Ben Scales for District Attorney of Buncombe County

About Ben Scales

Ben Scales is a lawyer, musician, activist, and volunteer. He has built his law practice on a foundation of protecting his clients’ civil, contractual and intellectual property rights. He's served his community committing his time and talents to a variety of causes, organizations, and individuals, pro bono. And he's played music with some pretty cool folks, too.

Ben is a 1991 graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was a member of the Cumberland Law Review. Before law school, Ben earned a Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1986.

Ben is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, and maintains inactive status both Georgia and Florida. He is further licensed to practice before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Early in his career, Ben served as Law Clerk to Judge Eric G. Bruggink on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, which adjudicates all contract litigation and other claims against the federal government. While working in Washington, Ben was recruited to serve as Law Clerk to Judge Alex Munson, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, on the island of Saipan. The CNMI’s unique political status as a self-governing commonwealth under the sovereignty of the United States gave Ben a profound education in local, federal and international issues.

Ben relocated to Asheville, North Carolina with his family in 2002, where they settled into the historic neighborhood of Montford, renovating a classic 1920s bungalow. The Scales family has been heavily involved in their neighborhood and community ever since. 

Community Involvement (in no particular order):

Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County - Ben is currently Treasurer and immediate past-President of this 43-year-old organization

Isaac Dickson Parent Teacher Organization - Ben served two terms as President, after chairing the committee that built the playground. 

Pisgah Legal Services - Ben volunteers to represent victims of domestic violence and by devoting hundreds of hours of pro bono service, has secured protective orders for dozens of them. Ben was specially recognized by the Buncombe County Bar for his many hours of pro bono service to this cause. 

Stop The Violence Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County - Ben served on the Board, and in roles ranging from secretary to treasurer to legal counsel of the STV Coalition, an organization addressing racial equity and social justice issues in the community.

Montford Music and Arts Festival - Ben is in his 4th year as director of this event, after serving 9 years as music coordinator. This May 19 will be the 15th Montford Festival, with food, art, crafts and live music from 4-time Grammy winner David Holt, WestSound, Buncombe Turnpike and many others. Several thousand people attend this festival every year.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of WNC - Ben is a Big Brother to a young man at Asheville Middle School.

Medical Cannabis - Ben wrote proposed legislation that would establish legal system for safe access to medical cannabis. That bill has been repeatedly introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly, most recently by Sen. Terry Van Duyn.

Occupy Asheville - Ben represented pro bono 50 people associated with this movement who were prosecuted for a variety of offenses connected with their protests. Many of the charges were eventually dismissed, with one case going all the way to a jury, which returned a not-guilty verdict in 5 minutes.

Southeast Regional Folk Alliance - Ben was a founding board member of SERFA, and for several years, he served on the Performance Rights Organization Committee of its parent organization, Folk Alliance International, which exists to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community. 

Youth Sports - Ben has coached Little League baseball, middle school cross country, youth soccer, and his most recent YMCA 11-13 boys basketball team won the 2018 WNC championship, completing a perfect 9-0 season.

And several Saturdays a year, he swings a hammer as a volunteer building houses for Habitat for Humanity in Asheville.


Ben and Cate have three children aged 18, 16, and 12. The older two attend Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and the youngest is at Asheville Middle School. 

The Scales are members of Grace Episcopal Church.


Ben writes music, sings, and plays guitar and dobro, both solo and in bands with some of the finest musicians in Western North Carolina.

Political advertisement paid for and approved by the Committee to Elect Ben Scales
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