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  • 20 Oct 2019 1:41 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) was presented the Rudolph A. Janata Award by DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar on Friday, October 18, in recognition of its diversity programming that has covered socially trending topics including LGBTQ issues, the #MeToo movement, a discussion on whiteness in America, and uncovering bias in the practice of law to leveraging diversity in litigation.

    Dayatra T. Matthews and Lach Zemp accepted the award on behalf of the NCADA. This national award recognizes a state or local defense organization that has undertaken an innovative or unique program contributing to the goals and objectives of the organized civil defense trial bar.

    NCADA previously DRI's Janata Award in 2002 and is the only state defense group to date to be presented DRI’s Diversity Award in 2005 and 2012.

    The NCADA brings together civil trial attorneys to promote the exchange of information, ideas, and litigation techniques, and to strengthen the practice, improve the skills, and enhance the knowledge of lawyers defending individuals and businesses in North Carolina. For more information about the NCADA or the Judicial Candidates' Forum, please contact the Association office at 919-239-4463 or jenniferedwards@ncada.org.


  • 04 Sep 2019 11:30 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    As another storm, Hurricane Dorian, takes aim at North Carolina, we recognize again the impact this storm may have on our members, in both your personal and professional lives. We urge all of you to exercise safety and caution in the days ahead. Hopefully, each of you has prepared for the potential interruption to your businesses, as well as personal lives. The NCADA, as an organization, again intends to lend support wherever possible in the aftermath of the hurricane.

    Realizing that members and firms will be affected differently depending on their location and the ultimate path of the storm, we would like to have our members already thinking about ways to assist fellow NCADA firms. Therefore, as you take measures to prepare for the storm, keep in mind ways that you may assist other members if you are not impacted as greatly as others may be. It is our hope that those firms most severely impacted might have access to needed spare furniture, printers, office supplies, and even office space by those members who are not as severely affected.

    The forecasted impact of Hurricane Dorian is to our coastal regions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the NCADA directly or to other members if you are in need of assistance, either professionally or personally. For those of you who are not affected as greatly, we may be contacting you to provide assistance and support for members whose practices and lives are impacted. This may take the form of donating supplies and space, as well as monetary contributions.

    From the mountains of western North Carolina to the coast, the strength of the NCADA is in our relationships with one another. We encourage all of our members to consider how you may support each other as Dorian approaches and passes. For those down east, stay safe and do not, hesitate to reach out for support

    Lach Zemp, President


  • 27 Aug 2019 10:56 AM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)

    NCADA to Receive DRI’s Janata Award at Annual Meeting in New Orleans

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) is pleased to announce its selection of the Rudolph A. Janata Award presented by DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar.  This national Award recognizes a state or local defense organization that has undertaken an innovative or unique program contributing to the goals and objectives of the organized civil defense trial bar.  The Award will be presented at the 2019 DRI Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Friday evening, October 18th.

    Taking advantage of today’s societal discourse, NCADA’s Diversity Committee has implemented CLE programming that is relevant both professionally and personally to our members and their clients.  These social trending topical discussions range from the #MeToo movement to a discussion on whiteness in America, and from uncovering bias in the practice of law to leveraging diversity in litigation.

    NCADA President Lach Zemp observes “This award is testament to the forward-looking programming and hard work of the past and current leadership of the Diversity Committee and the Board.”

    NCADA has previously been recognized by DRI with the Janata Award in 2002, and is the only state defense group to date to be presented DRI’s Diversity Award in 2005 and 2012.  Please follow this link to read the nomination letter

    The NCADA brings together civil trial attorneys to promote the exchange of information, ideas, and litigation techniques, and to strengthen the practice, improve the skills, and enhance the knowledge of lawyers defending individuals and businesses in North Carolina. For more information about the NCADA or the Judicial Candidates' Forum, please contact the Association office at 919-239-4463 or jenniferedwards@ncada.org.


  • 25 Jun 2019 2:38 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    On June 13-16, the NCADA celebrated its 42nd anniversary by hosting its annual meeting at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. The weather was perfect, the beer was cold, and with just over 200 in attendance, friendships old and new were kindled. A very big thank you to NCADA’s now President-Elect, Allen Smith with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, NCADA Executive Director Lynette Pitt and Events Coordinator Jennifer Edwards for organizing and putting on a top-notch program. A few highlights:

    ** Larry Pozner, nationally renowned guru on cross-examination did not disappoint with his “Three Rules of Cross Examination”.

    ** Dixie Wells of Ellis & Winters provided a most helpful and cogent summary of the notable appellate decisions over the past year.

    ** JD Keister of McAngus Goudelock & Courie facilitated one of the most informative panel discussions I have seen on current tactics and strategies employed by Plaintiff’s counsel.

    ** Laura Mahr of Conscious Legal Minds led us through a session of mindfulness training and techniques for reducing stress.

    ** We had strong participation from the judiciary – too many to list them all here – but to name a few: Chief Justice Beasley from the NC Supreme Court, Chief Judge Linda McGee from the NC Court of Appeals, federal Judge Martin Reidinger from the Western District of North Carolina, and Judges McGuire, Conrad and Robinson from the NC Business Court.

    But, by far, the biggest highlight was the opportunity to visit and spend time with our colleagues, young and old. The NCADA is made up of some the most talented and skilled litigation and trial lawyers from across the entire state representing clients in a wide array of practice areas. As a member, if you are not taking advantage of developing your practice by nurturing your relationships with these colleagues, you are losing one of the strongest benefits of being a member.

    Mark your calendars now for two dates:

    The NCADA fall meeting at the Grandover in Greensboro on October 4, and

    The next annual meeting in Hilton Head on June 11, 2020. This will be an election year so I’m anticipating a large turn-out.

    Finally, a quick but deep expression of gratitude to our immediate past president Larry Baker of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley for his strong and steady leadership over the past year.

    Hopefully, we’ll see you in Greensboro on October 4.


    Lach Zemp
    President



  • 25 Jun 2019 1:14 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)

    The N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) has honored G. Gray Wilson, a partner in Nelson Mullins’ Winston-Salem office, with the 2019 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence at its 42nd Annual Meeting and Spring Program in Asheville, NC.

    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.

    Wilson was recognized for “his steadfast dedication to his clients, unwavering commitment to professionalism and the ethical practice of law, and tireless support of various professional organizations,” according to the NCADA.

    Wilson currently serves as president of the North Carolina State Bar and also served the North Carolina Bar Association on its Board of Governors and was president from 2004-2005. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has served on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company since 2006 and has been chair of the board since 2015.

    In the community, Wilson has served on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, Old Hickory Council; on the Board of Directors of the Forsyth Country Day School; and the Board of Trustees of Messiah Moravian Church, which he currently chairs. He is a cum laude graduate of Davidson College and earned his law degree from Duke University School of Law. He was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 1976.


  • 25 Jun 2019 1:13 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)

    Dan J. McLamb is the recipient of the 2019 Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy at the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) Annual Meeting in Asheville, NC on June 15, 2019.

    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. McLamb has exemplified these qualities through tireless support and effort for and of his clients.

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

     Notable affiliations include:

    • North Carolina State Bar
    • American Bar Association
    • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Defense Research Institute
    • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • American College of Trial Lawyers
    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    • International Society of Barristers
    • Wake County Bar Association

    McLamb is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he earned both his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Juris Doctorate. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1974. He is a founding partner at Yates, McLamb & Weyher, LLP in Raleigh, NC where he practices with his wife and founding partner, Barbara Weyher.



  • 25 Jun 2019 1:07 PM | Jennifer Edwards (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its 42nd  Annual Meeting the weekend of June 13-16, 2019, in Asheville, NC, swearing in a new slate of Officers and Directors at the close of the meeting.

    F. Lach Zemp was elected President. 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.

    Lawrence M. Baker is immediate Past President of the Association. Baker practices with Wilson 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.

    Allen C. Smith assumes the position of President-elect. 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 and one year as Secretary.

    Smith was instrumental in securing engaging and informative content and speaker for the two-day CLE program, including nationally renowned speaker and attorney Larry Pozner. Additional speakers included Laura Mahr who presented on maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Other panelists and speakers offered trial strategy and briefed members on current trends and recent decisions.

    Sara R. Lincoln was elected Executive Vice 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.

    Ashley K. Brathwaite was re-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.

    Chris Kiger was elected 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.

    The NCADA welcomed the following new members to the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term ending in 2022:

    • ·         Jerri Simmons, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP   
    • ·         C. Rob Wilson, III, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP
    • ·         William Rapp, McAngus Goudelock & Courie LLC 
    • ·         Jonathan Hall, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP 
    • ·         David Wisz, Bailey & Dixon LLP



  • 27 Mar 2019 12:57 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. This Award was established in 2018 to recognize members who have demonstrated over their career sustained excellence advocating for their clients in legal proceedings while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism. This award recognizes members 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. Not only have they consistently obtained favorable results for their clients, they have done so while exhibiting a command of the skills necessary to obtain such results. Importantly, their accomplishments were brought about without sacrificing any of the high ethical and moral standards espoused by the NCADA.

    Please nominate a present or past member of the NCADA for consideration as a possible recipient of the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy that will be presented at the Annual Meeting, June 13-16, 2019. Your letter of nomination should be addressed to Kenneth Kyre, Chair, Awards Committee, c/o Lynette Pitt, Executive Director, NCADA, 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609. Alternately, the nomination may be emailed to lynettepitt@ncada.org. The letter should reference the "Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy" and 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, April 19, 2019.

    Criteria: The recipient shall be a present, or former, member of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys who has distinguished themselves during career by demonstrating outstanding commitment to trial and appellate advocacy.

    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.

    Inaugural Recipient:  Samuel G. "Sammy" Thompson

  • 27 Mar 2019 12:53 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence. This award, named in honor of the life and career of J. Robert Elster, the second president and a founding member of the Association, recognizes NCADA members who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics, and conduct herself, or himself, in a civil, courteous manner with all persons.

    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 13-16, 2019. Your letter of nomination should be addressed to Kenneth Kyre, Chair, Awards Committee, c/o Lynette Pitt, Executive Director, NCADA, 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609. Alternately, the nomination may be emailed to lynettepitt@ncada.org. 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, April 19, 2019.

    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

  • 22 Feb 2019 2:30 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

    The terms of five current members of the NCADA Board of Directors will expire in June 2019. Nominations for the five vacant Director positions are now being accepted to serve a three year term beginning at the close of the 2019 Annual Meeting through the close of the 2022 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, by email (lynettepitt@ncada.org) or U.S. Mail: 4030 Wake Forest Road, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27609).

    Nominations must be received no later than Thursday, March 7, 2019, 5 p.m.


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