Judge Carolyn Thompson was appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals by Gov. Roy Cooper on Sept. 11 to replace Judge Allison Riggs, who was appointed to the N.C. Supreme Court.
Thompson previously ran for the Court of Appeals in 2022 for Seat 8, but lost the race to Judge Julee Flood. However, Thompson said she remained interested in the position.
On Sept. 9, Thompson said she received a call offering her the appointment, and she began work on Sept. 12. Thompson said she also plans to run for re-election in 2024.
“I'm grateful to the governor for considering me for the position because he's familiar with my work ethic, having appointed me before and my tenacity about making sure I put all 100 percent interest in keeping the seat in a campaign,” she said.
Most recently, Thompson worked as a deputy commissioner in the N.C. Industrial Commission, which she was appointed to by Cooper after the 2022 election.
Prior to her work on the commission, she worked for nine years as a judge in District 9 on both the district and superior court divisions. She has also had experience as a trial attorney.
J. Henry Banks, a former District 9 judge, served at the same time as Thompson, and said she will bring diversity and a human element to the court because of her experience at the front lines of the judicial system.
“I think it'll be improved with this idea of having more lawyers or former judges on the bench who’ve actually tried cases and get the dynamic of a trial,” he said. “I think she'll bring that perspective to it, ‘Oh, I have done this, and therefore I know so many nuances.' So she'll bring that idea of experience on the trial level to the court which will be a breath of fresh air, quite frankly.”
In her time as a judge in the District 9, Thompson worked on a wide variety of cases but developed a passion for domestic abuse and juvenile cases, Banks said.