David W. Hood, President 2015-2016
Welcome to this edition of the NCADA's monthly publication, The Resource! In my last message, I argued for the proposition that Membership is a Wonderful Thing. And, well, it is.
Now let me propose another thought - Involvement is a Wonderful Thing. Membership in the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys is great, of course, but in order to truly utilize this opportunity both to enhance your practice and improve as a lawyer, I encourage you to get up off that bench and get into the game!
How should you start? I think a great beginning would be to check out our spiffy new website at www.ncada.org. If you are relatively new to the organization, it should help you get acclimated to our organization, our leadership, and our programming. There are forums available for discussion of current topics of relevance to our eight Practice Groups and other committees. You can read content from past issues of The Resource.
Once you get your feet wet, try to determine which part of our mission seems most relevant either to your current practice or what you want your practice to become. If you would like to become more involved in, say, the Commercial Litigation Practice Group, then contact the current Chair Greg Holland and volunteer to help him with planning CLE material, or writing for The Resource, or begin a discussion thread on the Commercial forum on the website. If, on the other hand, you would like to offer your brief-writing services for our Amicus program, contact Committee Chair George Simpson about what opportunities may exist in that area. If you want to help promote diversity in our organization, then contact our Diversity Committee Chair Viral Mehta and see how you can contribute.
There are a multitude of possibilities open to you. Your first step, though, it to make the decision to step out of those shadows of non-involved membership. Put yourself into the sunlight of vibrant, active participation in this talented group we call the NCADA. If you want to discuss more generally how we can best benefit from your awesomeness, then by all means contact our Executive Director Lynette Pitt, or you can take your chances with an email to me, your current President, at email@example.com.
Without your help, we cannot become all we could be. Come on, do it. You know you want to.
Judge Linda Stephens has been awarded the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence for 2015 by the NC Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA).
This Award, named in honor and recognition of J. Robert Elster, a founding member and second president of the NCADA, recognized current and past members who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and ethics and conducts him or herself 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.
Judge Stephens is especially deserving of this recognition by the members of the NCADA having achieved many "firsts' in her career. She served as the first female law clerk for Chief Judge Hedrick at the NC Court of Appeals, the woman lawyer to join the law firm of Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham and that firm's first female partner. She is among the first female members of the NCADA, the first female to serve as president in 2001-2002, the first President of the NCADA to receive the Fred H. Seivert Award from DRI, which recognizes the outstanding president of all state defense organizations, and she is the first NCADA president to serve as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. It is only fitting that Judge Stephens be the first female recipient of this Award - an award that was established under her leadership as NCADA president.
In addition to her many career successes, Judge Stephens is truly dedicated to service: to her clients; her friends; to the many, many animals that she’s fostered, mothered and nursed; and now to the people of the State of North Carolina.
The NCADA is pleased to recognize Judge Linda Stephens as the 2015 recipient of the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence.
John S. Willardson was one of the 2015 recipients of the NCBA's Citizen Lawyer Awards. Willardson was recognized for his volunteer work with local non-profits such as the Wilkes Family YMCA, Hospice of Wilkes, as well as other groups. Willardson served as NCADA president in 2000-2001.
Alan W. Duncan is the 11th recipient of the Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award presented by the North Carolina Bar Association. Duncan was presented the award at the 2015 NCBA Annual Meeting on Friday, June 19th, in Asheville. Duncan is a past president of the NC Bar Association (2013-2014) and the NCADA (1994-1995).
The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its 38th Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina June 11-14th 2015. Several officers assumed new roles within the organization this year.
David W. Hood was confirmed as the 38th President of the Association. Hood is a partner with Patrick Harper & Dixon, LLP in Hickory. He is a trial attorney with a wide-ranging civil practice. His concentrations include Insurance Defense, Business Disputes, Construction Law, Bankruptcy – Creditors’ Rights, and Collections. He is also a certified mediator, helping to settle cases pending in both state and federal court. As president, Hood plans to focus on growing and expanding the membership of the Association. Hood received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1991.
Edward F. Hennessey, IV is Immediate Past President. Hennessey is a shareholder with Charlotte law firm, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. His litigation practice includes the representation of claimants and defendants in construction, corporate and other business-related litigation. Hennessey received his J.D. from Cornell University in 1988. During his year as president, he focused on enhancing the association’s profile with the legislature and within the business community with a special focus on judicial and administration of justice issues. Hennessey was presented the “DRI Exceptional Performance Award” and the NCADA recognized him for his year of service during the conference.
A. Todd Brown assumes the role of President-Elect. Brown 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, and Workers Compensation. The diverse group of panelists and speakers offered trial strategy and briefed members on current trends and recent decisions. Brown is a partner with Hunton & Williams practicing in the firm’s Charlotte office. Brown received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1986 and previously served as NCADA Executive Vice President.
Dayatra T. Matthews was elected to the office of Executive Vice President. 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 and previously served as Secretary of the Association.
Lawrence M. Baker was elected to a 2-year term as Secretary. Baker has been practicing insurance defense litigation in Charlotte, NC since 1990, joining Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, LLP in 2002. 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 previously served a 3-year term as a member of the Board of Directors.
Julia E. Dixon, continues to serve as Treasurer. Dixon is a shareholder with Young Moore & Henderson, PA, in Raleigh. She served a one-year term on the Board of Directors and as Worker’s Compensation practice group. She served as the primary bill drafter for several significant pieces of legislation to reform the Workers’ Compensation Act and continues to provide feedback on proposed rules of the Commission. Dixon received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2001.
The NCADA welcomed the following NEW members to the Board of Directors:
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
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