Monday, November 11, 2013

Distinguished Alumnus: District Court Judge W. David McFayden III

Distinguished Alumni of the Appalachian School of Law:

District Court Judge 
W. David McFayden III

W. David (Dave) McFayden III provides another example of the quick rise to leadership, power, and responsibility many of the alumni of the Appalachian School of Law experience.  A 2005 graduate of the law school, in 2012, Dave ran against an incumbent judge to win the position of District Court Judge in the North Carolina 3B Judicial District.  He serves the people of Craven, Caeteret, and Pamlico counties.

North Carolina District Court Judges serve for four years and must reside in the district in which they are elected.   The District Court Judge hears both civil and criminal cases, most typically cases involving amounts in controversy of $10,000 or less. The District Court also hears domestic relations cases involving alimony, child support, child custody, divorce, and equitable distribution. Juvenile matters also fall within the jurisdiction of these busy courts. In criminal cases, District Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases and most traffic offenses.

Judge McFayden grew up in New Bern, North Carolina, a picturesque and progressive community situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers that Baron Christopher de Graffenried of Bern, Switzerland, founded in 1710.   New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina and the first state capital. Judge McFayden also has deep family roots in Pamlico County, an area with miles of waterfront property on the Pamlico Sound, not far from the Cape Hateras lighthouse, which stands at the mouth of  that sound.

At the New Bern High School, Judge McFayden played varsity soccer and ran track.  He attended East Carolina University and later graduated from North Carolina State University. After college, he took a job with the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services, working in the Office of Citizen Services. He helped North Carolinians gain information about critical services. Later, he joined the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and assisted SBI agents with criminal investigations. 

Feeling the call to public service, he enrolled in the Appalachian School of Law to fulfill a lifelong aspiration to become an attorney. 

After graduating from law school, he joined the Kellum Law Firm in New Bern, focusing his practice on civil law and litigation. In late 2006, Dave and his father, retired 3-B District Attorney W. David McFadyen, Jr., opened the McFadyen Law Firm – which later added a partner and became Valentine and McFadyen, P.C. H e practiced there until elected to the bench. He concentrated in the areas of criminal, juvenile, and civil law.   In his bio, he states that he took "great pride in his work with juvenile and indigent clients, and work[ed] diligently to ensure they, like the rest of the clients he serve[d], receive[d] quality representation."

Judge McFayden is or has been a members of several professional organizations, including:
  • Craven/Pamlico County Chapter of the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Member and Former President
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • United States District Court, Eastern District, North Carolina
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • Craven County Bar Association
  • 3-B Judicial Bar Association
His hobbies include listening to music, boating, reading, watching college sports, and biking.  He spends as much time as possible with is family, which includes his wife, Erica, and his son, Mac, and  labrador retriever, Scout (named after a character in To Kill A Mockingbird).

Consistent with ASL's emphasis on community service, Judge McFayden has volunteered his time to a number of community service projects. He coached and refereed youth sports, served on the Citizens for Sidewalks Committee, and actively supports his church, the Garber United Methodist Church. He also participated in the historical reenactment of Bayard v. Singleton for New Bern’s 300th celebration in 2010.

His bio notes: "I come from a family long known for service in a variety of ways to Craven, Carteret, and Pamlico counties. I want to continue that service from the District Court bench, and will do so in a way that is patient and respectful towards those who appear before me. I have a passion for the law that I want to share with the public, and will do so with enthusiasm and dedication. I understand that the first priority of a judge is to serve and do the will of the people who elect him. I will do this to the best of my ability."

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