Party affiliation: Democrat
Law clerk to Justice Emery Denny, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1960-1961. Associate firm Smith, Moore, Smith, Schell & Hunter, Greensboro, North Carolina, 1961-1967. Resident judge Superior Court, 1967-1974.
Associate justice North Carolina Supreme Court, Raleigh, 1975-1986, chief justice, since 1986. Member adjunct faculty Law School University North Carolina, 1978-1985.
Republican North Carolina General Assembly, 1967. Served to captain United States Army Reserve, 1963-1967. Member American Bar Association (council criminal justice section 1981-1985, chairman criminal justice standards committee 1990-1993, member house of deals since 1994), North Carolina Bar Association (member committee on alternative dispute resolution 1985-1987, appellate rules 1985-1987), University North Carolina Alumni Association (president 1987-1988, Distinguished Service award 1991), Raleigh Racquet Club, Cardinal Club, Sherwood Racquet and Swim Club, Watauga Club.