On June 4, 1977, a group of 35 North Carolina lawyers gathered in the center of the state at the Howard Johnson Motel off I-85 in Greensboro. Their purpose was to establish an organization that would represent the professional and educational interests of North Carolina’s civil defense trial bar.
At the urging of a former President of DRI, Edward K. Mullins of South Carolina, J. Robert Elster, then DRI State Chairman for North Carolina, enlisted the help of William K. Davis and they canvassed peers and colleagues to determine if there was interest in a statewide civil defense organization. A small working group met to construct the initial goals and purposes of the organization, prepare articles of incorporation and the first set of Bylaws, and compile a list of attorneys who would be interested in participating in this new association.
At that Saturday morning meeting in June 1977, this small group of 35 established the initial board of directors, decided upon the organizations objectives, membership qualifications and began future planning. William K. Davis agreed to serve as the first president and J. Robert Elster, Jr. as president-elect.
NCADA began its first full year with 136 charter members adding an additional 19 by year end.
The Association held its first Annual meeting in the spring of 1978 in Pinehurst, North Carolina and the first annual Fall Seminar in November again in Pinehurst. The Annual Meeting and Fall Seminar continue to be the flagship educational and networking offerings for NCADA members today.
Forty years later, NCADA has grown to almost 900 civil trial attorneys and paralegals whose practices areas range from the traditional insurance defense practice to complex commercial cases. The NCADA has established a significant presence in the state’s legal community, the judiciary, the legislature and with North Carolina’s business community.
1977-1978 Founding Board
William K. Davis, Chair
Henry L. Anderson, Jr.
J. Robert Elster, Jr.
John G. Golding
Perry C. Henson, Sr.
Steve P. Millikin
Grady S. Patterson, Jr
List of Charter Members