Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed a criminal defense lawyer and a district court judge to fill two seats on the Superior Court bench.
David Phillips will join the District 27A bench in Gaston County, where he’s had an eponymous criminal defense practice for more than 20 years. He will fill a vacant seat on the bench that opened with the retirement of Judge Robert Sumner.
Phillips said he believed that his service on the Gaston County Board of Education — he chaired the commission from 2006 to 2008 — influenced Cooper’s decision to appoint him as a Superior Court judge.
“I think that helped … that he realized one of my passions is education,” he said.
Phillips is winding down his law practice on the corner of Main and Marietta Street in downtown Gastonia as he anticipates being sworn in by end of June.
“I’m very excited to serve on the Cooper administration and excited to become a Superior Court judge,” he said. “I’ve been a trial lawyer for 28 years and this is going to be a great transition.”
Cooper also moved Carolyn Thompson up from district court to serve on the District 9 Superior Court, covering Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren Counties.
Prior to her appointment, Thompson served as a district court judge in the same district since 2009, presiding over civil, criminal, domestic, juvenile and mental health proceedings.
She will be filling the seat left by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood, who will retire at the end of April.
Thompson has also served as a mentor and volunteer for teen and truancy courts.
“These appointees bring important experience, dedication to the law, and a commitment to justice to their positions,” Gov. Cooper said. “I’m grateful for their service to the people of North Carolina.”