NCADA is pleased to recognize the recipients for the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence and the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy for 2023. Mel J. Garofalo, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, and Patricia L. Holland, Attorney & Mediator, were recognized with the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence. Dan Hartzog, Hartzog Law Group was presented the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. These Awards were presented at the NCADA 46th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 9, 2023 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
The J. Robert Award for Professional Excellence recognizes a member's contributions to the organized Bar as a whole and to their community, and who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics.
Mel J. Garofalo, recipient of the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence, is a partner with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP in the firm’s Charlotte office. Mel served as Hedrick Gardner’s managing partner from 1993 until 2015. Through his years of practice, Mel has handled a wide variety of complex civil litigation, including large, multi-party product liability actions, complex fire and explosion cases, drug and medical device litigation, premises liability and security litigation, liquor liability litigation as well as wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury litigation. Mel served as President of the NCADA from 2005-2006.
Patricia “Trish” Holland, recipient of the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence, devotes her professional career to alternative dispute resolution, serving as a mediator in legal disputes brought in state and federal courts throughout North Carolina. Trish is a former member of the NCADA and served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2000-2003.
The Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy honors highly skilled members who excel in advocating for clients in state and federal courtrooms. These individuals are regarded as among the finest trial lawyers in the state. Their exceptional track record of consistently achieving favorable outcomes for their clients demonstrates their mastery of the essential skills required for success.
Dan Hartzog, recipient of the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy, is Of Counsel at Hartzog Law Group. Dan is a seasoned trial attorney with more than 40 years of litigation experience in North Carolina. He has honed his litigation skills by handling a broad range of civil litigation cases having tried over a hundred jury trials to conclusion with an exceptionally high number of defense verdicts. In recent years, Dan has handled several highly publicized cases in both federal and state courts.
Please join us in congratulating Mel, Trish, and Dan as we recognize them as leaders in the NCADA and the civil trial bar.
Learn more about each award and see past recipients via the links above.