Cheri L. Beasley

Associate Justice - NC Supreme Court
Chief Justice - NC Supreme Court

Date Born: February 14, 1966

Date Died: Living

       
       
       
       
Place Born: Not known

Place Buried: Living

 

Associate Justice 2013 - 2019
Chief Justice - 2019 - ?
 

Cheri L. Beasley was born on February 14, 1966, the daughter of William James Beasley and Dr. Lou Beasley. She earned her B.A. degree in Policital Science and Economics from Rutgers University / Douglass College in 1988. She earned six credits at the Summer Program in Law at the University of Oxford in 1990. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1991.

Cheri L. Beasley married Curtis Owens; they have twin sons.

In 1993, Cheri L. Beasley served as a Volunteer Attorney in Fayetteville, NC.

From 1994 to 1999, Cheri L. Beasley served as Assistant Public Defender in the 12th Judicial District (Cumberland County). In 1995, she also served as a Business Law Instructor at Fayettevile Technical Community College.

In 1999, Governor James Baxter Hunt, Jr. appointed Cheri L. Beasley as a District Court Judge in the 12th Judicial District (Cumberland County). She was elected in her own right in 2002, and re-elected in 2006.

In the 2008 General Election, Cheri L. Beasley was elected as a Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, defeating the incumbent Judge Douglas McCullough.

On December 12, 2012, Governor Beverly Moore Perdue appointed Cheri L. Beasley as an Associate Justice on the NC Supreme Court, replacing Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who resigned on December 17, 2012. She was sworn in on January 3, 2013, and then elected in her own right in November of 2014 to an eight-year term.

On February 12, 2019, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Beasley to the position of Chief Justice following the retirement of Mark D. Martin, making her the first African-American woman ever to serve as Chief Justice of the Court. She took her seat as Chief Justice on March 1st.


Early Years

Born on February 14, 1966 to William James Beasley and Dr. Lou Beasley (both deceased).

Personal Information

Married to Curtis Owens; they have twin sons. Members of First Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Professional Background

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of North Carolina, 2012 – present
Associate Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 2009 – 2012
District Court Judge, Twelfth Judicial District, Cumberland County, 1999 – 2008
Assistant Public Defender, Twelfth Judicial District, Cumberland County, 1994 – 1999
Business Law Instructor, Fayetteville Technical Community College, 1995

Educational Background

The University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee, Juris Doctor, 1991
Moot Court Board
Frederick Douglas Moot Court Team
ABA Student Division
Student Bar Association
University of Oxford, Oxford, England, Summer 1990, earned six credits at the Summer Program in Law at Oxford sponsored by Florida State University School of Law
Rutgers University/Douglass College, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics with concentrations in Accounting and Finance, 1988

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, 1993 – present
Appellate Judges’ Conference, 2009 – present
Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary, 2011 – 2012
National Bar Association, 1994 – present
North Carolina Bar Association, 1993 – present
Appellate Rules Committee, 2013 – present
Appellate Rules Section, 2013 – present
Women in the Profession, 2012 – present
Litigation Council, 2009 – 2011
North Carolina Bar Association Foundation
Endowment Committee, 2011 – present
Henry Toll Fellow, Council on State Governments, 2012
North Carolina Association of District Court Judges, 1999 – 2008
Presenter, New Judges’ School for District Court Judges, “Judicial Philosophy” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government, 2006 – 2007
Cumberland County Bar Association, 1994 – present
Professional Standards Committee, 2006 – 2009
Young Lawyers of Cumberland County, 1994 – 2000
North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, 1994 – present
Board of Governors, 1996 – 1999
Bar Relations Committee Chairperson, 1998 – 1999
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, 1995 – present
North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1996 – 1999
Wake County Bar Association and Tenth Judicial District Bar, 2009 – present
Lecturer for Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy classes
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, 2009 – present
North Carolina Central University School of Law, 2009 – present
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, (NITA) Faculty, Advanced Trial Advocacy, 2005 – 2007
Fayetteville Bench & Bar, Founder and First President, 1994
Member, 1994 – present
Cumberland County Association of Defense Attorneys, 1994 – 1999
Capital City Lawyers Association, 1994 – 1996

Community Involvement

The Women’s Forum of North Carolina, 2007 – present
Board of Directors, 2010 – 2012
Junior League of Raleigh, 2013 - present
Junior League of Fayetteville (former director), 1998 – 2013
NETWORTH, 2007 – 2010
Fayetteville State University Community Advisory Council, 2006 – 2010
Cape Fear Regional Theater, Board of Directors, 2004 – 2009
Chair of Administrative Committee, 2005 – 2009
Women’s Center of Fayetteville, Board of Directors, 2005 – 2008
City of Fayetteville Zoning Commission, 1996 – 1997
Fayetteville Museum of Art Board of Trustees, 1998 – 2001
Assistant Girl Scout Leader, First Baptist Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina, 1997
Tutor, First Baptist Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina, 1999 – 2004

Awards & Honors

Women of Justice Public Official Award, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2013

Inductee, Rutgers University African-American Alumni Alliance Hall of Fame, 2013

Outstanding Achievement Award for Justice, Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials and Advocates, 2013

Henry Toll Fellow, Council on State Governments, 2012

Presidential Award of Distinction for Public Service, General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Inc., 2011

Cobra Award of Excellence, Whites Creek High School Class of 1984, 25th Anniversary Reunion, 2009

Woman of Achievement, General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina, 2009



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