RALEIGH — The day after former Wake County District Court Judge Kristin Ruth pleaded guilty to failing to discharge the duties of her office, the governor appointed a longtime Raleigh lawyer to fill her seat on the bench.
Louis B. Meyer III, 54, the son of a former N.C. Supreme Court associate justice, has practiced law in Wake County for 27 years. In recent years, most of his legal work has been civil litigation at the Superior Court level, he said, with an emphasis on employment law.
Meyer said most of his experience at the District Court level came early in his career, though he has had recent experience there doing occasional pro bono and public service work on landlord-tenant and domestic violence cases.
In District Court, judges preside over a high volume of cases each day.
“It will certainly be a challenge initially to make all those decisions,” Meyer said.
Gov. Bev Perdue said in a statement that Meyer, a certified mediator and past president of the Tenth Judicial District Bar and the Wake County Bar Association, had distinguished himself among his peers.
“His strong intellect, wealth of experience as an attorney, and love of the law will serve him well as a District Court judge,” Perdue said.
Meyer, who received his undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest University, said he planned to seek election in 2014.
Though he applauded Ruth for the work she did in child-support court, he agreed with Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens that she had failed to uphold her role as a gatekeeper for the judicial system when she signed orders she had not read.
Meyer, a partner at Poyner Spruill law firm in Raleigh, said Tuesday he was not certain when he would take his seat on the District Court bench, but thought it would be in late August or early September.
Meyer’s father, also Louis B. Meyer, was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1981 by Jim Hunt, the governor at the time. The senior Meyer served until 1994, when he lost his bid for re-election. He died in 1999.