• 15 Jun 2021 12:10 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    By popular request, NCADA will begin posting firm job announcements on the website and promote on the Weekly Update and social media. Job announcements will be posted up to four (4) weeks on the website and in the Weekly Update newsletter for $75 per posting. The website page is in development so we will provide courtesy postings in the interim.

    Current Announcements
    Deputy Counsel, NC State Bar
    Provide legal advice and representation to the State Bar and its committees, boards, and commissions, with emphasis on discipline and disability proceedings involving lawyers licensed to practice law in North Carolina and on proceedings to investigate and enjoin the unauthorized practice of law.
    More information

  • 14 Jun 2021 2:28 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    NCADA is pleased to announce the recipients for the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence and the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy for 2021.

    Barbara "Bonnie" Weyher is this year’s recipient of the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence, which recognizes contributions to the organized Bar as a whole and to their community.  Weyher is a founding partner of Yates McLamb & Weyher, LLP where she is now Senior Counsel and currently focuses her practice alternative dispute resolutions.  As a trial lawyer, Weyher has successfully helped clients resolve commercial and business disputes, medical malpractice, product liability, and general liability claims.  Weyher is a past president of the North Carolina State Bar, the Wake County Bar, and an active member of numerous other professional legal organizations.

    Gary Parsons will receive this year’s Award for Trial Advocacy and is the fourth recipient of this Award recognizing members who are eminently qualified to advocate for clients in state and federal courtrooms. Recipients of this Award are considered by the NCADA as among the finest trial lawyers in the state. Parsons is a partner with Brooks Pierce practicing in the firm’s Raleigh office handling trials and appeals in state and federal courts.  Parsons has argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He also appears regularly before all three U.S. District Courts in North Carolina and the North Carolina Business Court.

    The Awards will presented at the Fall Meeting in September where NCADA will also recognize 2020 award recipients.  Please join us in congratulating Bonnie Weyher and Gary Parsons as we recognize both as leaders in the NCADA and the civil trial bar.

  • 25 May 2021 9:48 AM | Deleted user

    HOORAY!  The light at the end of the tunnel is now real bright. In fact, we are a good ways out of the tunnel, and many counties have resumed trials. In my experiences venturing out to restaurants, stores, and church since North Carolina lifted many of the Covid-19 restrictions, I have noticed relief and enthusiasm. I have seen lots and lots of smiles that were hidden by masks for the past year or so. I have also found it a lot easier to recognize people with masks off! 
    In terms of professional life, we still need to exercise patience. There remains a large backlog of cases on trial calendars, and some counties are operating fewer courtrooms than normal in order to accommodate social distancing requirements for jurors. In my home county of Mecklenburg, the courts are placing priorities and larger disputes.  We all see cases in superior court that should really be in district court. I understand that these types of cases will receive a lower priority for trial and/or stronger encouragement to settle.  Please make sure your clients understand this.
    We also need to keep in mind that some courts, restaurants, and businesses still ask consumers to wear masks. This is another area where we need to be patient even if you have had your vaccine. Be thankful for the amazing progress our country and state have made this year!
    Speaking of thankful, this is my final Note as president. I am thankful for our innovative staff, Lynette Pitt and Jennifer Edwards. They provided the organization with great opportunities for virtual meetings and programs over the past 14 months and in-person fellowship in different cities over the past 3 weeks. In Charlotte, we had at least 30 attorneys attend the social function at Legion Brewing. I am thankful for the distinguished defense attorneys who wrote columns on what it means to be a defense attorney. Those were great columns, and I learned something new in each one of them. I am thankful for our sponsors and encourage all members to use our sponsors. Finally, I am thankful for the hard work of the NCADA board, committees, and officers. The plaintiffs’ bar threw a lot our way, including ongoing efforts to modify Rule 414 and some related statutes and to end the doctrine of contributory negligence.
    I hope I see you over Zoom at our Annual Meeting June 4,11, and 17; and in-person at the Fall Meeting In Hilton Head Island on September 19-21.

  • 11 May 2021 3:32 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is a professional association for civil trial lawyers defending individuals and businesses in North Carolina. The NCADA membership is comprised of almost 900 North Carolina lawyers who defend individuals and represent the interests of North Carolina employers, businesses, and insurers.

    The NCADA opposes Senate Bill 477, mischaracterized as the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act. The one-sided act abolishes the doctrine of contributory negligence without eliminating the inequities associated with the doctrine of joint and several liability.

    Consequently, the NCADA does not advocate a change from our current system of contributory negligence. However, the Association does not oppose ending contributory negligence if all five (5) of these principles are followed:

    1. The doctrine of joint and several liability is eliminated.

    2. A claimant does not recover if his or her fault is greater than or equal to 50% of the total fault assigned by a jury.

    3. A claimant cannot recover from any defendant who is assigned less fault than the claimant.

    4. A jury is to assign fault for all potential tortfeasors whether parties to the action or not.

    5. The doctrine of last clear chance is eliminated.

    The NCADA views these five (5) principles as the foundation to a balanced change.


    Print Statement

  • 29 Apr 2021 12:48 PM | Deleted user

    I hope all our members and friends are enjoying spring as society opens back up. I love spring and summer, and this spring has been more welcome than most.
    This year has seen efforts by the plaintiffs’ bar to end the doctrine of contributory negligence in North Carolina. Their efforts have come through the judiciary and the legislature. In the case of Saunders v. Hull Property Group, LLC, the plaintiff filed a petition for discretionary review with the goal of having the North Carolina Supreme Court do away with the doctrine of contributory negligence. The NCADA submitted an amicus brief to the NC Court of Appeals in 2019 and conditional motion for leave to file an amicus brief to the NC Supreme Court in 2021. The Court of Appeals declined to end contributory negligence, and the Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's petition for discretionary review.
    Prior to the dismissal, the NCADA put together a committee to study contributory negligence and comparative fault. The North Carolina Advocates for Justice seem determined to bring an end to our current system one way or the other. As it stands, North Carolina is one of four states (in addition to Alabama, Maryland, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia that still has a pure contributory negligence system as opposed to comparative fault. Our committee is not advocating for a change of the current law. Instead, we want the NCADA to be ready if legislation is introduced to abolish contributory negligence. Specifically, the committee is researching the types of changes we can accept. 
    Shortly after our first meeting, a state senator introduced Senate Bill 477, the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act. From our perspective, the bill was a non-starter. It ends contributory negligence, but does not end joint and several liability. As a result, we joined the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and a long list of business-oriented groups, in a letter dated April 12, 2021, to the NC Senate opposing this bill.
    Our committee is working on a position statement addressing key issues. If there is going to be a change, there needs to be fairness to both sides, something that is not accomplished with Senate Bill 477. We will submit the proposed position statement to the board by the annual meeting and include principles that must be included if there is a change. The committee welcomes questions, comments, and suggestions from our members.

  • 16 Apr 2021 1:09 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The pandemic brought tons of changes and challenges, but it also brought opportunity. In person meetings have been put on hold yet we have been able meet virtually via Zoom and a multitude of other platforms. A lot of great conversations and education have occurred online during the past 13 or more months. Did you know you have platform available to extend these conversations?

    The NCADA’s website 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. The Member Network are discussion forums 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.

    This members’ only resource is accessible through the website and contains discussion forums for all our practice groups and for young lawyers, women litigators, paralegals, and the diversity committee. Members can choose to be a part of any or all of these forums to discuss any issue of interest with other members that are involved in the same practice groups or committees.

    How do we access these forums? It’s easy. Here’s how:

    • Step 1. Easy Log In. Go to Click "Log In" at the top right-hand corner. If you have not logged in yet and set your 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 if you have problems.
    • Step 2. Go to Members Area/Networks. Here there will be a list of available network 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 network’s forum with links to the new or updated topics. You may even subscribe to individual topics.
    • Step 4. Create a Discussion Topic. Access the Member Network 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. To reply, just click the Reply button.
    • 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.

    Start a conversation today!

  • 15 Apr 2021 4:01 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Recognize a colleague, mentor or peer you hold in high esteem for the  J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence and the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy this year.

    Present and past members of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys are eligible for consideration as a possible recipient for one of these awards.  Recipients will be recognized during the 2021 virtual Annual Meeting on June 11, 2021, and presentations given at the fall meeting in September to both 2020 and 2021 recipients.

    Deadline for submission is Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Your letter of nomination should be addressed to Leslie Packer, Chair, Awards Committee, c/o Lynette Pitt, Executive Director, NCADA, 4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 203, Raleigh, NC, 27610.

    Learn more about the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence and the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.

    Past Honorees 

     J. Robert Elster Award  Trial Advocate Award

    2020 Patricia “Tricia” P. Shields
    2019 G. Gray Wilson
    2018 Kenneth Kyre, Jr.
    2017 Leslie C. Packer
    2016 John S. Willardson
    2015 Honorable 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

    2020 David N. Allen
    2019 Dan J. McLamb
    2018 Samuel “Sammy” G. Thompson

  • 31 Mar 2021 11:06 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    President Allen Smith shared a letter with leaders of North Carolina's General Assembly endorsing Governor Cooper's nominations to serve as Special Superior Court judges with designations to the Business Court.

    NCADA endorses for reappointment the Honorable Adam Conrad and the Honorable Michael Robinson to the Business Court.  Nominees Julianna Theall Earp and the Honorable Mark Davis are also endorsed.

    Read the letter of endorsement here.

  • 25 Mar 2021 10:33 AM | Deleted user

    “The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them.”  Dean Rusk
    Think about some of your best trips to a doctor. What made the doctor stand out? I’m willing to bet that the doctor was an active listener. Litigators want to be known for their closing arguments, but one of the most important skills a lawyer can develop is the ability to be a good listener.

    Listening carefully to the client at the outset of the case allows the attorney to get a good grasp of the facts so that he or she can develop a strategy for the case. Acknowledging what the client tells an attorney puts the client at ease. Some of my best lines during a closing argument have come from random comments by clients during the course of a trial.

    Listening to witnesses is equally important. Most of us have some type of outline or list of questions. During depositions, it is easy to methodically walk through the questions. The attorney may get a good answer to a question early in the deposition that eliminates the need for asking a question later in the deposition. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by asking that later question and allowing the witness to change the answer.
    The NCADA also wants to listen to its members.  How can we help your practice?  Is there a topic for one of the coffee talks you would like to discuss?  Do you have suggestions for topics for the Fall Seminar?
      If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please contact me, Lynette, or Jennifer.

  • 10 Mar 2021 9:00 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The terms of five current members of the NCADA Board of Directors will expire in June 2021. Nominations for the five vacant Director positions are now being accepted to serve a three year term beginning at the close of the 2021 Annual Meeting through the close of the 2024 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:; U.S. Mail: 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609.)

    Nominations must be received no later than Monday, March 29, 2021, 5 p.m.

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