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Dear Friends and Colleagues of the District 18 and 18-H Bars:

I am seeking the Governor's appointment to the vacancy of Judge Cubbage’s District Court seat.  I am writing to ask that you attend the Judicial Nominee Special Joint Meeting on November 27th at 3:00 in the Commissioner’s Conference Room of the old courthouse and vote for me.

I joined the military when I was 17.  I became a lawyer 24 years ago when I was 31.  Now, at 55, I am moving into the “third act” of my life.  I find myself worrying less about what I am going to do for a living and more about what I am going to DO WITH my remaining life.  At this point, what I want most is to contribute to making people’s lives better. I want to use my experience and legal knowledge to serve the community that has been so good to me. There are lots of ways to do that (almost as many as there are members of the GBA). But I truly believe that, for me, being a judge is the best way.

My cases and clients have taken me mostly to Superior Court (and the appellate courts), so I would have loved to be a judge there.  But I’ve always loved the chance to get into any court on any issue.  And when it comes to affecting people’s lives, no court surpasses the District Court.  A year in jail is a major sentence when you’re the one facing it.  A $25,000 claim is astronomical when you make $15,000 a year.  And there is nothing “small” about when—or if—you’ll ever be able to see your kids again.  True, the jurisdictional limits may be higher in Superior Court.  But the reality is that District Court likely has more of an overall effect on the community because it is the court that affects most people most often.  So that is why I want to be a District Court Judge.

So, let me tell you why I am best qualified…

I graduated from Tulane Law School, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, in 1994.  While there, I was Senior Managing Editor of the Law Review, Research and Writing Senior Fellow, and a member of the Tulane Environmental Law Review. 

During my time in the Marine Corps, I prosecuted and defended all levels of crime in hundreds of cases, served as Senior Trial Counsel and Chief Defense Counsel, ran several legal shops, supervised and mentored scores of junior attorneys, and oversaw all legal operations in Al Anbar Province in Iraq.  In the Marine Corps, I also often performed several quasi-judicial functions (somewhat akin to an administrative law judge) such as being an “Article 32” investigating officer or a Summary Court Martial Officer (i.e., the judge in low level criminal trials).  One of my proudest accomplishments was how often both sides mutually requested that I be appointed.  On several cases, my appointment was actually a condition to the plea deal because both sides trusted they’d get a fair hearing with a fair result.

I absolutely love the law, and love what we get to do.  I’ve constantly sought to expand my knowledge of the law.  Since retiring from the Corps in 2008, I have practiced mostly civil litigation in Superior and Federal District Court.  I also have had a very healthy appellate practice at the NC Court of Appeals, NC Supreme Court, and US Fourth Circuit.  In 2016, I became one of fewer than 40 Board Certified Appellate Practice Specialists in the State.  I went for specialization largely because I thought it would be fun to take the challenge.  (It was!)  That same year, I also took (and passed) the SC bar largely for fun.  (I really need to find a new hobby.)  Of all the legal specializations, Appellate Practice is probably the most useful background for a judge.  Appellate practice requires you to read thousands of cases on virtually all aspects of the law.  The focus is always on the law and what the attorneys or the judge got right or wrong.  Appellate practice shows you where the minefields are and gives you the map to get through them.

I don’t just want to be a judge, I want to be a good judge.  Frankly, I want to be a great judge.  I want to be the kind of judge that makes every litigant feel that—win or lose—they were heard.  I want to be the kind of judge that attorneys look forward to appearing before—the kind of judge I enjoy practicing in front of.    I’ve been fortunate to appear before several of those types of judges right here in Guilford County.  They’re the judges I would try to emulate.  If given the opportunity to serve as one of your judges, I would:

  • Bring a broad knowledge, and love, of the law;
  • Be grateful for the chance to hear your case;
  • Be on time and make myself available outside courtroom hours;
  • Allow you to try your case;
  • Not be offended by attorneys making the record for appeal;
  • Do the work to get things right—and be willing to correct things when I get them wrong;
  • Not be afraid or hesitant to make tough decisions;
  • Use my knowledge of appeals to keep cases “between the lines” (e.g., by not exceeding my discretion or making sure that orders contain correct findings, etc.);
  • Be prompt in getting written orders out;
  • Be fair and courteous to all parties; and
  • Never take myself too seriously.

Mostly, though, as a judge, I would just try to treat everyone in court the way I’d want to be treated.  I very much hope to have that opportunity. 

More information about me and why I want to be a judge is available at  (Frankly, more than even my mother would want to know.)  I would also be grateful to speak directly with you at any time.

Thanks.  Have a great Thanksgiving, and I hope to have your support on November 27th!


Paid for by Committee to Elect Gavin Reardon
P.O. Box 38278
Greensboro, NC 27438
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