James G. Exum Jr.

Of Counsel

T (336) 378-5385
F (336) 378-5400
Overview

Jim Exum, after retiring as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in December 1994, returned to the firm as counsel on January 1, 1996.

In addition to supervising and assisting other lawyers with all aspects of appeals in state and federal courts, he personally participates in writing briefs and making oral arguments before appellate and trial courts on legal issues.  He works with other lawyers at the trial level in identifying and preserving legal questions likely to be determined on appeal.

Achievements
  • 2009 John McNeill Smith, Jr., Award from the North Carolina Bar Association Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Listed Appellate (2006-2011)
  • Selected by his peers as Greensboro Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Practice (2014)
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation (2007-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating *
  • Judge John J. Parker Award, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Alumni Achievement Award, NYU School of Law
  • Herbert Harley Award, The American Judicature Society
  • James Iredell Award, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Norman A. Wiggins School of Law, Campbell University
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • William Richardson Davie Award, Trustees, UNC-CH
  • Distinguished Service Award, General Alumni Association, UNC-CH
  • Frank Porter Graham Award, American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina
  • President, Phi Beta Kappa, UNC-CH
  • Morehead Scholar, UNC-CH
  • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, UNC-CH
  • Root-Tilden Scholar, New York University School of Law
  • Benjamin F. Butler Memorial Award, NYU School of Law

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Experience

Representative Work

  • While an Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Jim Exum wrote 402 opinions for the Court and 208 concurring or dissenting opinions.  As a lawyer, he has participated in over 40 appeals in state and federal appellate courts.

    Representative, recent appellate cases in which he participated in both the briefing and oral arguments are:
    • Analog Devices, Inc. v. Michalski, _____ N.C. App. _____, 579 S.E.2d 449 (2003)
    • Governors Club, Inc. v. Governors Club Ltd Partnership, et al, 152 N.C. App. 240, 567 S.E.2d 781 (2002), aff'd, 357 N.C. 46, 577 S.E.2d 620 (2003)
    • Martishius v. Carolco Studios, 355 N.C. 465, 562 S.E.2d 887 (2002)
    • Royal, et al. v. State, et al., 153 N.C. App. 495, 570 S.E.2d 738 (2002), review denied, 356 N.C. 677, 576 S.E.2d 111 (2003)
    • Guilford Financial Services v. City of Brevard, 356 N.C. 655, 576 S.E.2d 325 (2002)
    • Piedmont Triad Airport Authority v. Urbine, 354 N.C. 336, 554 S.E.2d 331 (2001)
    • Williamson v. Liptzin, 141 N.C. App. 1, 539 S.E.2d 313 (2000), review denied, 353 N.C. 456 (2001)
    • New Horizon of New York, LLC v. Jacobs, et al., 231 F.3d 143 (4th Cir. 2000)
    • State v. Israel, 353 N.C. 211, 539 S.E.2d 633 (2000)
    • Cato v. Crown Financial, 131 N.C. App. 154, 683, 508 S.E.2d 822 (1998, review denied, 350 N.C. 836, 536 S.E.2d 836 (1999)

Experience

  • Law Clerk, Senior Associate Justice Emery B. Denny, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1960-61
  • Attorney, Smith Moore Smith Schell & Hunter, Greensboro, NC, 1961-67
  • Member, North Carolina House of Representatives, 1967
  • Resident Superior Court Judge, Guilford County, 1967-74
  • Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1974-86
  • Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1986-94
  • Of Counsel, Smith Moore, 1996-present
  • Adjunct Faculty, Duke University School of Law, 1995-96
  • General Counsel, General Alumni Association, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998-2001

* Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future legal representation.

Thought Leadership

Published Works

  • "Appellate Advocacy", The Appellate Advocate (American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Issue 1, 2003)
  • "The Warren Court and State Constitutional Law," The Warren Court, Ed. Bernard Schwartz (Oxford University Press, 1996)(Chapter co-written with Professor Louis D. Bilionis, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill)
  • "Rediscovering State Constitutions," 70 N.C. L. Rev. 1741 (1992)
  • "Judicial Selection in North Carolina," North Carolina State Bar Quarterly, (Vol. 35, No. 3, Summer 1988)
  • "The Legal Profession:  How Do We See Ourselves?" North Carolina State Bar Quarterly, (Vol. 35, No. 2, Spring 1988)
  • "The Death Penalty in North Carolina," 8 Campbell Law Review 1 (1985)
  • "The Lawyer as Peacemaker," Barnotes, (North Carolina Bar Association, Vol. 34, No. 1, Feb-Mar 1983)
  • "The Perjurious Criminal Defendant:  A Solution to His Lawyer's Dilemma," Social Responsibility:  Journalism, Law, Medicine, Vol. VI (Washington and Lee University, 1980)
News

News

Community
  • Paul Green Foundation; Sustainable North Carolina; Fair Trial Initiative; Court Watch; Habitat for Humanity, 1995-98
  • Mason, 32°, K.C.C.H.
  • Greensboro City Club
  • Carolina Club
  • Sherwood Swim & Racquet Club
  • Neuse Sailing Association
  • Watauga Club
  • Conversation Club
Education
  • Senior Appellate Judge's Seminar, Institute of Judicial Administration, NYU School of Law, 1976
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B., 1957
  • New York University School of Law, LL.B., 1960
Admissions
  • United States Supreme Court, 2001
  • North Carolina, 1960
Affiliations
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • American Bar Association:  House of Delegates, 1993-96; Chairperson, ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, 1990-93
  • Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation: State Chair, 1995-2003
  • North Carolina Bar Association:  Member, Committee on Judicial Independence, 2003-present; Appellate Rules Study Committee, 1985-87; Vice-Chairman, Task Force on Alternatives to Litigation, 1983-85; Vice-President, 1979-80
  • International Society of Barristers
  • Guilford Inn of Court
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