Gray Styers to run for Court of Appeals

Raleigh attorney and NC Bar leader Gray Styers filed Monday as a candidate for the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the March 3 Democratic primary. Styers is seeking a seat on the court currently held by Chris Dillon. ”I enjoy practicing law, but I have always felt a pull to public service. I believe that my experience across the state has given me the breadth of perspective, an understanding of people, and a knowledge of the law that qualifies me to give back to North Carolina more directly as an appellate judge,” Styers said.

A native of Hickory, Styers has lived his entire life in North Carolina. He attended public schools and was valedictorian of Hickory High School in 1981. Receiving a Carswell Scholarship, he attended and graduated from Wake Forest University. He obtained his law degree and an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In law school, he was the Articles Editor of the North Carolina Law Review. 

After graduating from law school, Gray served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sam J. Ervin, III, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has since practiced law in Raleigh for almost three decades. Gray founded his own firm Styers, Kemerait & Mitchell in 2010 and merged that firm into Smith Moore Leatherwood (now part of the national law firm of Fox Rothschild) where he now focuses his practice on regulatory law matters, economic development, renewable energy, and infrastructure projects in both rural and urban areas throughout the state. In addition, he also assists those less fortunate, pro bono, though the “Lawyer on the Line” program of Legal Aid of North Carolina, a program that he helped start as its founding co-chair at the North Carolina Bar Association.

“I first got to know Gray as an attorney in the community, then as a fellow local bar president, and more recently as my law partner.  He is eminently well qualified to serve on the Court of Appeals, and I whole-heartedly support his candidacy,” said former chief judge of the NC Court of Appeals Judge, Sid Eagles.

Gray is known for his volunteer service to the legal profession, to his community, and to the state for which he received a “Citizen Lawyer” award from the NC Bar Association and was named a “Leader in the Law” by Lawyers Weekly.  He was elected by his peers to serve as President of the Wake County Bar Association and as President of the 10th Judicial District Bar. He served on the NC Bar Association Board of Governors and also on its Litigation Section Council and as Chair of its Administrative Law Section Council. Gray is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education courses and has taught legal ethics and Professional Responsibility as an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Law. He has been appointed as an advisory member to committees of the North Carolina State Bar, and is a certified mediator to help resolve cases in Superior Court. Gray has served on the boards of the UNC School of Law Alumni Association, the North Carolina Museum of History Associates, the North Carolina Symphony Society, the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle.

Gray was President of the Wake County Young Democrats in the ‘90s and has served in the past as the campaign treasurer for Justice Sam J. Ervin, IV, Judge Robert C. Hunter, Judge Alan Thornburg, Rep. Deborah Ross, and most recently Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin.

Styers and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of two adult children.


For more information about Gray Styers, go to A photo of Gray can be downloaded at


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