Vickery sworn in as district court judge

Carrie Vickery is sworn in by Judge Denise Hartsfield as her husband, Phillip “Skip” Skipper Jr., holds the Bible and her young niece, Anna, on Thursday, Jan. 5.

Vickery sworn in as district court judge
January 12
07:30 2017

Photo by Todd Luck



A packed courtroom watched as Carrie Vickery was sworn in as a district court judge on Thursday, Jan.5, at the Forsyth County Hall of Justice. It was standing room only for the nearly hour-long ceremony that was attended by her fellow judges, Mayor Allen Joines and numerous elected officials. Sheriff Bill Schatzman called the court to order for the ceremony, which was symbolic in nature, since Vickery has been acting as a judge since Jan. 3.

Vickery won the position in last year’s election after a long campaign.

Emmanuel Baptist Church Pastor John Mendez told attendees that when Vickery attended a service at his church, he was impressed by how she stayed the whole time and interacted with congregates afterward. He said he called his friends, telling them to support her immediately after that. “Given the climate of division that is reflective within our nation right now, we need people who have a sense of community, who believes in diversity and have sworn and vowed to do the right thing, particularly within our judicial system,” said Mendez.

Aaron Berlin, a Forsyth County assistant district attorney Vickery defeated in the election, attended the ceremony. Vickery said the two remain friends. Walter Holton Jr., who Vickery worked for at the Holton Law Firm, commended them both for their campaigns in his remarks and the audience gave a round of applause for Berlin.

“I want to thank you both for showing the community how a campaign could be done and how it should be done,” said Holton.

District court, or trial court as it’s also called, deals with a wide variety of cases, including criminal misdemeanors like traffic violations and family law cases like divorce, child support and  custody.

“It’s at the district court where the people of North Carolina see their court system,” said Wade Smith, a prominent Wake County lawyer who also spoke.

District Court Judge Denise Hartsfield administered the oath to Vickery and offered a few words of wisdom, too.

“Listen to people because your ears may be the only ones who receive what they’re saying,” she said.

Vickery then donned the robe and addressed the audience, telling them she hopes to be a good, humble and fair judge.

“There’s a lot of expectations and I hope I can meet those and exceed those,” she said afterward. ‘It is a great deal of responsibility and one I take very seriously.”

Vickery, a Rutherford County native, grew up on a farm and moved to Winston-Salem in 2000 to attend high school at UNC School of the Arts, where she played the oboe. She graduated when she was 16. She earned her undergraduate degree from Western Carolina University and her law degree from Elon University.

She started work at Holton Law Firm in 2009 and taught at Forsyth Technical Community College from 2010-2015. She’s been served on the board of numerous organizations including the Liberty Community Development Corporation, Junior League and the Children’s Museum.

In 2013, she donated a kidney to Assistant City Attorney Alan Andrews. Her act of selflessness won her numerous awards, including one from The Chronicle.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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