02/12/07 — City attorney gets judge job

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City attorney gets judge job

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 12, 2007 1:48 PM

Goldsboro City Attorney Tim Finan has been chosen by Gov. Mike Easley to serve as a new District Court judge.

Finan will take the seat held by Rose Vaughn Williams, who took a job with the state Insurance Commissioner's Office at the first of the year. There are two years left on the term in office.

Finan was one of three candidates for the 8th District seat. Attorneys Will Bland and Tom Brown also had been considered by the district Bar Association as candidates.

Finan could begin serving in his new position within the next month.

"This is very overwhelming and a humbling experience. It's a new challenge and I'm excited about that," he said today.

Finan is expected to be sworn in Feb. 23, at 9 a.m., in Courtroom No. 1. The district includes Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties. Six judges sit on the district bench. The current five are David Brantley, Lonnie Carraway, Beth Heath, Les Turner and Chief District Court Judge Joe Setzer.

After Finan is sworn in, he will attend an orientation session at the Institute of Government.

Before taking the oath, Finan will have to cut his ties to his legal practice with Everett, Womble, Finan, Lawrence & Brown. State law does not allow a district court judge to also practice law privately.

"I knew that if I got it, it would be hard to leave all of those that I've enjoyed working with for so many years," Finan said.

Also, the Goldsboro City Council will have to find a new city attorney. The council could choose as early as next Monday when it holds its next meeting.

City council could choose another attorney from Everett, Womble, Finan, Lawrence & Brown. Before Finan began in 2004, fellow partner Harrell Everett served as city attorney for a number of years.

According to a press release, Easley said he chose Finan because of his nearly three decades of experience in private practice handling civil and criminal litigation.

Finan began his legal career during his four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a prosecutor and defense counsel. He continued to serve in the Air Force for another 24 years as a reservist. During that time, he served as an instructor teaching trial advocacy to Air Force prosecutors and defense lawyers and as a legal adviser for administrative discharge board proceedings.

Finan has received the Legion of Merit and was twice recognized as the outstanding reserve judge advocate in the 9th Air Force before retiring with the rank of colonel.

In the local community, Finan has served as chairman of the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross, past president of the Goldsboro Rotary Club, a member of the board of directors of the Wayne County Mental Health Board and a volunteer Guardian ad litem.

He graduated with honors from North Carolina State University in 1974 and received his law degree in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.