Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NHC, Pender Judge Gorham to retire after 18 years on bench

Superior Court Judge Phyllis Gorham, serving New Hanover and Pender counties, will retire effective Jan. 1, 2024. (Port City Daily/Amy Passaretti Willis)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A longtime judge in the tri-county region is retiring.

Phyllis Gorham, senior resident superior court judge for the Fifth Judicial District, announced Thursday her retirement, effective Jan. 1, 2024, via letter to Gov. Roy Cooper.

Serving on the bench for more than 18 years, Gorham oversaw judicial matters in New Hanover and Pender counties. She served as district court judge from 2005 to 2007 before being appointed to superior court by former Gov. Michael Easley in 2007 and elected in 2008.

Prior to her role as judge, Gorham served as an assistant district attorney for New Hanover and Pender counties, an attorney for Legal Aid of North Carolina out of Durham, interim assistant police attorney for the Durham Polic Department and an associate attorney in private practice in Goldsboro.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of North Carolina,” Gorham wrote in her retirement letter to the governor, noting her more than 30 years of legal experience.

Originally from Fountain, North Carolina in Pitt County, Gorham was appointed to the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley in 2019 and appointed chair of the commission the following year, according to her bio on the NC Courts website.

Gorham is a graduate of the National Judicial College Jurisdiction Course, a recipient of the North Carolina Women of Achievement Award and graduate of the North Carolain Center for Women in Public Service Summer Institute.

“This has not been an easy decision to make, but I know that it is the right decision,” Gorham stated in her letter.

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