Campbell Law School

J. Rich Leonard

Watch Dean Leonard's Investiture Address on YouTube

J. Rich Leonard, former United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, assumed the role of dean at Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law on July 15, 2013. Dean Leonard serves as Campbell Law’s fifth dean, following Dean Melissa Essary (2006-12) and Interim Dean B. Keith Faulkner (2012-13).

Since he began serving as dean of Campbell Law, Leonard has initiated a plethora of beneficial and impactful initiatives that have improved the institution. Under his guidance the law school vastly increased its already generous scholarship program, performed a top-to-bottom review of its curriculum, identified nine specific practice areas, partnered with leading local law firms to sponsor competitive advocacy program student teams, and began exploring the expansion of clinical programs, including the recently established Stubbs Bankruptcy Clinic. Campbell Law has also announced its Campbell Flex admission program, Campbell Law Connections mentorship program, Certificate in Patent Law, and two advanced international certificates with the University of Reading under Leonard’s direction.

Leonard’s work on the bench and at Campbell Law was publicly recognized in September 2014 when North Carolina Lawyers Weekly named Leonard 2014 Lawyer of the Year at the Leaders in the Law awards banquet.

A native of Davidson County, Leonard is a 1971 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He earned a master's degree in education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1973, and then earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1976.

He has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina since 1992 acting as Chief Judge from 1999 through 2006. Prior to that time, he was a United States Magistrate Judge (1981-92) and Clerk of Court of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (1979-92). For more than a decade Leonard also acted as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, working with judiciaries in many developing countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Leonard’s professional associations include appointments to the Board of Governors for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (2008-11); Fellow at the American College of Bankruptcy (2005–present); and leadership roles with the Wake County Bar Association and North Carolina Bar Association, among other legal organizations.

His judicial work and expertise have earned him both state and national recognition. In 2011, the American Bar Association awarded Leonard with the Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution to Judicial Administration. He is the 1992 recipient of the Director’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Federal Judiciary. In 2011, he was selected as the editor-in-chief of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal.

Leonard has also been active in the classroom. He has worked as an adjunct professor for North Carolina Central University School of Law (1985-86; 1995-98); UNC School of Law (1994-95); and, most recently, Campbell Law (2009-13) prior to becoming dean. In 2012, Campbell Law’s Delta Theta Phi Fraternity presented Leonard with the Judge Robinson O. Everett Award for Legal Excellence.

Dean Leonard is married to Dr. Whitney Jenkins Cain. He is the proud father of three sons and two daughters.

Education More ▼

A.B. (Sociology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1971
M. Ed. (Counseling), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1973
J.D., Yale Law School, 1976

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Memberships & affiliations More ▼

Editor-in-chief, American Bankruptcy Law Journal, 2011-present
Board of Governors, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, 2008-11
Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, 2005-present
North Carolina Bar Association
Wake County Bar Association

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Professional Experience More ▼

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of N.C., 2006-13
U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge, Eastern District of N.C., 1999-2006
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of N.C., 1992-2006
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of N.C., 1981-92
Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of N.C., 1979-1992
Associate, Sanford, Adams, McCullough & Beard, 1978-79
Law Clerk, Honorable Franklin T. Dupree, Jr., 1976-78

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Teaching experience More ▼

Adjunct Professor of Bankruptcy, Campbell Law School, 2009-13
Adjunct Professor of Bankruptcy, North Carolina Central School of Law, 1995-98
Adjunct Professor of Bankruptcy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, 1994-95
Adjunct Professor of Civil Procedure, North Carolina Central School of Law, 1985-86

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Honors & awards More ▼

Lawyer of the Year, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2014
Judge Robinson O. Everett Award for Legal Excellence, Campbell Law Delta Theta Phi Fraternity, 2012
Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution to Judicial Administration, American Bar Association, 2011
Director’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Federal Judiciary, 1992

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Publications More ▼

Motions to Extend Stay: What Ten Months of Experience Tells Us
Disclosure Statement, December 2006
    
Having Thought About Private Matters: The Federal Court’s Initial Response
American Bankruptcy Law Journal, 77 Am. Bankr. L.J. 9 (2003)

Use of Electronic Documents in US Courts: A Personal View
International Legal Practitioner, March 2002    

Privacy and Court Files: A New Day
Disclosure Statement, February 2000

So Where is Namibia?
The North Carolina State Bar Journal, Winter 1999

The Executive Component of the Court
Court Manager, Summer 1995

After the Clerkship:  Was it Worth It?
North Carolina Lawyer, February 1991                                    

Federal Practice in North Carolina        
Manuscript for Practical Skills Course
N. C. Bar Association, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991

Tricks and Traps of Federal Civil Practice
Manuscript for View from the Federal Bench seminar
N. C. Bar Association, December 1990

Understanding the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Manuscript for workshop for court administrators conducted several times between 1988 and 1990

Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Remedies in Federal Court
Manuscript for Surviving and Prospering in Federal Court seminar, November 1989
                   
Rule 11 in the Federal Courts of North Carolina
N. C. State Bar Quarterly, Summer, 1987

A Quick Look at Changes in the Federal Rules
Barnotes, Winter, 1980

Congressional Action Changes Federal Practice
Barnotes, Winter, 1980

Notary Public Guidebook (with Patrice Solberg)
Institute of Government, 1976

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Speeches & presentations More ▼

Perspectives on Federal Court Leadership, Judicial Executive Leadership Program, Seminar 1, Federal Judicial Center, Washington, DC, July 2012    

Peering Through the Cloud: The Next Generation of Electronic Filing and Case Management in Federal Courts, The Rhode Island Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Providence, RI, March 2012

Marathon at 30, 2012 Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2012
    
Jurisdiction and Views from the Bench, 34th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, N.C. Bar Foundation, Asheville, NC, November 2011

CM/ECF Next Generation Additional Stakeholders Overview, 2011 Appellate CM/ECF Symposium, Dallas, TX, November 2011

Next Generation of CM/ECF, 2011 Bankruptcy Operational Practices Forum, Indianapolis, IN, August 2011

Standardization vs Customization, 2011 District Operational Practices Forum, Washington, DC, August 2011

CM/ECF Next Generation Project and Additional Stakeholders Functional Requirements Group, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees Spring Seminar, Santa Monica, CA, March 2011

CM/ECF of the FUTURE, National Association for Chapter 13 Trustees Mid-Year Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2011

It Rose from the Grave!  The Return of Boris Badenough, 15th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Amelia Island, FL, July 2010

Hallmarks of Effective Management in the Federal Judiciary, Managing in the Mega Court Environment Conference, San Diego, CA, May 2010

Court Administration / ADR: The Next Generation of CM/ECF, 28th Annual   American Bankruptcy Institute Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, May 2010

The Fall of Boris Badenough:  Ethical Issues for Lawyers in Representing “Unusual” Clients, The 14th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Hilton Head Island, SC, July 2009

Organization and Jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Federal Judicial Center video presentation for new judges orientation, Washington, DC, December 9, 2008 (updating 1996 video)

Constraints and Opportunities for Courts, New Media and the Courts Symposium, The William H. Rehnquist Center and The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, AZ, September 2008

Modification of Home Mortgages in Bankruptcy Cases, House Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC, April 2008        

History and Current Renovations of The Century Station Federal Building, North Carolina Bar Association, Raleigh, NC, April 2008

Bankruptcy Issues in Worker’s Compensation, 14th Annual Workplace Torts & Worker’s Comp, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Education Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC, December 2007

Congressional Briefing Session, House Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC, November 2007
    
Chapter 13 - Disposable Income and Other Issues, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Philadelphia, PA, April 2007

Challenges and Possibilities Facing the Courts, 2005 National Conference for Bankruptcy Court Clerks, Bankruptcy Administrators, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Clerks, and Chief Deputy Clerks, Seattle, WA, November, 2005

Proposed Federal Rules of Procedure to Address Privacy Issues: The Background of the Developement and Implementation of the Judicial Conference Policy on Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Filed, 4th Courtroom 21 Conference on Privacy and Public Access to Court Records, Williamsburg, VA, October 2005

Leading Through Lessons of Experience, Federal Judicial Center video presentation for court managers, Washington, DC, March 2002

The Effect of State Court Litigation in Bankruptcy, 24th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, N.C. Bar Foundation, Wilmington, NC, November 2001
       
Use of Electronic Documents in US Courts: A Personal View, International Bar Association, Cancun, Mexico, October 2001

Court Records: Public Access and Privacy, Federal Judicial Center video presentation for judges and judicial personnel, Washington, DC, December 2000

Privacy in an Electronic Age: Finding a New Balance, Workshop for Chief  Bankruptcy Judges, Washington, DC, June 2000
    
The Bankruptcy Court - The Next Wave of Automation, 23rd Annual Bankruptcy Institute, N.C. Bar Foundation, Pinehurst, NC, December 2000

Organization and Jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Courts, Federal Judicial Center video orientation tape for new judges, Washington, DC, February 1999

Appearing before the United States Bankruptcy Court: How to Get Nods of Approval Instead of Frowns or Reprimands, Consumer Bankruptcy Seminar, N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, Raleigh, NC, February 1999  

Judicial Reform in Africa, Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations, San Diego, CA, December 1998    
    
Automating Case Management: The Tanzanian Example, International Conference on the Rule of Law and the Independent Judiciary, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, February 1998
    
Trends in Federal Courts, Conference of Bankruptcy Court Executives, San Antonio, TX, November 1997

On Being a Leader, North Carolina Bar Association Leadership Conference

Common Evidentiary Problems and Jury Trials, Eastern Bankruptcy Institute, Myrtle Beach, SC, May 1995                                  
Working with Judges, Court Manager Leadership Institute, Williamsburg, VA, February 1995

American Judicature Association Sidebar, July 1994 and 1995.
            
Federal Practice in North Carolina, Practical Skills Course, N. C. Bar Association, August 1988 to 1991

Implementing the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and Management of District Courts, Conference of Chief District Judges, Naples, FL, May 1991

Recent Legal Developments Affecting Court Operations, Conference of District Court Clerks, Houston, TX, April 1991
               
Civil Case Management, Workshop for Judges of the Fourth Circuit, Asheville, NC, March 1991
       
Federal Practice in North Carolina, N. C. Paralegal Association Annual Conference, Greensboro, NC, March 1991
           
Recent Legal Developments Affecting Clerks Offices, Workshop for Clerks of Medium-Sized Federal Courts, Atlanta, GA, February 1991

Tricks and Traps of Federal Civil Practice, View from the Federal Bench, N. C. Bar Association, Greensboro, NC, December 1990

Handling Pro Se Litigants: Some Observations, Workshop for Pro Se Law Clerks in Federal Courts, Washington, D.C., August 1990
           
Understanding the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Workshop for Court Administrators, Dallas, TX, August 1990        

Recent Legal Developments Affecting Clerks Offices, Workshop for Chief Deputy Clerks, Chicago, IL, July 1990

Workings of the Justice System - a Primer for Reporters, Media and the Law Symposium, N. C. Bar Association, Durham, NC, May 1990
    
Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Remedies in Federal Court, Surviving and Prospering in Federal Court, N. C. Bar Association, Pinehurst, NC, November 1989

Case Management in a Small Court, Workshop for Clerks of the Small U. S. District Courts, Atlanta, GA, April 1989
    
The Changing Federal Rules, Workshop for Chief Deputy Clerks of the U. S. District Courts, New Orleans, LA, January 1989    

Defending Indigent Clients in Federal Court, Campbell Law School Symposium, Buies Creek, NC, October 1988

Developments in the Law, Conference of Clerks of District Courts, New Orleans, LA, June 1988

Course Planner and Moderator, Federal Appellate Practice, N. C. Bar Association Seminar, Charlotte, NC, May 1988
                   
Seizures Under the Supplemental Rules, Admiralty Law, N. C. Bar Association Seminar, Wilmington, NC, April 1988

Civil Trial Walk-Through, Young Lawyers Division, N. C. Bar Association, Raleigh, NC, April 1988

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