|The North Carolina court system’s top administrator is stepping down soon to join a law firm, and his top deputy will succeed him.
Andrew Heath became Administrative Office of the Courts director in early 2021 as Chief Justice Paul Newby was sworn in following his election the previous November.
In news releases Friday, the Nelson Mullins firm said Heath would join its Raleigh office and the court system said Newby had appointed deputy AOC director Ryan Boyce as Heath’s replacement effective April 4.
Heath has held many state government positions previously, serving as a special Superior Court judge, state budget director to then-Gov. Pat McCrory and chairman of the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
Heath will focus on government relations and civil litigation at his new job, and he’ll also be a registered lobbyist, Nelson Mullins said.
Newby praised Heath in the AOC release, saying there are nearly 10% fewer pending cases in the courts compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed proceedings. An effort to switch court filings from paper to digital statewide began publicly this week with a four-county pilot.
Boyce led the court system’s governmental affairs activities under previous AOC directors and served as a lawyer within two other state departments.