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Jim Exum featured in The Business Journal

Elon Law Distinguished Jurist in Residence Jim Exum was featured in The Business Journal's December 3 Triad issue. The article notes that 2010 marks Exum's 50th year in the legal profession, including 20 years serving as a justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Jim Exum

Exum, who served as chief justice of the state's highest court from 1986 to 1994, is a charter member of Elon’s Law School Advisory Board. He became Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the law school in October of 2006.

“While a member of the [N.C. Supreme] court, Exum wrote more than 400 opinions, including influential decisions in worker’s compensation cases dealing with textile mill employees,” The Business Journal article states. “Exum pushed for the development of alternative dispute resolution practices that has seen more cases resolved before trial, and he’s been an advocate for reforming judicial elections in North Carolina.”

In a question and answer section of the article, Exum notes that he applied both to law school and to seminary after graduating from the University of North Carolina, choosing law school because he felt led to do so. He also describes his entrance into the North Carolina legislature in 1967 and his entrance into the judicial branch, serving as Superior Court judge in Guilford County at the request of Governor Dan Moore.

Exum also comments on changes in the legal profession through the article.

“We’ve seen the flowering of the pre-trial discovery rules, the idea that the time a case gets to court there should be no secrets from one side or the other,” Exum says. “What that has helped to do is not only narrow the issues that will be for trial, but it has helped the lawyers assess the relative strength of their cases. It has led to a lot more pre-trial settlements now. Today, arbitration and particularly mediation play a large role in our cases. Anytime you can reduce the number of trials, you automatically reduce the number of appeals, because you don’t appeal from a mediation.”

Exum, with his current motorcycle of choice, the BMW R1200 RT, in Wyoming, August 2010.

The article concludes noting that Exum is an avid motorcyclist.

“My favorite motorcycle is always the one I have right now,” Exum says. “This one now is a BMW R1200 RT.”

Exum leads the Appellate Practice Group of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, writing briefs and making oral arguments before appellate and trial courts, assisting other lawyers with appeals in state and federal courts,  and identifying legal questions likely to be determined on appeal.

Click here for additional information about Exum, including links to news articles reporting on his recent appointments to co-chair the Judicial Independence Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association and to serve on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina State Bar Plan for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (NC IOLTA).

Click here for a report on Elon Law's announcement of the creation of the Billings, Exum, & Frye National Moot Court Competition.

Philip Craft,
2/22/2011 4:48 PM