As an appellate attorney in the N.C. Department of Justice before my retirement in 2009, I had many opportunities to consider the competency of trial judges throughout the state based on appellate records and discussions with lawyers. I know both Judge Don Stephens and Judge Abe Jones, and Jones’s replacement, Bryan Collins.
Earlier when I was in private practice, I was one of the “good ol’ boys” who gladly worked in Stephens’ campaign when Art Zeidman ran against him (Dec. 5 letter). Zeidman’s sore loser complaint about Stephens’ “arrogance and mean spirit” is utterly unfounded and mean-spirited of itself.
Stephens has handled extremely difficult cases in Wake County with greater aplomb than most judges could have done. I have heard nothing but praise for his work and have seen nothing but excellence in his work.
North Carolina is fortunate to have a jurist like Stephens and a new judge like Collins.
William B. Crumpler