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Justice Robert H. Edmunds Jr., J.D., LL.M. (Ret.)
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of North CarolinaSenior Lecturing Fellow

Justice Robert H. Edmunds Jr. (Ret.), J.D., LL.M.


Robert Edmunds Jr., served two terms as an associate justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and later earned his Master of Law in Judicial Process degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Justice Edmunds served in the United States Navy as a line officer and began practice in 1978 as an assistant district attorney in Guilford County, North Carolina. He was then hired as an assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, and in 1986 he was appointed United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina by President Ronald Reagan.

Edmunds entered private practice in 1993 with the Greensboro firm of Stern & Klepfer, and later was named as a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in State and Criminal Law in 1993 and as a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice in 1994.

In 1998, Edmunds successfully ran for a seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Two years later, he was elected to the Supreme Court of North Carolina and re-elected in 2008.

In 2004, United States Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Edmunds to be the only state judicial official on the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules to the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 2010, Chief Justice Roberts appointed him to a second term on that committee.

Edmunds was a member of and later chair of the Judges’ Advisory Committee to the American Bar Association’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee. He served as member of the editorial board and later as co-editor of the American Bar Association’s Judges’ Journal. He was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Judges Conference. He was named vice-president of the North Carolina Bar Association. In 2015, he was program chair of the Appellate Judges Education Institute’s annual presentation.

In 2017, Edmunds left the bench and began practice with Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, a Greensboro firm that later merged with Fox Rothschild, LLP, a national firm. He chaired the Appellate Rules Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association and is Chair of the Board of the Appellate Judges Education Institute.