Bolch Judicial Institute
Bolch Judicial Institute
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North Carolina Thought Leadership Association


The North Carolina Bench-Bar Thought-Leadership Association (“Association”) is a partnership of state thought-leaders comprised of judges, practitioners, experts, and academic leaders who are committed to making a difference in the legal profession and industry by initiating and leading dialogue that affect policy-making of emerging national legal issues.

As a first step, the Association will hold bi-annual seminars on timely topics in Raleigh and Charlotte and on rotating basis at Asheville, Greensboro, and other locations within the state. The seminar series is designed to provide the bench, bar, and other leaders of North Carolina an exclusive source of top-level information from the nation’s premier experts and academics.  Those attending the seminars will be asked to join the Association.


The Association will operate under the guidance of the Duke Law School Bolch Judicial Institute, led by an executive committee.

The Bolch Judicial Institute will host quarterly meetings.  Association members will identify and address wasteful, inefficient, and unfair practices in the administration of justice, recommend topics for discussion at future Duke Law Distinguished Lawyers’ bench-bar conferences, propose specific issues for the conference panels, review and comment on conference draft best practices, and support law-student initiatives, where appropriate.

At the meetings, designated members will also share their effective litigation practices, and Duke Law faculty will be invited to discuss emerging law and pressing legal issues.  The members of this group will provide expertise and insight into the topics at issue.  Because members are motivated by helping others, there are no registration or renewal fees.


Tim Opsitnick, Chair (TCDI and former Jones Day partner)
Hon. Cheri Beasley (Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court)
Hon. David Keesler (U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina)
Tracy Smith (Womble Bond Dickinson)
Corey Lee (Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP)
Daniel Bryson (Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP)
Jonathan Redgrave (Redgrave LLP)
Joe Dickinson (Smith Anderson)
John O’Tuel (GlaxoSmithKline)
Matt Sawchak (North Carolina Department of Justice)
Professor Darrell Miller (Duke Law School)
Lisa Sheppard (North Carolina Judicial Branch)
John Rabiej (Bolch Judicial Institute) ex officio