Anthony S. di Santi
Anthony S. di Santi (Tony) received the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award on May 3, 2019, at the 35th Judicial and North Carolina State Bar Meeting in Boone, North Carolina. C. Colon Willoughby Jr., president-elect of the North Carolina State Bar, presented the award.
Mr. di Santi attended UNC-Chapel Hill for one year before enlisting in the army at the age of 19. He served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart in recognition of his service. After two years of medical recovery, Mr. di Santi returned to Chapel Hill to finish his undergraduate degree in business, and then continued to Wake Forest University to obtain his law degree. Upon graduating from law school in 1975, he began practicing law in the firm that is now Di Santi, Watson, Capua, Wilson and Garrett.
Mr. di Santi served as Watauga County Bar Association president from 1980 to 1981. He was actively involved in the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was honored as a certified civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 2001 Mr. di Santi was elected to serve as a state bar representative. Thereafter, he was elected for three successive three-year terms as a councilor. In 2008 Mr. di Santi was elected vice-president, and in 2009 he was elected president-elect. On October 28, 2010, Mr. di Santi was sworn in as president of the North Carolina State Bar.
During his service to the North Carolina State Bar, Mr. di Santi served on the following committees: Grievance, Administrative, Publications, Executive, Legislative, Authorized Practice, Issues, Issues Demographic Data Subcommittee, Disciplinary Advisory, Special Litigation, Facilities, Ethics, Special Committee to Study Disciplinary Guidelines, Program Evaluation, Finance and Audit, Appointments, and Program Evaluation Authorized Practice Subcommittee
In 2012 Mr. di Santi served as co-president of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents. After his service as president, he served as an ABA delegate for the state of North Carolina for four years. In 2013 Mr. di Santi was appointed to the Client Security Fund Board of Trustees. Mr. di Santi provided positive and effective leadership as a board member for three years, and as the board’s chair for an additional two years.
Mr. di Santi’s first official act as State Bar president in 2010 was to rename the Distinguished Service Award to the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award. Mr. di Santi’s life has truly been one of service—to his country, his profession, and his local community. He is a most deserving recipient of the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award.
Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin
Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin was presented with the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award on May 2, 2019, at the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Law Day Luncheon. C. Colon Willoughby Jr., president-elect of the North Carolina State Bar, presented the award.
Judge Tin received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1982 with distinction in all subjects. She received her master's degree from the New School for Social Research in 1987.
From 1983 to 1990, Judge Tin worked as a journalist for NPR affiliate stations, reporting on issues related to homelessness, immigration, race, and poverty. In 1993 Judge Tin received her law degree from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Judge Tin co-chaired the law school’s Battered Women’s Advocacy Project and represented child refuges from Haiti as an intern with Catholic Charities.
After law school, Judge Tin clerked for Chief Judge Gene Carter of the United State District Court of the District of Maine. She then went on to work as an appellate defender in New Hampshire. In 1995 Judge Tin returned to North Carolina and joined the civil rights firm of Ferguson Stein Chambers in Charlotte, North Carolina. Judge Tin left private practice to join the Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides essential legal services to children and families.
In 2002 Judge Tin was elected to the district court bench for the 26th judicial district. She subsequently ran unopposed for three more terms and retired in 2018. Judge Tin played a leadership role in every court to which she was assigned. For several years Judge Tin served on the North Carolina District Judge’s Education Committee, planning and teaching numerous programs for the state’s district court judges. Judge Tin spoke to training programs for pro bono attorneys and custody advocates. She helped broker connections between child support defendants and job skills agencies. She also worked with women in the prison population as a board member of Summit House.
Judge Tin received the Women of Justice Award in 2013 and the North Carolina Women Attorneys Association’s Judge of the Year award in 2018. Judge Tin has continuously cultivated knowledge of the law, employed that knowledge in reform of the law, and worked to strengthen legal education. Judge Tin’s many years of leadership within the bar, on the bench, and in the community have been exemplary and she is a most deserving recipient of the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award.
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