Hon. Richard B. Abernethy has served as a North Carolina District Court Judge in Gastonia, North Carolina since 2007, where he hears domestic and family law, traffic, juvenile, civil trials, first appearance jail and felony cases, child support and probation violations on a regular basis. Prior to being appointed to the bench, he was a solo practitioner in Gastonia, North Carolina for 24 years. His law practice focused on traffic violations and minor criminal citations, real estate and civil litigation.
Judge Abernethy is a 1975 graduate of Wofford College with a B.A. in English. Judge Abernethy earned his J.D. from Campbell University in 1980 and was a member of the second graduating law class of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. In 1980, Judge Abernethy was admitted to practice law in the State of North Carolina.
Judge Abernethy has been a member of the Gastonia East Rotary Club for 9 years. In addition, he has served in various leadership positions on numerous boards, including Legal Aid of North Carolina, the Pro Bono Advisory Council of Legal Service of Southern Piedmont, the Board of the Gaston Girls and Boys Club, and the Gaston County Bar Association. He is a member of the Little Theater of Gastonia, where he has served as President and a long-time member of the Board of Directors, directed many shows and stared in such productions as “A Few Good Men”, “1776” and “Present Laughter”. He is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Gastonia, where he serves in various capacities and is involved in the music ministry as a member of the Contemporary Choir.
Judge Abernethy is the proud father of two grown children, Richard and Laura, and four beautiful crazy dogs: Radar, Ellie, Gracie and Molly. He is a sports fan and watches every Duke basketball game. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and traveling with his family, reciting trivia and watching Andy Griffith reruns.