Judge Wanda Bryant has served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals since 2001. She brings her 22 years of exemplary experience and public service in the legal profession and community to the State’s second-highest court. Native to North Carolina, Bryant is oft-lauded for her richness in integrity, her strong work ethic and her common sense approach to work and life learned in her close-knit community in Brunswick County.
A message to North Carolinians from Judge Wanda Bryant:
My judicial philosophy is very simple – I am committed to the fair and proper interpretation of the law and to the fair and equal application of our laws to all people. Based on
my background in public service, my judicial expertise, and the range of issues addressed in my well-reasoned opinions, I am uniquely qualified to continue my work on the Court of Appeals.
Prior to my appointment to the Court by Governor Easley in 2001, I served as Senior Deputy Attorney General over the newly created Citizens Rights Division in the North Carolina Department of Justice. My division provided legal intervention as well as technical assistance to citizens involving issues of child abuse, elder abuse, victims’ rights, hate crimes, public records & open meetings, and consumer protection issues, including predatory lending legislation and initiatives. We also provided direct community policing training and assistance to law enforcement officers, community organizations and individual citizens through our Safe Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI).
Earlier in my career I served first as a state and then as a federal prosecutor. I tried approximately 200 cases to a jury, while investigating and prosecuting more than a thousand others. As an Assistant District Attorney for Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen Counties, I was a prosecutor in State v. Smith, a significant case cited extensively in child abuse cases involving hearsay testimony. Later, as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia where I specialized in the prosecution of child and adult sexual assault cases, I conducted the first DNA admissibility hearing, a 30-day hearing that resulted in the general acceptance of DNA evidence in the District of Columbia (US v. Kevin Porter).
Throughout my legal career I have served in many organizations and on many boards and commissions. I serve on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, Inc, (NCCPPRI) the North Carolina Center for Voter Education (NCCVE) and the Martin Street Human Services Community Development Corporation. I also currently serve as Vice Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Law School Liaison Committee and the North Carolina Bar Association Administration of Justice Task Force (see my Resume for more.) Recently (2001-2003) I served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wake County Bar Association and on the Judicial Resolutions Committee of the North Carolina Judicial Conference. (see my Biographyon the Court of Appeals Web site for more.)
As an Appeals Court judge, I have written nearly 400 opinions on issues that touch the lives of most North Carolinians, ranging from individual liberties and personal injury to property rights and quality of life such as environmental issues. I am proud of my service as a judge, and embrace it as a culmination of my upbringing and my life’s work. Early on I had a desire to become a lawyer, not just for personal gain or benefit, but to serve in a broader capacity. My experiences as a young child fueled that desire, as one of the first African American students to integrate the public school system in Brunswick County, and as the child of parents who taught that much of what we do is not about us as individuals, but involves a greater need, a greater purpose. Serving on the Court of Appeals is the highlight of a life spent in dedication to public service, to a greater purpose. Serving on the Court of Appeals feeds my intellectual curiosity and my passion for the rule of law. To continue to do the job I am impassioned to do, I need your vote in November, and your support for another term of service on the N.C. Court of Appeals.