Chief District Court Judge Robert B. Rader ’85 to retire on Aug. 31

Photo of Judge Robert Rader with downtown Raleigh in background

After 26 years on the bench, Chief District Court Judge Robert B. Rader, a 1985 graduate of Campbell Law School, has announced his retirement from the bench effective Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

Originally appointed to the courts by former Gov. Jim Hunt in 1994, Rader was elevated to Chief District Court Judge of the 10th Judicial District in 2007. He was re-elected in November 2016 making him the longest serving District Court judge in Wake County history.

As the former chair of the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission and Raleigh Historic Properties Commission, Rader has helped promote and protect the history of Wake County’s court systems. Radar was instrumental in organizing the 50th anniversary of the establishment of North Carolina’s District Court System in 2016, according to an article written by Russell Rawlings of the North Carolina Bar Association.

“I have always had a bit of an interest in history and historic preservation,” Rader said at the time. “And I really am dedicated to the court system.”

His commitment to historic preservation is also demonstrated by his involvement as a founding member of the Yates Mill Associates Inc., a private non-profit corporation that preserved Wake County’s last surviving grist mill (circa 1756) and established Historic Yates Mill County Park.

In 2019, Rader received the Patriot Award from the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This award is dedicated to an employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of someone serving.

About Rader, Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard said, “Judge Rader has been the seasoned and level head of our district court system for more than a decade.  Without his foresight and tenacity, I am not sure our new Wake County Justice Center would ever have come to fruition.”

The Wake County Bar Association will host a livestream of the retirement celebration from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, which will be available on YouTube and Zoom. Visit the WCBA website or social media for more details. Learn more about Rader’s storied career in this link to the WCBA’s newsletter.




Grant Simpkins '19

This article is related to: