RALEIGH, N.C.—Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell has served Womble Carlyle and its clients for the past 17 years—and he has spent a lifetime serving his state and his nation.

On Dec. 19th, Womble Carlyle attorneys and staff said thank you to Justice Mitchell, who will retire from the firm at the end of 2016. The firm held a small retirement party (kept modest at Justice Mitchell’s request).


Raleigh office Managing Partner Johnny Loper said, “Burley’s record of public service makes for compelling reading and provides inspiration for each of us to do more than he or she currently is doing, even though none of us is ever likely to approach – much less match – Burley’s legacy. It likewise would be hard to overestimate the contributions he has made to victories achieved for our clients and to the all-around better lawyering of those of us who over the years regularly sought his advice and the benefits of his experience and insight.”

Justice Mitchell served as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1995 to 1999 and after joining the state’s highest court in 1982 as an Associate Justice. In all, he authored 484 appellate decisions for the Supreme Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals.

His dedication to public service began as a teenager, as he served four years in the U.S. Navy before attending college and law school. He subsequently served as an assistant attorney general, district attorney, judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and Secretary of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety before being appointed to the state’s Supreme Court in 1982.

Justice Mitchell will remain a Partner Emeritus at Womble Carlyle in his retirement.