Judges Eagles and Stephens vie for the N.C. Court of AppealsBy Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Contributor / November 4, 2016
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Two veteran jurists are vying for the N.C. Court of Appeals, promising to vigorously, but fairly, uphold the law if elected.
Wake County District Court Judge Margaret Eagles has presided over civil, criminal and family court cases, in addition to serving as one of two judges in the Abuse, Neglect and Dependence Courtroom. She is also the lead Domestic Violence judge in Wake County.
The daughter of former N.C. Appellate Court Chief Judge Sidney Eagles, Margaret Eagles, an alumna of Needham Broughton High School, Wake Forest University and Campbell University School of Law, didn’t intend originally to study law. “I enjoyed doing volunteer work and helping those who were less fortunate. Then, after working as a loan officer at the State Employee’s Credit Union, I knew that the best way I could continue to serve the hard working people of North Carolina was through the practice of law.”Eagles started her legal career as a judicial clerk for Justice George Wainwright on the N.C. Supreme Court, working on appeals in criminal and civil cases. As an Assistant Attorney General, she represented the state in environmental enforcement litigation and in criminal appeals in the N.C. Court of Appeals. In private practice, Eagles was a civil litigator, handling numerous jury trials in District and Superior Courts.
Among the many judges Judge Eagles admires most are former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson “for her consistent judgment and consummate professionalism,” former Judge Martha Geer, and of course, her dad former Chief Judge Sidney Eagles, “…not only because he is my father and I love him, but because I respect his work on the Court, his true belief in the system and the grace and courtesy he shows to everyone he encounters.”
Judge Margaret Eagles takes pride in the work she’s done.
“I worked alongside the Administrative Office of the Courts and multiple stakeholders to implement remote electronic filing of complaints for emergency domestic violence protective orders from Interact, our local rape crisis and domestic violence agency. I am the co-chair of the Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force and a member of the Wake County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.”
“I am dedicated to the rule of law,” Judge Eagles says, “am steadfast in my respect to the public trust and committed to impartiality for all who appear before me as a district court judge, and would continue to do so if elected to the N.C. Court of Appeals. If elected, I would continue to treat all parties in the same manner, regardless of who they are or who represents them.”Judge Linda Stephens is running for re-election to N.C. Court of Appeals. The first in her family to graduate high school, she is an alumna from the University of South Carolina, and earned her law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.
“I see the law as a great equalizer in society,” Judge Stephens says. “The law should treat everyone equally and never discriminate based on some portion of one’s identity. In practical life, we all know that there is implicit bias in the law and the way it is applied, but I have always aimed higher than that. I have always worked toward fairness and equality, as promised by our Constitution.”
In her long career, Judge Stephens was named one of the top 50 female attorneys in North Carolina by Super Lawyers Magazine, and listed among the Best Lawyers in America during the last eleven years she was in private practice. She has won numerous awards for her hard work ethic, and has served on the state appellate court for more than ten years.
“First, I believe in adhering to my oath of office,” she says, “in other words: to uphold the Constitutions of my country and my state; to uphold the laws of my state when they are consistent with the Constitutions; to follow the law in every case to reach the result the law requires even when that result is different from my personal beliefs. My record indicates I have faithfully adhered to that oath. Second, over the past 10 years, I have worked collaboratively and cohesively with my colleagues who are from a different political party. Political ideology has never affected my interest in or ability to work with another colleague on the Court of Appeals,” Judge Stephens says.
Early voting ends Saturday, November 5 and the General Election takes place Tuesday, November 8.