Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced the latest in a series of judicial appointments on Monday, naming Winston-Salem lawyer Richard Dietz to an upcoming vacancy on the N.C. Court of Appeals.
Dietz will take the place of current Appeals Court Judge Bob Hunter, who has been appointed to fill the N.C. Supreme Court seat of Justice Mark Martin, who in turn was tapped by McCrory to take the place of retiring Chief Justice Sarah Parker.
Dietz will join the Appeals Court after Hunter moves to the Supreme Court on Sept. 6.
“Richard Dietz has an esteemed legal record and an extensive background in appellate practice,” McCrory said. “His experience, service on the North Carolina Courts Commission and involvement in his community will make him a valuable addition to the Court of Appeals.”
Dietz is a partner in the Winston-Salem office of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and a member of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court team. He is vice chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the N.C. Bar Association and is a member of the Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee.
Earlier this year, McCrory appointed Dietz to the N.C. Courts Commission, which studies the state’s courts system and recommends improvements.
Dietz graduated first in his class from Wake Forest University School of Law. He was a law clerk for Judge Samuel Wilson on the U.S. District Court in Virginia and Judge Emory Widener on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He then worked as a research fellow in comparative and international law at Kyushu University in Japan before returning to the U.S. to begin his career as an appellate attorney.
The appointment of Dietz continues a busy month of judicial appointments for the McCrory administration, which includes the naming of Lisa Bell to take the place of retired Court of Appeals Judge John Martin.
Established in 1967, the Court of Appeals is North Carolina’s intermediate appellate court, with its 15 judges hearing cases in panels of three.