Sam J. Ervin IV

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Jimmy Ervin IV
Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
Assumed office
January 1, 2015
Preceded byRobert N. Hunter, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1955-11-18) November 18, 1955 (age 63)
Morganton, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materDavidson College
Harvard Law School

Samuel James "Jimmy" Ervin IV (born November 18, 1955) is a North Carolina lawyer and jurist who has served on the North Carolina Supreme Court since January 1, 2015. He previously served as a state Utilities Commissioner and as a judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He is the grandson of U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin and the son of Judge Sam Ervin III.

Early life and career[edit]

Ervin was born and raised in Morganton, North Carolina, where he lives today. Ervin attended Burke County public schools and graduated in 1974 from Freedom High School.[1] He graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College, where he majored in history, and he earned his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1981.

Ervin practiced law in Morganton from 1981 until 1999. In 1999, Ervin was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Jim Hunt. He was reappointed by Governor Mike Easley in 2007. The Utilities Commission is a quasi-judicial agency responsible for regulating investor-owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, and water and sewer companies providing service in North Carolina.

From 2004 until 2007, Ervin served as Chairman of the Committee on Electricity of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives concerning the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.[2]

Judicial career[edit]

In his 2008 campaign for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Ervin was endorsed by the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association [3] and The Charlotte Observer before the primary.[4] He came in first in the May 6 non-partisan primary, with 37 percent of the vote. Ervin and runner-up Kristin Ruth advanced to the November general election.[5] He was again endorsed by the Charlotte Observer for the general election.[6] Ervin won the November election with approximately 53 percent of the vote.[7]

In 2012, Ervin announced that he would run for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court.[8] He lost this race, receiving 48.1% of the vote to the incumbent Justice Paul Newby's 51.9%.[9]

Ervin ran for the Supreme Court again in 2014, this time for the seat being vacated by Justice Mark Martin.[10] He was endorsed by the Charlotte Observer[11] and the (Raleigh) News and Observer,[12] as well as by former Chief Justices Burley Mitchell and Henry E. Frye and Court of Appeals Chief Judges Sidney S. Eagles, Jr. and Gerald Arnold.[13] Ervin defeated Justice Robert N. Hunter, Jr. with approximately 52 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.[14]


  1. ^ Starkey, Jackie (3 October 2014). "Two in running for seat on top court". Carteret County News-Times. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ The Committee on Energy and Commerce Archived 2008-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ N.C. PBA makes endorsements | projects Archived 2008-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Best for the bench," Charlotte Observer, Apr. 30, 2008 Archived 2008-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Morganton News-Herald: Tyson loses bid to retain seat on Court of Appeals[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Charlotte Observer: We recommend four for Court of Appeals (Oct. 18, 2008 Archived 2012-07-31 at
  7. ^ State Board of Elections: 2008 General Election results
  8. ^ Morganton News Herald: Ervin announces Supreme Court candidacy
  9. ^ State Board of Elections: 2012 General Election Results
  10. ^ Sam Ervin to make second run at Supreme Court
  11. ^ Charlotte Observer: How we see the appellate races
  12. ^ News & Observer: Amid partisan pressure, NC's highest court needs balance
  13. ^ Endorsements Archived 2014-10-30 at
  14. ^ Associated Press Archived 2014-11-06 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert N. Hunter, Jr.
Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court