RALEIGH — Chief Justice Paul Newby, Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., and Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer were formally installed at the Supreme Court of North Carolina on January 6. The swearing-in ceremony was virtual due to COVID-19 precautions. Guests, media, and the public attended the ceremony virtually via live stream.
Chief Justice Paul Newby became the 30th Chief Justice, and Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr., and Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer became the 100th and 101st associate justices, respectively. They were joined by the additional members of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
“I am truly honored and humbled to serve the people of North Carolina in this role,” said Chief Justice Paul Newby. “I trust that through God’s grace and with the support of our judicial officials and personnel, I will fulfill the significant constitutional responsibility that has been entrusted to me.”
Before taking his oath of office, Chief Justice Newby held the senior associate justice position on the Supreme Court, having first been elected in 2004. In addition to his service on the Court, Chief Justice Newby is an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law, co-author of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2d ed. 2013), co-chair of the Chief Justice’s civic education initiative and Judicial Branch Speakers Bureau, and chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. His prior professional experience includes five years of private practice and working as an assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh where he served for over 19 years.
Chief Justice Newby is originally from Randolph County, has been married to his wife, Macon Tucker Newby, since 1983, and they have four children.
Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr. joins the Supreme Court of North Carolina today after serving as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals since 2017. From 2015-2016, he served as an administrative law judge with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. Before that, he served as president of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys and was the elected district attorney in the 17A Prosecutorial District. While serving as district attorney, he was the chair of Project SAFE Rockingham County. A collaboration with the United States Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement, Project SAFE implemented the “focused-deterrence” model for reducing violent crime among recidivists and gang members.
Justice Berger began his legal career in private practice in 1999. From 2001 through 2006, he joined his father and brother, forming The Berger Law Firm. He is married to Jodie Berger and has two children, Philip III and Will.
Associate Justice Tamara Patterson Barringer joins the Supreme Court today having served as a North Carolina Senator from 2012-2018. She represented District 17 in Southern Wake County. She teaches Law and Ethics at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has served on the faculty for 15 years. She also serves as the director and lead faculty for the Master of Accounting Mentorship Program, and taught as an adjunct professor of business law at North Carolina State University. She later designed and taught the first business law paralegal program curriculum at Meredith College.
Justice Barringer began her legal career in private practice in 1985 with Poyner and Spruill, then founded Barringer Sasser, LLP, in 1988. As Managing Partner, she gained over 20 years of experience representing entrepreneurs and small business clients in business and tax law, estate planning, and estate administration matters. She is married to Brent Barringer and has three adopted children.