Mark Martin (judge)

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Mark Martin
Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
In office
September 1, 2014 – March 1, 2019
Appointed byPat McCrory
Preceded bySarah Parker
Succeeded byCheri Beasley
Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
In office
January 1, 1999 – September 1, 2014
Preceded byWillis Whichard
Succeeded byRobert N. Hunter, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1963-04-29) April 29, 1963 (age 55)
Brussels, Belgium
Political partyRepublican
EducationWestern Carolina University (BA)
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (JD)
University of Virginia (LLM)

Mark D. Martin (born April 29, 1963) was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2014 through 2019. He was appointed by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to become Chief Justice on September 1, 2014 upon the retirement of Sarah Parker. Martin was already running for the seat in the 2014 general election.[1]

With over twenty years of service in the North Carolina judiciary, Martin has experience on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the North Carolina Superior Court. At the time of his installation in 1999, he was the youngest Supreme Court Justice in North Carolina history. He was also the youngest person ever elected to the state Court of Appeals.[2]


Martin was born in Brussels, where his father, who served in the United States Air Force, was assigned to the U.S. Embassy.[3] Martin received his J.D. degree, with honors, at the University of North Carolina School of Law and received a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from Western Carolina University. He also has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degree in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia. During law school, Martin served as Editor-in-Chief of the North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation and was inducted into the Davis Society.


After graduating from law school, Martin served as a judicial law clerk to United States District Judge Clyde H. Hamilton. Following his clerkship, Martin practiced law at the McNair Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. He then served as Legal Counsel to James G. Martin, the Governor of North Carolina, until his appointment in 1992 as Resident Superior Court Judge in Pitt County, North Carolina. From 1994 to 1999, Martin served as a Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He began serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina in January 1999 and became the Senior Associate Justice in February 2006. He became re-elected to an eight-year term in November 2006.

In August 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced he would appoint Justice Martin as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. The appointment came as former Chief Justice Sarah Parker reached the state's mandatory retirement age of 72. Martin then won his bid for a full term as Chief Justice on November 4, 2014.

Martin has served on the adjunct faculty at Duke University School of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, and North Carolina Central University School of Law.

On January 25, 2019, Martin announced that he would retire from the North Carolina Supreme Court in February 2019.[4] Governor Roy Cooper appointed Associate Justice Cheri Beasley as Martin’s successor. Martin took on a new role as Dean of Law School at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with this role becoming effective on March 1, 2019.

Professional involvement[edit]

Martin has served on a number of entities within the American Bar Association (ABA), including the Advisory Commission to the World Justice Project, the Executive Committee of the Appellate Judges Conference, the Coalition for Justice, the Commission on State Court Funding, the John Marshall Award Review Committee, and The Judges’ Journal Editorial Board. He served as Chair of the ABA Judicial Division Program Committee in 2007-08. Martin has also been active within the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI), serving as both a member and Chair of the Program Planning Committee. He was elected chair of the ABA Judicial Division in 2013.[5]

Martin has assisted the North Carolina Bar Association in a number of ways, serving as Vice-President from 2000 to 2001 and participating as a member of the Litigation Section Council, the Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee, the Minorities in the Profession Committee, the Committee for the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Program, and the Multidisciplinary Practice Task Force.

Martin has served on various boards and commissions, including as Chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Future of the North Carolina Business Court, Secretary of the North Carolina Judicial Conference, and Co-Chair of the North Carolina Judicial Conference Legislative Liaison Committee. He also served as a member of the Legislation and Law Reform Committee of the North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges, the North Carolina Council for Women, the Board of Directors of the University of North Carolina Law Alumni Association and the Board of Visitors at Campbell University School of Law in downtown Raleigh, NC.


  1. ^ News & Observer: McCrory appoints Mark Martin chief justice of NC Supreme Court
  2. ^ NC Bar Association: Justice Mark Martin Addressing YLD Breakfast Archived 2008-10-23 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ Doran, Will (January 25, 2019). "NC Supreme Court may shift farther left as chief justice Mark Martin says he'll retire". The News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  5. ^ State Government Radio Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Willis Whichard
Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Sam J. Ervin IV
Preceded by
Sarah Parker
Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Cheri Beasley