NC-AOCR periodically shines the spotlight on judges, court reporters and other court personnel who serve the people of North Carolina in the court system.
QUESTION: Those who have worked with you have seen that you have a sincere interest in helping those with drug addictions and mental health issues. Can you share with us some of the things you do to help them?
JUDGE POMEROY: I never want to be so callous about what we do that we forget the human aspect of the people in front of us. And, to me, if you’re willing to listen to folks, everybody has a story, and if you can find that one thing that there’s common ground on, I think you can connect to that person.
And with regard to drug treatment, the important part is to make people understand where they are when they’re in the courtroom, you know, that they’re probably at one of their lowest moments, and to also understand that there’s an alternative if they’re willing to accept getting help. It kind of gets back to that old phrase, “Sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations.” And I think a lot of times the folks that we see with these drug issues are good people who have just encountered tough times in life, whether it be economic, social, personal. You can usually link this to something in their life.
So that’s kind of how I approach it. And I hope I take that approach to about every case that I do, because I think if we get into a scenario where we are building widgets as opposed to hearing cases, that’s not a good place to be. So I always tell everybody I’m working with, let’s not make this a factory mentality; that we’re in there with real people and real cases and real consequences, and we need to treat them that way.
QUESTION: What is your view of the role of the court reporter in the judicial system?
JUDGE POMEROY: Obviously, I think it’s an important role. And even when we were going through COVID, I always wanted a court reporter present whether it was a recorded hearing or not. And maybe that’s old school, but I don’t know how I could function in a courtroom without a court reporter.
And, I mean, I certainly recognize that automation is something that people are always bringing up, but I prefer having that human aspect in the courtroom as opposed to relying on whether somebody got it recorded or not and whether it’s being picked up correctly.
QUESTION: Can you tell us one or two fun facts that most of our members wouldn’t know about you?
JUDGE POMEROY: I’m a real good cook. I don’t have like a specialty-specialty, but I love cooking. I cook all the time, and I enjoy cooking with my wife.
I play a lot of golf. And I guess a fun fact would be when I was younger, I used to caddy, and one of the groups I caddied for, I carried a bag for Jim Valvano and Dean Smith in the same group. If you’re a big basketball fan in North Carolina, that was a real treat. I also caddied for James Sikking who was on Hill Street Blues, and I caddied for — at the time, he was the CEO of Dr. Pepper, and at the end of the round, he gave me 20 cases of Dr. Pepper.
The last interesting fact would be I taught school for a year, taught middle school in Nashville, Tennessee, and I look forward to doing that again sometime in the future.