Full Legal Name: John Francis Bloss
Name as it Appears on the Ballot: John Bloss
Seat Sought: North Carolina Court of Appeals (Wynn seat)
Partisan Affiliation: N/A
Date of Birth: 9/12/65
Home & Mailing Address: 614 Wedgedale Ave., Greensboro, NC 27403
Campaign Web Site: johnblossforjudge.com
Occupation & Employer: Partner, Robertson Medlin & Bloss, PLLC
Bachelor's Degree Year & Institution: 1987, College of William & Mary
JD Year & School:1993, George Mason University School of Law
Years lived in North Carolina: 12
Home Phone: (336) 632-4998
Work Phone: (336) 378-9881
What are your top priorities or issues of concern for the coming term?
I would strive to decide every case on the merits rather than on procedural issues, and would give careful thought to every issue presented to me as a judge.
What qualifies you to serve?
Appellate work is, and always has been, a significant part of my complex civil litigation practice. Over my career I have prosecuted numerous appeals in diverse areas of the law, often resulting in significant changes in the jurisprudence. For example, I served as class counsel in Odell v. Legal Bucks, LLC, 192 N.C. App. 298 665 S.E.2d 767 (2008), disc. rev. denied, 363 N.C. 258, 676 S.E.2d 905 (2009), a class action in which the Court of Appeals outlawed the practice of litigation funding—a multi-billion dollar industry nationwide whereby lenders advance funds to litigants and often extract 100% or more annual interest from litigation proceeds. The Court ruled that practice violates North Carolina's usury laws and constitutes Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice, making North Carolina one of a small minority of cases in which the practice has been outlawed. I represented the plaintiff in Williams v. HomEq Servicing Corp., 184 N.C. App. 413, 646 S.E.2d (2007), appeal dismissed, 362 N.C. 374; 662 S.E.2d 552 (2008), a case involving allegedly thousands of collection calls to consumers, in which the Court of Appeals ruled for the first time that emotional distress damages were available to consumers who are targeted by unlawful collection efforts. In addition, I wrote the appellate briefs in Murphy v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 61 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 1995), 208 F.3d 959 (11th Cir. 2000), cert. dismissed, 531 U.S. 1107 (2001), in which the federal D.C. Circuit overturned a 50-year-old federal common law doctrine. The case settled one week before oral argument to the U.S. Supreme Court.
How do you define yourself politically? How does that impact your judicial approach?
I am unaffiliated with a political party and would keep politics out of the courtroom. Judges should base their decisions on the law and not let their personal viewpoints influence their decisions.
FOR INCUMBENTS: What have been your most important decisions in your current capacity? FOR CHALLENGERS: What decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with?
There is no incumbent in this race, as Judge Wynn has been appointed to the federal appeals court. Judge Wynn did not, as a State appellate judge, shy away from adapting the law to meet new situations. I would be the same type of Court of Appeals Judge. In my career, I have frequently addressed my clients' complex problems in creative and new ways, often succeeding against great odds.
What do you feel was the U.S. Supreme Court's most important recent decision? Did you agree with the majority? What is the role of that court in setting precedent for North Carolina's appellate courts?
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009), eliminating notice pleading in federal civil cases, may prove to be the Court's most significant recent decision. Iqbal's "plausibility" standard seems to give federal district court judges broad discretion to dismiss cases they disfavor and arguably invades the jury's fact-finding provenance.
Do you feel that North Carolina's current system of judicial elections serves the state well? Are there other forms of selecting judges you feel would function better or worse than the current one?
Our system of electing judges empowers voters, increases the accountability of judges, and prevents a concentration of power in the executive branch of State government (which would otherwise necessarily be involved in the selection of judges). Although the current system is far from perfect, I believe it is preferable to other alternatives.
Have you ever pled guilty or no contest to any criminal charge other than a minor traffic offense? Please explain.
Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I would endeavor to apply the law evenly in all cases and would not hesitate, where appropriate, to making a ruling that might be unpopular with voters.
Do you favor or oppose applying a plain error review to all alleged errors in capital cases? Do you favor or oppose mandating appellate review in post-conviction capital cases to help avoid arbitrariness in review of post-conviction capital cases by superior court judges? Please explain
The plain error standard of review—applicable when counsel for the defendant fails to raise an issue in the trial court—would deprive a criminal defendant of due process and would not appropriately be applied to all alleged errors in capital cases. A defendant in a capital case already has an absolute right to seek review by the Supreme Court of North Carolina.