Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr.

26th NC Supreme Court Chief Justice

Date Born: January 30, 1934

Date Died: Living

       
       
       
Place Born: Raleigh, NC

Place Buried: Living

 

Chief Justice 2001-2006
Associate Justice 1992, 1995-2001
 

Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. was born on January 30, 1934 in Raleigh, NC, the son of Isaac Beverly Lake and Gertrude L. (Bell) Lake. His education began in the Wake Forest public shools. He then attended Mars Hill College in 1951. He earned a B.S. degree in History and English from Wake Forst University in 1955, then earned a J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1960.

In the meantime, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Staff Officer from 1956 to 1958. From 1960 to 1968, he was on the Staff of U.S. Army Reserve School, with the rank of Captain.

Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. married Susan Deichmann Smith of New Bern; they have four children.

From 1969 to 1974, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. served as Assistant Attorney General for the state of North Carolina. From 1974 to 1976, he served as Deputy Attorney General.

From 1976 to 1985, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. had his own private law practice.

In the 1976 General Election, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. was first elected as one of three men to represent the 14th NC Senate District (Harnett, Lee, Wake counties) in the NC Senate of the:
- 132nd General Assembly that met from 1977 to 1978
- 133rd General Assembly that met from 1979 to 1980

In 1985, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. served as Legislative Liaison and Chief Lobbyist for Governor James Grubbs Martin.

In November of 1985, Governor James Grubbs Martin appointed Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. as a Judge on the NC Superior Court. He served on this court until 1991.

In 1987, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. furthered his education at the National Judicial College.

From 1989 to 1992, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. served as Staff Judge Advocate in the North Carolina National Guard, with the rank of Colonel.

In 1992, Governor James Grubbs Martin appointed Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. as an Associate Justice on the NC Supreme Court, replacing Associate Justice Harry Corpening Martin, who had reached the mandatory retirement age. Lake was not elected in the November 1992 General Election, losing out to Sarah E. Parker.

In the 1994 General Election, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. was elected as an Associate Justice on the NC Supreme Court, taking the former seat of Chief Justice James Gooden Exum, Jr., who retired, and who was replaced by Chief Justice Burley Bayard Mitchell, Jr. He was sworn in during January of 1985, and served until 2001.

In the 2000 General Election, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. was elected as Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, defeating Chief Justice Henry E. Frye, who had to leave the bench. He was sworn in during January of 2001, and he served until he reached the mandatory retirement age in 2006.

In 2008, Isaac Beverly Lake, Jr. joined the Shanahan Law Group, PLLC as Senior Counsel.


Early Years/Education:

Son of I. Beverly Lake, Sr. and ? Attended Wake Forest Grammar and High Schools; Mars Hill College 1951; BS in History and English from Wake Forest University 1955; JD Wake Forest University Law School 1960; National Judicial College 1987.

Professional Background:

Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court 2001-2006.

Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court - appointed in 1992, not elected. Then, elected in 1994 and began service in 1995.

Judge, NC Superior Court 1985-1991.

Governor's Legislative Liaison and Chief Lobbyist 1985.

Private practice 1976-1985.

Deputy Attorney General 1974-1976.

Assistant Attorney General 1969-1974.

Private practice 1960-1969.

Organizations:

Member, NC Bar Association; Wake County Bar Association; Association of Interstate Commerce Commission Practitioners; Mason; Shriner.

Boards & Commissions:

National Advisory Board, Monitor Research and Recovery Foundation 1975-1979; Board of Visitors, Wake Forest University School of Law 1995-?; Advisory Board, Occoneechee Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Military Service:

Intelligence Staff Officer, US Army 1956-1958; Member, Staff and Faculty, US Army Reserve School 1960-1968 (Captain); NC State Militia, State Staff Judge Advocate 1989-1992 (Colonel).

Honors & Awards:

Honorary Doctor of Laws, Campbell University; 1958 and 1964 Commendation for Meritorious Service, US Army; 1948 Eagle Scout.

Personal Information:

Married to Susan Deichmann Smith of New Bern. Four children.


I. Beverly Lake, Jr. (born 30 January 1934) is an American jurist and public official, who served as the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, he is the son of I. Beverly Lake Sr. and Gertrude Bell Lake. He was raised in Wake Forest, North Carolina and earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a youth. He received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award as an adult. Lake also served briefly in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958.

After he earned his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1960, he entered into several private practices. Between 1969 and 1976, Lake served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of North Carolina. After serving two terms in the North Carolina General Assembly as a Democratic State Senator, Lake switched parties in 1980. He then ran as the unsuccessful Republican nominee against incumbent Governor James B. Hunt.

After Republican James G. Martin was elected governor in 1984, Lake served briefly as Martin's legislative liaison before he was appointed to the State Superior Court in November 1985. Lake ran for the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1990 but lost to incumbent John Webb. Martin appointed Lake to the Supreme Court in 1992, but he was defeated for election that same year. Lake was elected to a regular term as an Associate Justice on the court in 1994, and was elected the court's Chief Justice in 2000, defeating incumbent Henry Frye. By North Carolina law, he had to step down in 2006, after his 72nd birthday. He was succeeded by then-Associate Justice Sarah Parker.


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