Chapel Hill lawyer Lunsford Long has been appointed as judge of District 15B, which covers Orange and Chatham Counties. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced her appointment today. He is filling the vacancy left by Alonzo Coleman, who, by law was required to retire June 30, at age 72.

“Lunsford Long’s experience as a private practitioner and his expertise as a board certified family law lawyer has prepared him well to serve on the District Court bench,” said Perdue in a press release. ‘He has earned the respect of his peers as a thoughtful, able advocate and he has the set of qualities that will best serve the citizens of Chatham and Orange counties.”

Long, began his legal career as a research assistant to North Carolina Supreme Court, Associate Justice J. Frank Huskins. He was an assistant District Attorney in the 15th Judicial District from 1973-1976. Since 1976, Long has been in private practice in Chapel Hill, first as a partner in the firm of Epting, Hackney and Long and later as a partner in the firm of Long and Long. Long is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law by the N.C. State Bar, is a certified mediator and is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Long earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also served in the Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1974.

Long, a Democrat, contributed $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Brad Miller’s successful 2008 campaign and $500 to U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Neal the same year. Neal lost in the Democratic primary to Kay Hagan, who defeated Elizabeth Dole in the general election.