RALEIGH, NC (WNCT) – Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., Chief Justice Cheri Beasley said the State Supreme Court has amended its rules to make paid parental leave available for attorneys practicing in state courts.
The announcement comes just weeks after the Judicial Branch announced its new policy providing up to eight weeks of paid parental leave for employees of the court system.
The rule changes make it possible for North Carolina attorneys to designate up to 12 weeks without court appearances when a child is born or adopted. The Supreme Court amended Rule 26 of the General Rules of Practice and Rule 33.1 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure during its conference in September. Under both rules, an attorney is allowed three weeks of secured leave in a calendar year for any purpose, and 12 additional weeks that can be taken in the 24 weeks after the birth or adoption of the attorney’s child. A “secure-leave period” is one complete calendar week that is designated by an attorney during which the trial courts and the appellate courts will not hold a proceeding in any of the attorney’s cases.
In announcing the new rule change, Chief Justice Beasley said, “Strengthening families and supporting children is such an important part of the work of our courts. It is with great pleasure and in that spirit that we are taking steps to ensure that new parents who work in our courts are able to take time to bond with their new children.”