In 1966, the first district courts, a part of the new unified General Court of Justice, opened in six districts and 23 counties in North Carolina. Unifying the court system and the creation of the district court was a unique challenge, one accomplished only after years of debate and discussion had by the Bell Commission and other business and legal leaders of our State.
On May 24, 2016, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the district courts in North Carolina. I encourage each of you to join us at the Buncombe County Courthouse as we hear from various members of our Bar and the community who will provide valuable insight into the historical transition, and the importance of our current system of courts.
Many reasons were given for the formation of the district court and unified court system, including the desire for a statewide system of fees, jurisdictional requirements and procedure. Highlighted among the reasons for this shift was the need and ability for the courts to adapt and change as the needs of the people and the court itself evolved. This journey and evolution of our court system continues today and we all play an integral part in the transformation.
As officers of the court, it is incumbent upon us to strive each day to improve the efficiency and functionality of our court system. Your input and service to the courts is a necessary component of practicing law. Your contributions through service on committees, holding positions with our local or State Bar, or involvement in local and state government reflects a commitment to bettering the system.
Holding a celebration marking such a seismic shift in our court system in the spring seems appropriate as we transition from the depths of winter into a new year filled with hope and promise. Change is inevitable, and often necessary. The celebration is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the value of having a unified court system designed to provide efficient and consistent court access to North Carolinians and others, and to look to the future for ways to make it better.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of our district courts, we should all reflect on our ever changing lives and practices, and recognize we are all, like our courts, in a constant state of evolution.