J. Phil Carlton, Esq., former CEO


J. Phil Carlton is the former CEO of State Capital Group. He and 17 former state governors formed the organization in 1989 when he was a partner at North Carolina member firm Poyner & Spruill LLP. He was elected as State Capital Group's first chairman in 1989 and served in that capacity until 1993 when he became CEO.

As a practicing attorney, Carlton represents several Fortune 500 companies and has served as a lead negotiator in several national business disputes. He has served on the North Carolina Commission on Business Laws and the Economy, a body that monitors the state's corporate code to make it attractive to large corporations doing business in North Carolina. He also served as a member of the Corporate Law Study Commission -which rewrote the state's corporate code, and led the successful lobbying effort in the North Carolina General Assembly to enact the new code.

Admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1963, Carlton was elected a District Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District in North Carolina in 1968. In 1977, Carlton was appointed Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. He returned to the bench in 1979, serving as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and then as an Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Between 1983 and 1994 Carlton was a partner with Poyner & Spruill, LLP, where he was chairman of the firm's Client Services Department. He also served as the Chairman for the Board of Trustees at North Carolina Wesleyan College between 1974 and 1995. Carlton received his B.S. degree from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College.