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  • 28 Jun 2018 1:29 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)


    Sammy Thompson recipient of the 2018
     Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy

    Samuel (Sammy) G. Thompson is the recipient of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy at the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) Annual Meeting in Hilton Head, SC on June 18, 2018. This newly created award is prestigious, and as the first receiver of the award, Thompson sets a high bar for future recipients.

    Awardees of the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy are members who have demonstrated over their career sustained excellence advocating for their clients in legal proceedings while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and who are eminently qualified to advocate for clients in state and federal courtrooms. They are considered by the NCADA as among the finest trial lawyers in the state. Thompson has exemplified these qualities through tireless support and effort for and of his clients.

    For his professional endeavors, Thompson has been awarded multiple honors, including:

    • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina State Litigation Star (2015-2018)
    • The Best Lawyers in America©, Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2006-2018)
    • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Litigation: Healthcare & Medical Malpractice (2015-2017)
    • Honoree, Top 100 Lawyers list and listed, Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice category, North Carolina Super Lawyers
    • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2018)

    Additionally, Thompson has worked assiduously to better the community around him as was demonstrated by his induction into the Wake County Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame. Other notable affiliations include:

    • Defense Research Institute
    • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • North Carolina Bar Association
    • North Carolina Society of Healthcare Attorneys
    • Former President and present Member, Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County
    • Former Chair and Member, Board of Directors of Family Violence Prevention Center (INTERACT)

    Thompson received his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a partner at Smith Anderson in Raleigh, NC., and is a founding member of the NCADA and served as president of the organization from 1986 to 1987.

    North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is a professional organization of over 800 attorneys and paralegals who devote a majority of their time representing the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. Visit us at www.ncada.org .


  • 28 Jun 2018 1:25 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)


    KYRE PRESENTED PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

    Kenneth Kyre, Jr. Receives 2018 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence

    Kenneth Kyre, Jr., Partner at Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC was the 2018 recipient of the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence at the 2018 NC Association of Defense Attorneys Annual Meeting, held in Hilton Head, SC June 14-18, 2018. 

    The J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence recognizes NCADA members who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and ethics and who conduct themselves 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.

    Kyre, an NCADA member since 1994, served as president of the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2008. He has also been a speaker and planner for the group and has served as Chair of the Products Liability Section. Additionally, Kyre is editor of the NCADA publication The Defender, and was instrumental in overhauling the NCADA’s website.

    Kyre has several professional memberships and accolades to his name, including:

    • Greensboro Bar Association
    • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Joint Task Force on Judicial Selection, Member, 2008-2009
    • E-Discovery Committee, Member, 2008-2010
    • North Carolina State Bar
    • American Bar Association
    • North Carolina Super Lawyer® in Civil Litigation Defense, 2006–2018
    • North Carolina Super Lawyer® (Corporate Counsel) in Civil Litigation Defense, 2008-2018
    • AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell
    • Assistant Editor, LexisNexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Insurance Litigation (2018 Edition).
    • Author, “North Carolina Insurance Guaranty Association,” Chapter 11 of LexisNexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Insurance Litigation (2018 Edition)
    • Author, “North Carolina Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association,” Chapter 12 of LexisNexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Insurance Litigation (2018 Edition)
    • Co-Author, “The Applicability of the North Carolina Products Liability Statute of Repose to Disease-Based Claims,” 16 The Defender 3-15 (Winter 2008) (publication of the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys)
    • Exceptional Performance Citation for 2007–2008 awarded by the Defense Research Institute

    He was nominated by his partners in part because, as they wrote: [The qualifications for the award] “look like a summary of Ken’s professional career.”

    Kyre received his Bachelor’s degree from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, NC in 1974 and his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1977.

    North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is a professional organization of nearly 800 attorneys and paralegals who devote a majority of the their time representing the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. Visit us at www.ncada.org .



  • 21 Jun 2018 2:32 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its 41st Annual Meeting the weekend of June 14-17, 2018, in Hilton Head, SC, swearing in a new slate of Officers and Directors at the close of the meeting.

    Lawrence M. Baker was confirmed as the 41st President of the Association. Baker practices with Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA in the firm’s Charlotte office. He has been practicing insurance defense litigation in Charlotte, NC since 1990. Larry handle workers’ compensation and civil litigation matters at both trial and appellate levels. He received his J.D. from Wake Forest University Law School in 1990.

    F. Lach Zemp assumes the position of President-Elect. Zemp, a partner of Roberts & Stevens, P.A., 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. He obtained his J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1990.

    Zemp served as program chair this year and was instrumental in securing engaging and informative content and speaker for the two-day CLE program, including nationally renowned attorney Bill Kanasky. Breakout sessions for the program included topics relating to Construction and 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.

    Dayatra T. Matthews is immediate Past President. Matthews is Senior Vice President of Legal & Compliance for the Local Government Federal Credit Union in Raleigh. As SVP, she ensures all Credit Union business is conducted in compliance with relevant state and federal laws and regulations. Matthews received her J.D. from Duke University Law School in 1997.

    Allen C. Smith was elected to the office of Executive Vice President. Smith is a partner with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garafalo, 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 major vehicle negligence. He also defends product 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 three-year term on the Board of Directors, one year as Secretary, and one year as Treasurer.

    Ashley K. Brathwaite was elected as Treasurer. Brathwaite practices with Ellis & Winters, LLP. Her practice is divided between the representation of health care providers, product manufacturers and distributors, and others facing allegations of liability for a catastrophic personal injury. She obtained her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law in 2005. Brathwaite has served on the Board since 2015 and previously chaired and co-chaired the Women Litigators Committee.

    Sara R. Lincoln was re-elected Secretary. Lincoln is a partner with Lincoln Derr, PLLC in Charlotte. She 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 has previously served a three-year term on the Board of Directors , and was 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 three-year term ending in 2021:

    About the NCADA: North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is a professional organization of over 800 attorneys and paralegals who devote a majority of their time representing the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. For more information about the NCADA, please contact (919)239-4463 or visit www.ncada.org.


  • 23 Mar 2018 2:50 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    by Peggy A. Shibata, P.E., Senior Consultantwww.engsys.com

    One should always consider the role that biomechanics can play in determining what happened in an accident. First, a person’s height, weight, and typical range of motion are aspects of physical evidence that are relevant for addressing a person’s position, posture, and fit within the accident environment. Secondly, human strength and movement information will help address the capacity of a person to act within the accident sequence. Finally, objective and diagnosed injuries can direct the accident reconstructionist as they indicate where and when a person is placed within the accident sequence and how the accident environment influenced the person.


  • 01 Mar 2018 4:02 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The terms of five current members of the NCADA Board of Directors will expire in June 2018. Nominations for the five vacant Director positions are now being accepted to serve a three year term beginning at the close of the 2018 Annual Meeting through the close of the 2021 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: 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609.)

    Nominations must be received no later than Monday, March 26, 2018, 5 p.m.

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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


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