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  • 12 Feb 2018 10:00 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence. This award is named in honor of the life and career of J. Robert Elster, the second president and a founding member of the Association.

    Please nominate a present or past member of the NCADA for consideration as a possible recipient of the Award for Professional Excellence that will be presented at the Annual Meeting, June 14-17, 2018. Your letter of nomination should be addressed to J.Nicholas Ellis, Chair, Awards Committee, c/o Lynette Pitt, Executive Director, NCADA, 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609. The letter should reference the "J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence," include the name and current address of your nominee, along with supporting information and any appropriate documentation you believe will help the Awards Committee in making a recommendation to the Board of Directors. Your letter must be received at the Raleigh office no later than Monday, March 19, 2018.

    Criteria: The recipient shall be a present, or former, member of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. The recipient must exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics, and conduct herself, or himself, in a civil, courteous manner with all persons. The recipient must exemplify sustained, excellent service to individual and corporate defendants in civil litigation, to the Bar, and to the community.

    Other factors that may be considered are involvement in judicial or other professional educational activities; participation in activities that improve the civil justice system; and such other criteria as the Board or Awards Committee shall determine to be important to the extraordinary achievement intended to be recognized by this Award.

    Nomination and Selection:

    Nominations shall be by current members of the NCADA.  Nominees shall be current or former NCADA members.

    The Awards Committee shall receive all nominations in confidence. It shall review the nominations, and if a recipient is selected, shall confidentially recommend a recipient of the Award to the Board of Directors of the NCADA. If the Award recipient is approved by the Board of Directors, the Awards Committee shall prepare an outline of the presentation to be made by the President of the NCADA at the Annual Meeting, and shall obtain the Award on behalf of the NCADA for presentation.

    The Award is intended as a special recognition, and it is not necessary that an Award be given as often as annually.

    Past Recipients:

    2017   Leslie C. Packer
    2016   John S. Willardson
    2015   Hon. Linda Stephens
    2014   Harvey L. Cosper, Jr.
    2013   James W. Williams
    2012   Richard V. Bennett
    2011   L. P. “Tony” Hornthal, Jr.

    2010   Charles E. Burgin, Jr.
    2009   Sam S. Woodley, Jr.
    2008   Alan W. Duncan
    2007   William K. Davis
    2006   J. Donald Cowan, Jr.
    2005   James D. Blount, Jr. & Stephen P. Millikin
    2004   Richard T. Boyette


    Print Nominations Information

  • 11 Dec 2017 11:00 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    1. Talk to them. Explain some actions are self-defeating.

    2. Teach them. Going to court may be a new experience for them.

    3. Get paid first. Money motivates clients.

    4. Rehearse. Role-playing can help things go smoother.

    5. Warn of consequences. Emphasize the dangers of violating terms.

    6. Don't sugar-coat it. This might require blunt talk.

    7. Put key advice in writing. This protects both of you.

    8. Tell them three times. Repetition helps memory.

    9. Prepare a checklist of client do's and don'ts. Review it to stay on track.

    10. Offer continuous feedback. Instruct them on how to improve.

    provided by 

  • 27 Jun 2017 12:34 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its 40th Annual Meeting the weekend of June 15-18, 2017. New officers and directors assumed new roles within the organization at the close of the meeting.

    Dayatra T. Matthews was confirmed as the 40th President of the Association. Matthews is Senior Vice President of Legal & Compliance for the Local Government Federal Credit Union in Raleigh. As SVP of the Credit Union’s Legal and Compliance Department, Matthews is in charge of ensuring all Credit Union business is conducted in compliance with relevant state and federal laws and regulations. Matthews received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1997.

    Lawrence M. Baker assumes the position of President-Elect. Baker practices with Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, P.A. in the firm’s Charlotte office. He has been practicing insurance defense litigation in Charlotte, NC since 1990. Larry handles both workers’ compensation and civil litigation matters at both trial and appellate levels. Baker received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1990.

    Baker served as program chair this year, and was instrumental in securing engaging and informative content and speakers for the two-day CLE program. Breakout sessions included topics relating to Construction law, Commercial law, General Liability, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Government Liability and Workers Compensation. The diverse group of panelists and speakers offered trial strategy and briefed members on current trends and recent decisions.

    A. Todd Brown Sr. is Immediate Past President. Brown is a partner with Hunton & Williams practicing in the Charlotte office. He has handled a broad variety of complex litigation in federal and state courts over his 30 years of experience, with an emphasis on commercial disputes, business torts, catastrophic personal injuries, consumer lending, unfair competition, and trade secrets litigation. Brown received his J.D. in 1986 from the University of South Carolina. Brown was presented the “DRI Exceptional Performance Award” and the NCADA recognized him for his year of service during the conference.

    F. Lach Zemp was elected to the office of Executive Vice President. Zemp, a partner with Roberts & Stevens, P.A. in Asheville, has over 25 years of experience trying cases and representing a variety of professional, outdoor-recreation, industry, and business interests in state and federal courts. actively litigate cases in a variety of areas, including professional and medical malpractice and licensure cases, commercial / business cases, and products liability cases. He obtained his J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1990.

    Allen C. Smith was elected to a 1-year term as Treasurer. Smith is a partner with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP in Charlotte. He is the leader of the Trucking and Transportation Practice Group and devotes much of his time to defending serious personal injury and wrongful death claims associated with truck accidents and motor vehicle negligence. He also defends products liability, construction defect, and premises liability claims. Smith obtained his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1992. He previously served a 3-year term on the Board of Directors and one year as Secretary.

    Sara R. Lincoln was elected to a 2-year term as Secretary. Lincoln is a partner with Lincoln Derr PLLC in Charlotte. Lincoln has an active trial practice ranging from medical malpractice defense to complex business litigation. Lincoln obtained her J.D. in 1993 from the University of Akron School of Law, magna cum laude. She was elected to Secretary after serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors, and past chair of the Association’s Women Litigators Committee and the Medical Malpractice Group.

    The NCADA welcomed the following NEW members to the Board of Directors to serve a 3-year term ending in 2020:

    We extend our sincere thank you to retiring Directors for their service:

    Continuing their service on the Board of Directors
    • Ashley K. Brathwaite, Elllis & Winters, LLP
    • Erin T. Collins, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP
    • Mark A. Leach, Orbock Ruark & Dillard, P.C.
    • Alan M. Ruley, Bell Davis & Pitt, P.A.
    • Kirk G. Warner, Smith Anderson, LLP
    • Hunt K. Choi, City of Raleigh
    • H. Mark Hamlet, Hamlet & Associates, PLLC
    • Sonny Haynes, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
    • J.D. Keister, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC
    • William M. Starr, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP


  • 29 May 2017 11:30 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    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


  • 26 May 2017 3:27 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Second Generation Members (2G Members)

    Following in the footsteps of a parent is a tradition in many families such as when children trod the same professional path as their parents.

    At NCADA, we have members who embraced that tradition by following a parent into the legal profession, the defense practice and becoming a Second Generation (2G) member.  This year we recognize these current 2nd generation members.  Let us know if we missed you!

     2G Members  1st Gen Members
    (current & former members)
     Josh Bennett, Bennett & Guthrie, PLLC  Richard Bennett, Bennett & Guthrie, PLLC 
     Jeanette Byrum, Stiles Byrum & Horne, LLP Henry Byrum, Stiles Byrum & Horne, LLP
    Cameron Caudle, Caudle & Spears, PA Lloyd Caudle*, Caudle & Spears, PA
     Justin Davis, Mullen Holland & Cooper, PA Neal Davis**, Mullen Holland & Cooper, PA
    Matthew Flammia, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham, LLP Dayle Flammia, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham, LLP
    Benjamin Gallop, Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland, LLP Marshall Gallop**, Battle Winslow Scott & Wiley, PA
    Perry Henson, Jr., Henson & Talley, LLP Perry Henson, Sr.*, Henson Law Firm
    Phil Hornthal, III, Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland, LLP Tony Hornthal*, Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland, LLP
    Lee Johnson, Jr., Anderson Johnson Lawrence & Butler, LLP Lee Johnson, Sr., Anderson Johnson Lawrence & Butler, LLP
    Brooks Pope Miller, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP  Jim Pope, Golding Holden & Pope, LLP
    Andrew Pinto, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC Rick Pinto, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC
     Joshua Rotenstreich,
    Teague Rotenstriech Stanaland Fox & Holt, LLP
    Kenny Rotenstreich,
    Teague Rotenstriech Stanaland Fox & Holt, LLP
    Michael Thomas, Patrick Harper & Dixon, LLP Steve Thomas**, Patrick Harper & Dixon, LLP
    Samuel "Bo"  Thompson, Jr., Yates McLamb & Weyher, LLP Sammy Thompson, Smith Anderson LLP
    *charter member  **retired


  • 25 Apr 2017 3:30 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    by Erin Collins, Director, NCADA Board of Directors

    The NCADA’s website now contains an online resource that connects the entire membership for discussion of trending issues, experts, recent case law, CLE, and any other topic of interest. These discussion forums are designed to allow NCADA members to easily engage, interact and brainstorm with each other from anywhere at any time by simply logging onto the NCADA’s website and using the forums.

    What are these forums?:

    The discussion forums were added to the NCADA website as a part of its recent update. The NCADA website contains forums for the following practice groups: Commercial Law, Construction, Employment Law, Government Law, General Liability, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, and Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, the Young Lawyers Committee, the Women Litigators, and the Paralegals also have their own discussion forums. Members can choose to be a part of any or all of these forums.

    The forums allow NCADA members to discuss any issue of interest with other members that are involved in the same practice groups or committees. So far NCADA members have used the forum in several different ways:

    • Workers’ compensation practitioners used their discussion forum to collaborate regarding the impact of recent appellate court decisions;
    • A construction law attorney used the construction law forum in his search of an expert;
    • The general liability forum was used to brainstorm an attorney’s strategy for dismissing an untimely appeal to the Court of Appeals; and
    • The paralegal forum was used to discuss an upcoming CLE.

    These are all important topics and it is evident that insight from other members would be helpful to the inquiring members.

    How do we access these forums?:

    To use these forums, follow the below easy steps.

    Step 1. Easy Log In. Go to www.ncada.org. Click "Log In" at the top right hand corner. If you have not logged in yet and set your new password, go to "Forgot Password" to have a "Reset Password" email sent to you, then create your preferred password (min of 7 characters; max of 50; case sensitive). Then access the site. Email lynettepitt@ncada.org if you have problems.

    Step 2. Go to Members Area/Forums. Here there will be a list of available Forums for each practice group, paralegals, women litigators and young lawyers. You may participate in any one or all!

    Step 3. Subscribe. Select your Forum(s) of interest. Click the 'Subscribe to forum' link on the top right hand corner. Once subscribed, you will receive email notifications of updates to any of the topics in the Forum with links to the new or updated topics. You may even subscribe to individual topics.

    Step 4. Create a Discussion Topic. Access the Forum of interest. A 'Create topic' button is at the top of this page which will take you to a template to create your message. Then 'Create' to post and replies will come directly to your mailbox.

    Step 5. Manage Your Preferences. The default notification for Forums is a daily email. You may change the frequency of the email notifications from daily to weekly or immediately.

    To change your Forum subscription settings, go to the Email subscriptions page within your member profile and click the Edit Profile button. Additionally, in the Forum subscriptions section, you can unsubscribe from forums and topics and change the frequency of forum update notifications. Do not forget to click 'Save' to save your changes.

    How do we convert these forums to a tool that can be useful to our members?:

    This answer is simple: we must use it. The goal is to maximize the amount of useful information being provided to the discussion boards. The higher volume of members using this forum will translate to more traffic, more information, and more diverse perspectives on any given topic. Please subscribe to your forums of interest and consider using the forums when searching for information. Please also consider sharing your expertise when another member needs information.

    NCADA members generally have online access at almost any time of the day and regularly need expert information, case law updates, and brainstorming sessions. The NCADA discussion forums could be an extraordinarily helpful tool if regularly used by the membership. If we all commit to subscribing to discussion forums of interest, the discussion forums have an opportunity to become a valuable part of the NCADA membership.

    Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor!


  • 27 Mar 2017 2:45 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The terms of five current members of the NCADA Board of Directors will expire in June 2017. Nominations for the five vacant Director positions are now being accepted to serve a three year term beginning at the close of the 2017 Annual Meeting through the close of the 2020 Annual Meeting.

    Director responsibilities include:

    • Regular attendance and participation at quarterly meetings of the Board;
    • Membership recruitment and retention;
    • Contributing and participating in Association programs and services;
    • Other individual responsibilities as required.

    To qualify for a position on the NCADA Board of Directors, the nominee should

    • Be a member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; and
    • Shown commitment and support of the NCADA through regular attendance at the NCADA's Annual Meeting, other programs and activities.

    Leadership opportunities in the NCADA’s Practice Groups are open for nominations. Members interested in the continued growth and relevance of the NCADA through its practice groups will be considered for leadership positions in the following areas of practice: Construction, Commercial, Employment, General Liability, Government, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Workers’ Compensation.

    The following information should be included in the nomination:

    1) Member Name, Firm, contact information and a brief biographical sketch;

    2) Brief statement by the nominee of his or her availability and commitment to actively serve as a member of the Board, or as a practice group leader;

    3) Brief statement why nominee would like to serve as a member of the Board of Directors, or as a practice group leader.

    Persons interested in submitting a nomination may E mail or write to the Nominating Committee in care of Lynette Pitt, Executive Director (E mail: lpitt@ncada.org; U.S. Mail: 3700 National Drive, Ste 212, Raleigh, NC 27612).

    Nominations must be received no later than Monday, April 10, 2017, 5 p.m.

  • 28 Feb 2017 4:28 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence. This Award is named in honor of the life and career of J. Robert Elster, the second president of the Association. 

    Please nominate a present or past member of the NCADA for consideration as a possible recipient of the Award for Professional Excellence that will be presented at the 40th Annual Meeting, June 15-18, 2017. Your letter of nomination should be addressed to J. Nicholas Ellis, Chair, NCADA Awards Committee, 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609. The letter should reference the "J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence," include the name and current address of your nominee, along with supporting information and any appropriate documentation you believe will help the Awards Committee in making a recommendation to the Board of Directors. Your letter must be received at the Raleigh office no later than Friday, March 24, 2017.

    Criteria: The recipient shall be a present, or former, member of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. The recipient must exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics, and conduct herself, or himself, in a civil, courteous manner with all persons. The recipient must exemplify sustained, excellent service to individual and corporate defendants in civil litigation, to the Bar, and to the community.

    Other factors that may be considered are involvement in judicial or other professional educational activities; participation in activities that improve the civil justice system; and such other criteria as the Board or Awards Committee shall determine to be important to the extraordinary achievement intended to be recognized by this Award.

    Nomination and Selection:

    Nominations shall be by current members of the NCADA

    The Awards Committee shall receive all nominations in confidence. It shall review the nominations, and if a recipient is selected, shall confidentially recommend a recipient of the Award to the Board of Directors of the NCADA. If the Award recipient is approved by the Board of Directors, the Awards Committee shall prepare an outline of the presentation to be made by the President of the NCADA at the Annual Meeting, and shall obtain the Award on behalf of the NCADA for presentation.

    The Award is intended as a special recognition, and it is not necessary that an Award be given as often as annually.

    PAST RECIPIENTS

    2016   John S. Willardson
    2015   Hon. Linda Stephens           2009   Alan W. Duncan
    2014   Harvey L. Cosper, Jr.            2008   William K. Davis
    2013   James W. Williams                2007   J. Donald Cowan, Jr.
    2012   Richard V. Bennett               2006   James D. Blount
    2011   L. P. "Tony" Hornthal, Jr.      2006   Stephen P. Milliken
    2010   Charles E. Burgin                  2005   Richard T. Boyette


  • 17 Oct 2016 9:11 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    NCADA's ninth biennial Judicial Candidates' Forum was held on Friday, September 30th. The Forum featured candidates running in statewide elections for seats on the North Carolina's Appellate Courts. Each candidate briefly discussed his or her qualifications and answered a brief question regarding areas of concern for businesses, civil defense attorneys and their clients. In addition to the videos by race, candidate profiles and statements of candidacy statements are available in this special issue of The Resource. Please download and share with colleagues, clients and friends.

  • 10 Oct 2016 11:02 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The N.C. Defense Fund, the political action committee of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, endorses the following candidates seeking seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals:

    For Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, the N.C. Defense Fund endorses for the Edmunds Seat: Robert H. Edmunds, Jr.

    For Associate Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the N.C. Defense Fund endorses:

    For the Geer Seat: Margaret P. Eagles for election to the Court.

    For the Stephens Seat: Linda Stephens for re-election to the Court.

    For the Hunter Seat: Robert J. Hunter, Jr. for re-election to the Court.

    For the Dietz Seat: Richard Dietz for election to the Court.

    For the Zachary Seat: Valerie Johnson Zachary for election to the Court.

    The NC Defense Fund made the decision to endorse each judicial candidate based on the following criteria:

    • Substantial exposure to or appreciation of issues involved in civil litigation;
    • Commitment to the evenhanded application of the rules governing our courts;
    • An outstanding reputation in the legal community;
    • An outstanding record of judicial achievement or possession of the potential to be an outstanding judge.

    The N.C. Defense Fund is the political action committee of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys [NCADA] is a professional association for lawyers and paralegals defending the interests of individuals and businesses in civil litigation. Current membership stands at approximately 900 attorneys and paralegals from across the State.

    For more information about the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys, please contact the Association office at 1-800-233-2858.

    ***END***

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