Ernest L. Conner, Jr. has over twenty-five years of experience representing persons charged with crimes ranging from simple traffic offenses to DWI, Fraud, Breaking and Entering, Burglary, Kidnapping, Felonious Assaults, Murder and Death Penalty Trials, Appeals and Post-Conviction proceedings. He has extensive experience in the District and Superior Courts of North Carolina and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Conner, a US Army veteran, is the recipient of the 1978 Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award for United States Army Support Command Hawaii, the ECU University Outstanding Senior Award for 1984, and the 2007 recipient of the J. Kirk Osborn Award for excellence in service and mentoring through encouragement and example on behalf of indigent men and women. He is a board member of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and North Carolina Advocates for Justice; a former member of the Board of Directors for the Pitt County Family Violence Center; Pitt County Legal Secretaries' Boss of the Year 1993; Outstanding Project Chair, University City Kiwanis, 1992; and Pamlico Sound Legal Services Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, 1991. He was 2010 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fair Trial Initiative, working in North Carolina and surrounding states to ensure fairness for indigent defendants facing the death penalty, and to help address systemic inequalities in the justice system's handling of capital cases.
He received his undergraduate degree with honors from East Carolina University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.