02/24/08 — Gaylor to run for District Court judge

View Archive

Gaylor to run for District Court judge

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 24, 2008 2:21 AM

With more than 30 years of private practice behind him, Goldsboro attorney Charles Gaylor III has decided to run for the open District 8 District Court Judge seat.

"After practicing law for nearly 30 years, I feel like I've got a wealth of information and knowledge that I can take with me to the judiciary," he said.

If elected, he would be replacing Judge Joseph Setzer Jr., who announced his retirement earlier this month.

Also filed for the seat, which covers Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties, is William Bland, also of Goldsboro.

A Goldsboro native, Gaylor attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Delaware Law School of Widener University. Then, upon graduating, he returned to Goldsboro and joined the now-deceased Cecil Merritt's practice for eight years before opening his own office in The Monticello on William Street.

Since then, he's served with various community organizations, including as Chairman of the Wayne County Development Alliance and the Goldsboro-Wayne Chamber of Commerce. He also has been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and the Distinguished Service Award from the Goldsboro Jaycees.

And, while he acknowledged that none of that really matters on the bench and that as a rookie judge there would be a learning curve -- as there would be for anybody else -- he still feels that he brings a full set of qualifications with him to the judiciary.

"Fortunately we have a very good set of judges to assist in that (transition), but if you're new to the bench, everybody's got to start," Gaylor said.

During his years as an attorney, he continued, he's worked with a lot of people on a wide variety of cases, from criminal early in his career, to mostly civil today.

And as a District Court judge, he would be responsible for both criminal and civil trials, as well as domestic hearings.

"I feel like I've got as much experience as anyone else running for this position," Gaylor said. "And I have gotten to know the people in this area and in this district, and I feel like I know the type of judge they're looking for and the high standards the public requires."

But he thinks that perhaps his biggest contribution -- or at least the one most likely to be appreciated by the rest of the community -- could be his years in private practice.

"I have a unique perspective that I can bring to the judiciary," Gaylor said. "Because of my time in the private sector, I know how important time is to people, and I will always be aware of that during court proceedings.

"I think that's an important perspective that needs to be in the judiciary."

He also knows, though, how challenging, and yet how important it is to keep that idea of time in mind when dealing with hundreds of cases.

"I certainly plan to be fair and impartial and weigh the merits of each case," he said. "I will try to do the best I can to make sure everybody is treated fairly and receives their day in court."

It is, Gaylor, 58, explained, an opportunity and a challenge he's looking forward to meeting.

"I think it's another way to continue to give back to the legal profession," he said. "I believe at this point in my career the best thing I can do is move to the judiciary.

"And I think that the reason for now, is that a seat has opened."

But, really he continued, with a father -- Charles P. Gaylor Jr. -- who also worked as an attorney and served as a judge, it's a move he's been preparing for every since he was a child.

"When I was growing up I had a chance to see what the legal profession was all about, and I developed a real love for law and for the fact that it provides a real unique opportunity to help people," Gaylor said.

Gaylor is married to Rhonda McDonald Gaylor and has a son, Charles P. Gaylor IV.