Education & Career

Judge Pope’s Education

Marvin graduated from Claremont Central High School in Hickory in 1966. He worked full time at United Parcel Service as a student worker, package car driver and tractor trailer driver to pay his way through school at Lenoir Rhyne College. Marvin graduated with honors from Lenoir Rhyne College in 1970 with a degree in Government and History. Despite his efforts to enlist in the Navy he was denied acceptance to military service due to a severe bee allergy. Marvin obtained a job as a court reporter and worked his way through law school at Wake Forest University. He excelled in law school and was a member of law review. His younger sister, Elaine, followed him to Wake Forest and earned both her undergraduate and law degree from Wake Forest.

Judge Pope’s Legal Career

After law school, Marvin returned to Asheville to open a private law practice with his best friend, Ron Brown, even though he had several lucrative offers to join established firms. Marvin and Ron, both broke, secured a signature loan from Wachovia for $5,000 in 1973 to open the office and were able to repay it in full within 90 days. They worked hard and built an exciting practice trying civil and criminal cases in all of our state and federal courts. In 1978, Ron Brown decided to run for District Attorney in Buncombe County. Ron won the election and served with distinction until 1986 when he died after a massive heart attack at age 40.

Marvin continued solo practice and maintained zealous advocacy for his clients. In addition to the practice of law, Marvin pursed a variety of business ventures. He and two partners built the first solar house in Asheville in 1976. Marvin was in partnership with Mr. Carl Ricker in a land development and construction business that built shopping centers, restaurants and commercial buildings. In addition to the construction enterprise, commercial, business and franchise agreements were also negotiated and entered. Marvin’s career exemplified excellence and professionalism, commitment to the legal needs of his clients and surrounding himself with individuals of the highest caliber of character and ethics. Marvin has been active in local and state politics and managed political campaigns for Otto DeBruhl, Red Hoyle, Ron Brown, Gary Cash, and Rebecca Knight.

Judge Pope’s Judicial Career

In January 2001, Governor Jim Hunt asked Marvin to serve the people of North Carolina as a District Court Judge for the 28th Judicial District in Asheville. Although at the height of his 28 year career as a lawyer and with his numerous private business ventures, Marvin accepted the call to public service. He asked the Governor for a couple of months to close his law practice and the Governor generously gave him three weeks. Judge Pope was sworn in on January 26, 2001 on his 52nd birthday.

Judge Pope brought his outstanding work ethic and extensive legal knowledge to the bench and made an immediate impression with staff and lawyer for his competence, knowledge and dignified manner. He volunteered to preside over Truancy Court and has worked in the schools in an innovative program to keep children in school. He served on the Board of the Family Visitation Program that provides for supervised visitation and a safe place for exchanges in high conflict cases. Judge Pope was assigned to Family Court in 2005 and worked tirelessly to start this new program in the 28th Judicial District. He served on the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.