us is important that we do take this seriously. I didn't mean to put anyone on the spot asking about their past, but at the same time acknowledging that this is the people's opportunity to join in acknowledging them before they take their seats or take this terms. So it is important that we look at them and examine them and give them that opportunity to be seen and heard and certainly I'll emphasize the importance of the decision they make affect not just the businesses for those going to the business courts, but also those decisions affect all North Carolinians in some way form or fashion. And that is why I feel it is important that we do take the time to ask them questions and better understand what their background past achievements have been. So thank you Mr Chairman. >> Representative Martin. >> Thank you Mr Chair all three of the appointees seem imminently qualified for the jobs to which they've been nominated I'll be pleased to spot all three their nominations. There are those that would argue that in an election year that we might insist on judicial nominations and "let the people decide". Well the people decided to elect governor McCrory and it's his job to nominate him whether it's an election year or not and it's our job to vote on him so I'm pleased that we're voting on him and I'll be pleased to vote for all three. >> Representative Burr. >> Mr Chairman I'm making a motion for favorable report [INAUDIBLE] house joint resolution 981 one minute of information on Mr Michael Robinson. >>You heard the motion. Any more discussion, if not, all in favor of the motion to confirm the resolution of Michael Robinson let it be known by saying aye. >> Aye! >> Opposed, no, and the ayes have it. >> Mr. Chairman. >> You're recognised >> I'd like to make a motion for a favorable quote for house joint resolution 977 for Confirmation resolution of Gregory McGuire as special Superior Court Judge. >> You've heard the motion, all in favor of the motion let it be known by saying aye. >> Aye! >> Opposed no and the ayes have it. >> Mr. Chairman >> Yes. >> If representative Arkwood permit me I would like to make a motion for a favorable quote for Judge Viser. >> We >> Certainly do? >> So moved? >> The motion is to confirm the appointment of Charles Viser as a special Superior court Judge. All in favor let me know by saying aye. >> Aye! >> Opposed no. The ayes have it, the meeting is adjourned. [NOISE] [NOISE]