FUNCTION OF COURT OF APPEALS
The Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court that reviews the proceedings that occurred in trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure. The court consist of 15 judges and hears cases in panels of three. It decides only questions of law, not questions of facts. For example, the COA determines if the judge in the lower trial courts applied the correct law, gave the correctly jury instructions, admitted or did not admit appropriate evidence according to the law. If there was an error the COA determines if it was prejudicial error or not. That means did it hurt the defendant or State to the point that a different outcome would have been had the 'thing" been done correctly. The majority of the cases appealed from the Superior and District courts in civil and criminal cases are heard by the Court of Appeals except capital murder cases (cases where the death penalty has been imposed) and they go directly to the NC Supreme Court for appeal. If there is one judge in the three judge panel that doesn't agree with the decision this is called a dissent. At that point, the challenger has a right of appeal from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. Judges that are elected serve 8 years before re-election. The Court of Appeals hears around 6,000 cases per year and the opinions are available online.
WHY LORA C. CUBBAGE
I believe as Maya Angelou stated- we have the responsibility of tomorrow in our hands today!! Today we have the responsibility to see to it that North Carolina is a state that all of its' citizens are proud to call home and in 2020 we will have the ability to take on that responsibility by voting. I am running as the 2nd highest African American female on North Carolina's ballot in 2020 asking voters to elect me to the 2nd highest Court in the State. Unequivocally, I am the right choice at the right time and I humbly and respectfully as for your VOTE for Lora C. Cubbage for Court of Appeals.
Competency, Fairness & Experience - I have that. I practiced in the courts as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I have practiced in the criminal and civil courts. Argued criminal and civil cases to the Court of appeals. I presided in all of the courts on the District Court and Superior Court levels. I practiced before the NC Industrial Commission on workers' compensation cases for six years. I helped establish and practiced in the drug and mental health courts. The Court of Appeals handles cases from the trial courts, thus it only makes sense that a judge that has practiced at both levels of the trial courts should also be present on the court of appeals. I handled cases in misdemeanor criminal, felony criminal, family civil, juvenile criminal and civil, civil litigation, and administrative law. There is no trial court case that I have not touched in my 13 years of practice. I have been elected to serve as Judge in two prior campaigns which is indicative of my fairness and competency on the bench. I have shown compassion and sternness in my rulings as a trial court judge. I understand the need to hold folks accountable while at the same time listening to understand the circumstances that each individual finds themselves in and rule with compassion and fairness. I have listened to the helpless victim, the innocent defendant, the homeless child, the unemployed parent, the offended business partner, the hurt and torn family member of the deceased and through it all I have remained a judge of great ethics and consistency. I will take these same qualities to the Court of Appeals.
Diversity and inclusion on the bench is imperative - We have a diverse array of culture and ethnic groups that represent 100 counties in North Carolina. We are truly a melting pot, and it is paramount that we include and represent every one in all branches of our government. I don't think someone should be elected due to their race, or party affiliation or gender but I do believe the doors of opportunity should be open to everyone that is qualified. Additionally if we have qualified diverse citizens then the landscape of our branches of government should reflect the same. We are in a unique time in our political history where we see a constant fight with whether to turn back the hands of time or to continue to move forward in progress. Some say we need to preserve the traditions and history. Well, frankly I don't disagree to some degree. However, we absolutely cannot repeat some of that history. See there was a time in our tradition and history where women were considered property and could not vote, African Americans considered slaves and could not vote, and never could either serve in the judicial branch. North Carolina has made tremendous strides forward from that time in history, and to continue that progress we need to ensure our judiciary represents and reflects the same diversity that we see in our State. That is the only way every citizens feels like their voice is heard and they are just as much a part of the intricate fabric of our make-up as the next citizen. North Carolina holds a very unique position in politics and a lot if it can be credited to the commitment to grow and develop our citizens, all of them. We must continue to promote diversity and inclusion, and the doors of opportunity need to continue to be open to all members of our state. We must continue to elect qualified candidates that believe in our State and US Constitution in that all people are created equal. We must elect the candidates that believe every voice is important and fairness to all is imperative. The Court of Appeals is a 15 member judiciary and each member should bear records that show they are competent, fair and unbiased. That the outcome of any case will be pursuant to the rule of law and not race, creed, religion or party affiliation.
Judges are involved in every facet of government - No matter what dispute you are involved in or hear about if not settled between the parties most if not all of them will land on the desk of a judge. With judges on all levels the world would be chaos. The Court of Appeals judges will make more than 80% of the case law that lawyers advise their clients about. You will always hear a lawyer argue in court in criminal and civil cases about what the appellate courts of the State have held in prior cases similar to the one they are handling. There is no getting around a judge and the decisions we make. Therefore, it is extremely important that you know who you are putting in the black robe. The choice will most certainly affect your life in one way or another. I am the right choice at the right time because I carefully consider my decisions and the fact that they will change the lives of many immediately. I understand that what I do today will very much affect tomorrow and years down the road. I understand that the decision I make has to balance the constitutional rights of a person with the public policy my decision will inevitably affect.
When we go to the polls in 2020, the decision to turn back the hands of time or continue to move forward will be in the hands of every voter. For the reasons I have stated above, I urge you the voter to help me continue to move this great state forward. Help me to continue to pave the way for other qualified candidates that reflects the same landscape of our State. Help me to continue to ensure that competence, fairness and experience are on the Court of Appeals bench. I respectfully and humbly ask you to join me in announcing that I am the right choice at the right time and Vote Cubbage to the Court of Appeals.