Release of New Directors and Officers

22 Jun 2021 12:43 PM | Deleted user

NCADA Elects New Officers and Directors at the Virtual 43rd Annual Meeting

Raleigh, N.C. -- The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its Virtual 44th Annual Meeting June 4, 11, and 17, 2021, swearing in a new slate of Officers and Directors during the Business Meeting portion.

Sara R. Lincoln assumes the position of President. 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.

Allen Smith is immediate Past President of the Association. 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 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 and one year as Secretary.

Ashley K. Brathwaite is President-Elect. 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.

Chris Kiger was elected Executive Vice President. He previously served as Secretary. Chris practices with Smith Anderson, LLP. His focus is in the areas of products liability, mass tort, and commercial litigation. He has significant experience representing manufacturers, insurers, and other corporate clients in both state and federal courts, as well as in multi-district litigation. He has successfully handled the defense of litigation involving a broad array of automotive, industrial, consumer, and medical products. Chris is a graduate of Elon College and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of NC. He was inducted into the Elon College Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

JD Keister was re-elected Treasurer. Keister Practices with McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLP in their Raleigh office. He routinely engages in the representation of parties in construction, professional liability, coverage and bad faith, real estate litigation, catastrophic loss, transportation and automobile litigation and commercial litigation, as well as first party defense for insurance carriers.. JD obtained his juris doctorate from Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law.

George Simpson, IV was elected Secretary. George is the founding member of Simpson Law, PLLC located in Raleigh. After graduating with honors from UNC as a double major, George attended UNC Law School. During law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, and worked as a student extern for Judge John Martin of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. His practice focuses on insurance disputes and defense, business disputes, regulatory compliance matters, and subrogation claims.

The NCADA welcomed the following members to the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term ending in 2024:

Gloria Becker, Batten Lee, PLLC
Isaac Linnartz, Smith Anderson
Jay Salsman, Harris Creech Ward & Blackerby, PA
Nicole Slaughter, Hamlet & Associates, PLLC
Mark Stafford, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP

About the NCADA: North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is a professional organization of nearly 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


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