Candidate Profile
Tricia Shields

Democrat , North Carolina


Panel Rating

Judicial Activist Information icon



Equality North Carolina, North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) PAC, North Carolina AFL-CIO, North Carolina Association of Educators, Peoples Alliance PAC, Replacements Ltd PAC, Sierra Club North Carolina


North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys

Reported by Candidate

NC Association of Defense Attorneys, NC Advocates for Justice, NCAE, Durham People's Alliance, Sierra Club, Equality NC

Selected Contributions


State Democratic Party Organizations (2020)
Democratic Women's Groups (2020), North Carolina Advocates for Justice (2020), State Democratic Party Organizations (2020)







Other Information

Judge Voter Guide gives this candidate a rating of 6 out of 10.

Tricia Shields called Chief Justice Beasley a “great leader” in a Facebook post on February 2, 2020. iVoterGuide has rated Chief Justice Beasley as a “Proven Activist.”


Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Religious Liberty

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

(Did not answer)

The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings or court houses.

(Did not answer)

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

(Did not answer)


Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

(Did not answer)

George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.

(Did not answer)

What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?

(Did not answer)

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I am a Christian. I was raised in a faithful home. My father was a Baptist minister when I was small, and he and my mother devoted their lives to the service of others. When I was about eleven years old, my family joined St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham. I have been an Episcopalian all of my adult life. The values that I was raised with of kindness, patience, and forgiveness are a central part of who I am and guide me in my daily interactions with others, and in my personal and professional life.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges allowing members of the same sex to marry, which justice’s opinion in that case most closely approximates your understanding of marriage?

(Did not answer)


I voted in these primaries and general elections:

2012 Democratic Primary, 2012 General Election, 2014 Democratic Primary, 2014 General Election, 2016 Democratic Primary, 2016 General Election, 2018 Democratic Primary, 2018 General Election

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

(Did not answer)

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

(Did not answer)

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I graduated from Wake Forest University, and then put myself through UNC Law School. After graduating in 1985, I began my career as a law clerk to Chief Judge Hedrick at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Judge Hedrick was a brilliant judge, and this early experience taught me many valuable lessons, including the crucial role our Court of Appeals plays in our justice system and the vital importance of judicial independence. Since my clerkship, I have been an attorney in private practice in Raleigh. I have represented North Carolinians at every level of our courts, as well as before many of our administrative agencies. I have also had a busy appellate practice, and am often retained by other attorneys to assist on their appeals. In addition to my full time practice, I have taught Trial Advocacy at Campbell Law School for the past seven years, teaching our next generation of lawyers.

In what areas of law have you practiced?

I have had a trial and appellate practice, representing individuals and businesses in contract claims, personal injury actions, products liability claims, insurance matters, professional malpractice claims, and administrative law matters.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.


Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I am running for this position because I care deeply about North Carolina and the Court of Appeals. I know from my own experience how important this Court is to the justice system in North Carolina. I have substantial experience in the kinds of cases that come before the Court, and I understand and respect the work that the Court does. I have been a leader in the Bar, and have worked hard to represent my clients well, while being cordial and kind to the parties and lawyers on the other side of cases. I was honored to receive the 2020 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence by the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, which is the organization's highest honor. It is awarded to a member who exemplifies the "highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics, and conduct[s] herself, or himself, in a civil, courteous manner with all persons." I believe that bringing my experience to the Court is the way in which I can best serve North Carolina.

Judicial Philosophy

The U.S. Constitution and my state constitution should be interpreted as living documents, rather than using a strict constructionist or originalist approach in judicial decisions.

(Did not answer)

There are times when American judges should alter U.S. case law in order to comply with foreign case law.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

There should be more than nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Did not answer)

Which current U.S. Supreme Court justice best reflects your judicial philosophy?

(Did not answer)

Which U.S. president serving after 1960 best reflects your political philosophy?

(Did not answer)

What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?

The goal of statutory construction is to determine the intent of the legislature. If the meaning of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the courts apply the statute as written. If the language is not clear and unambiguous, courts look to the meaning of the language used, the legislative history, and the circumstances surrounding its adoption that shed light on its intended purpose.

What specific text in the Declaration of Independence provides the critical basis for individual rights and the form of government guaranteed in the United States Constitution?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


  • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, BA, 1982
  • UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC, 1985
Work & Military
  • (Candidate did not provide)
  • Campbell University School of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • NC Association of Defense Attorneys, President (2011-2012)
  • NC Association of Women Attorneys, Member
  • Wake County Bar Association, Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Member
  • American Board of Trial Lawyers, Member
  • (Candidate did not provide)

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