Governor Cooper Appoints Jacqueline Grant as Superior Court Judge

Governor Roy Cooper has announced the appointment of Jacqueline Grant as Superior Court Judge in Judicial District 28 serving Buncombe County. Grant will fill the vacant seat created by the retirement of the Honorable Marvin Pope. Grant is a Partner at Roberts & Stevens, P.A. in Asheville. Previously, she served as the President of the North Carolina Bar Association and President of the Buncombe County Bar. Grant earned her Bachelor of Science at Western Carolina University and her Juris Doctor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

Free One-Hour CLE on Cryptocurrency

Join us on Friday, April 23rd, for a one-hour virtual CLE program that provides an overview of the characteristics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and how it can affect law firms representing clients who may own virtual currency.  Topics of discussion include: the characteristics of cryptocurrency, how cryptocurrency can be used for illegal and legal purposes, how cryptocurrency is traced through the blockchain, the methods used to story cryptocurrency, the implications of cryptocurrency in litigation, and action steps to take as legal counsel. Our presenter is Robert Norlander, retired IRS Criminal Invesigator. To learn more, or reserve your spot, click here.

Public Defender Recognizes Members of Committee on Indigent Appointments

From Sam Snead, Chief Public Defender: As the chair of the Buncombe County Committee on Indigent Appointments, I’d like to thank the new and existing members for agreeing to serve over the next two years. They are returning members Reid Gonella, Jason Gast and William Auman, and new members James Rice, Michael Casterline and Courtney Booth. Your wisdom and experience is invaluable and will preserve the strength of indigent defense in our county. I look forward to working with you over the next two years. Our local Indigent Appointment Plan was updated December 7, 2020 and is available here.

Nominations Invited for Buncombe County Bar Awards

The Executive Committee invites your nomination of members of the Buncombe County to receive the 2021 Centennial, Professionalism, Distinguished Young Lawyer and Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Awards are presented at our annual meeting, which this year is June 9, 2021. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, April 12, 2021.

The North Carolina Bar Association Centennial Award honors an individual member of each Judicial District for outstanding service which benefits our local community. Examples of such service include: elected and/or appointed service to local government; civic involvement on boards of community agencies; involvement in public service projects; and volunteer involvement with schools, churches, or other nonprofit organizations. The award is named in honor of the Bar Association’s Centennial (1899-1999).

The Buncombe County Bar Professionalism Award annually recognizes an individual member of our Bar whose consistently courteous, respectful, and professional conduct toward the Court, attorneys, clients, and other parties exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism.

The Distinguished Young Lawyer Award recognizes the contribution to the legal profession and society made by a member of the Buncombe County Bar. To qualify the person must be nominated by a member of the Buncombe County Bar, have been a member of the Bar for less than 10 years; be under 40 years old; and be someone whose contribution to the legal community and society exemplifies high achievement in the legal field along with a dedication to professionalism, ethics and community service.

The Buncombe County Bar Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes extraordinary excellence throughout the career of a member of the legal profession with connections to Buncombe County, as an officer of the legal system and as a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.  This award is given only when it is obviously apparent that an appropriate individual serves to embody of the very highest ideals of the legal profession.

Nominations should be submitted to Lisa-Gaye Hall, Bar Administrator, at Please supply a statement about your nominee and why you recommend them for the award, and your contact information. We welcome letters of support. Click here to see past award winners. Thank you for helping the Executive Committee to honor deserving members with these significant awards.

Talking With Pre-Law Studies Students

Mars Hill University has launched a new Pre-Law Studies program with a multidisciplinary liberal arts perspective.  The program is different from other local institutions in that it is administered by a member of the North Carolina Bar, Dr. Heather Hawn, and is focused on the first-generation college student who may want to pursue a career in the law but does not know how to get started and needs guidance in choosing their career path.  MHU has a 20% African American and 7% Latino student population, groups that are often underrepresented in the Bar.  The program kicked off with a talk with Ms. Yolanda Fair, Buncombe County Public Defender, who discussed her first-generation experience as a college and law student and her interest in a career of public service. Her experiences and guidance were very well received by students.  If you have an opportunity to help future jurists by offering an internship or allowing for a group to watch a court proceeding or, if you’d like to talk with Pre-Law students about your career path, please contact Dr. Hawn at