Sidney retired as chief judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2004 after more than 20 years of service, and served clients as an appellate practitioner for many years thereafter. Today, while Sidney has stepped back from representing clients in active cases, he has a robust mediation and arbitration practice. He is a certified mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission and on the American Arbitration Association's list of arbitrators.

Before Fox Rothschild

Sidney was of counsel with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, which combined with Fox Rothschild in 2018. Prior to his service on the bench (1983-2004) and with Smith Moore Leatherwood, Sidney was in private practice in Raleigh. He was counsel to the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and previously had been a special deputy attorney general. He argued cases regularly before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, and he also has argued cases before the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. For more than 30 years, he was an adjunct professor at Campbell University's School of Law and he has lectured at numerous legal seminars.

While serving on the Attorney General's staff, he was revisor of statutes and secretary to the N.C. General Statutes Commission. He served from 1970 until 1982 as secretary, draftsman and member of the Criminal Code Commission. Sidney also served as head of the Attorney General's Legislative Drafting Service.

He also retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve where he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers as 2011 Raleigh Best Lawyers Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year (Copyright 2010 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.)
  • Wake County Bar Association's 2008 Joseph Branch Professionalism Award Winner
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Law (2007-2017), Alternative Dispute Resolution (2007-2011), Arbitration (2012-2017)
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Litigation Star (2013, 2015-2017)