More legal support for the state’s poor. That was a point made by North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin in Wilmington on Friday. He was addressing the North Carolina Bar Association’s annual meeting.
Chief Justice Martin used his pulpit at the Wilmington Convention Center Friday morning to highlight the legal needs of the disadvantaged -- those across the state in serious need of legal help, but who can’t afford it.
He praised the growing number of North Carolina attorneys who are now doing pro bono work, and encouraged more lawyers to do the same.
“We will connect you with needs. People that have dire legal needs arising and very distressing domestic violence situations. Situations involving such fundamental issues as child support and child custody. We must be there when these fundamental issues arise. We the lawyers in North Carolina, we are a noble profession. My friends and we can meet this need and close this access to justice gap.”
He also had nice words for the country’s legal system as a whole.
“But what really separates our legal system from others? It's adherence to the rule of law and respect for the roles of judges and lawyers in our adversarial system. It's our tradition of respect for the constitution and also a deep and abiding respect for fairness, for impartiality and for the independence of our courts.”
Former Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Justice Martin as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court four years ago. Martin then won his bid for a full eight-year term as Chief Justice in November of 2014.