Paul Martin Newby was born in Asheboro, N.C., on May 5, 1955 to Samuel O. and Ruth Parks Newby. He was raised in Jamestown where he graduated from Ragsdale High School. He received his B.A. degree in Public Policy Studies (magna cum laude) from Duke University and law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.
Justice Newby served as a judicial intern in the United States Supreme Court and interned in the 18th Judicial District Public Defenders Office (Greensboro/High Point). He began his law practice in Asheville with Van Winkle, Buck, Wall, Starnes and Davis, P.A. He was Vice President and General Counsel of Cannon Mills Realty and Development Corporation in Kannapolis. In 1985, Justice Newby was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in Raleigh where he served for over 19 years. He taught many courses for the United States Department of Justice and received the Crime Victims Fund Award.
Since beginning his service on the Supreme Court in 2004, Justice Newby has participated as a member of the North Carolina Courts Commission. He has been an instructor for the North Carolina Judicial College and various continuing legal education courses. Justice Newby is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Campbell University, where he teaches courses on state constitutional law and appellate practice. He is also the co-author, with Professor John V. Orth of the UNC School of Law, of The North Carolina State Constitution with History and Commentary (2d ed. 2013). In recognition of his professional service, Justice Newby received the James Iredell Award and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Southern Wesleyan University.
Justice Newby actively participates in the North Carolina Bar Association. In the past, Justice Newby has served on the Technology Advisory Committee (2005-2011), the Litigation Council (2005-2011), and as Vice President (2008-2009). He currently serves on the Law-Related Education Committee (2007- ), the Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee (2011-), and the International Law Section Council (2010- ). Justice Newby hosted a group of international judges for the Open World Program, sponsored by the Library of Congress. The North Carolina Bar Association honored Justice Newby in 2011 with its Citizen Lawyer Award and in 2012 he received its John McNeill Smith, Jr. Award, recognizing his work in the area of constitutional rights and responsibilities. Justice Newby has also served on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the State Judicial Council (2005-2009).
Justice Newby is an Eagle Scout and serves as Scoutmaster Emeritus of Troop 11 and as a board member of Occoneechee Council. He is the recipient of the Heroism Award for rescuing nine people from a riptide, of the God and Service Award, and of the Silver Beaver Award. In 2010, Justice Newby was named Scouter of the Year for his coordination of Scouting’s state-wide Report to the State, recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2012, Justice Newby was designated a Distinguished Eagle Scout, a national honor that recognizes both his service to the Boy Scouts and his dedication to public service.
Justice Newby has been married to Macon Tucker Newby since 1983, and they have four children. He and his family attend Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh where he is an Elder, Sunday School teacher and youth leader.