PUBLISHED:January 07, 2016

Holton '73 appointed to N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission

Charles Holton ’73, the director of Duke Law School's Civil Justice Clinic, has been appointed to the N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission for a three-year term by North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin.  

The commission’s mission is to expand access to the civil justice system for people of low income and modest means in North Carolina by helping to coordinate the delivery of civil legal aid services, according to its website. Its members include leaders of the bench and bar from a broad range of corporations and organizations. In his letter of appointment, the chief justice called access to civil justice “one of the most urgent needs facing the legal profession.”

In the Civil Justice Clinic, which is a partnership between Duke Law School and Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), Holton teaches a seminar and mentors students in basic civil litigation skills while overseeing their handling of actual cases for clients who are not able to obtain adequate representation in the civil justice system. He is a former chair of the LANC board of directors and a longstanding member of the local advisory committee for LANC’s Durham office. He was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for 2013 by the North Carolina Bar Association, and he received the 2012 Pro Bono Award from the national Legal Services Corporation.  He is president of the non-profit Caris Foundation, which provides education, housing, and health services in Honduras and Durham. 

Also a litigator and partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Research Triangle Park, Holton specializes in products liability, construction, unfair trade practices, and professional negligence defense. He has handled numerous matters in state and federal courts of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey.  He regularly litigates cases in private arbitration and serves as an arbitrator for a variety of disputes.

At Duke Law, Holton also teaches Arbitration: Law and Practice and coaches the Law School's Vis Moot team, which competes each year in an international arbitration competition in Vienna, Austria.