The Supreme Court works differently from trial courts, because the Court hears appeals in cases already tried, either by a bench trial or jury trial, or before an agency or administrative law judge.  

The Supreme Court is the state's highest court, and there is no further appeal from the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is made up of the Chief Justice and six associate justices who consider whether an error occurred in the trial court or in the judicial interpretation of the law.  


Judge Wood is currently serving on the North Carolina Court of Appeals which is the state's intermediate appellate court. Currently 15 judges hear cases in panels of three. The Court of Appeals reviews the proceedings that occurred in the trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure; it decides only questions of law – not questions of fact. The role of the Court of Appeals is to decide if the trial court correctly applied the law, or if there was prejudicial error in the conduct of the trial.

The majority of cases appealed from the Superior and District courts in civil and criminal cases are heard by the Court of Appeals. One major exception is capital murder appeals in which the death penalty was imposed; these appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In addition, direct appeals from certain of the state’s administrative agencies are heard by the Court of Appeals. If a member of the three-judge panel dissents from the decision of the majority, there is a right of appeal from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of North Carolina; otherwise, further review of a decision of the Court of Appeals is limited to those cases that the Supreme Court accepts in its discretion.  

For more information about the court, visit

Judge Wood has over eighteen years of experience on the District Court bench.  Before she joined the Court of Appeals, there was only one of the fifteen judges at the Court with any experience as a District Court Judge.  Since she has become a Court of Appeals Judge, she has been able to share her invaluable experience with her colleagues.  

She is now seeking a seat on the NC Supreme Court because, “Judges with experience in the District Courts are crucial assets missing from the Supreme Court.  Of the seven justices on the Supreme Court, only one of the justices has any prior trial court judicial experience. This is a disservice to the citizens of North Carolina. District Court is the court with exclusive jurisdiction over all family law and juvenile matters, and the decisions made in those courts have far reaching and long lasting effects on children and families.  The appellate courts review these cases, and it is important to have judges on the appellate bench that can bring that direct, hands on experience with them up to the higher courts.  I desire to bring my eighteen years of knowledge and experience as a District Court Judge and my current experience as a Court of Appeals Judge to the Supreme Court to better serve all of the citizens of North Carolina."    

Judge Wood firmly believes that everyone should be treated fairly and equally and that no one is above the law, regardless of race, religion, social status, professional status, or any other status. She is a Constitutional Conservative and believes that a Judge is to follow the law as it is written, not make it as he/she wishes it was.  Judicial activism should be avoided at all times.  Judges are not legislators, so their job is not to make or rewrite the laws.  Judges are to interpret and apply the law as written. 

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Listen to Judge Wood on the Mountain Voice with Leo Phillips

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