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Area Attorneys Chosen For 2018 Super Lawyers List

By Staff Reports, posted Apr 20, 2018

Another legal industry accolade that comes out each year is the Super Lawyers list, which is a publication of Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers across the nation. Peer nominations and evaluations along with third-party research are used to review candidates.        

THOMAS S. BABEL

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Business Litigation
FIRM: Ward and Smith PA
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: Miami University (B.S.); Ohio State University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Babel has pretrial, trial and appellate experience in trademark, trade secret, patent, real estate, products liability, construction, business torts and contract matters. He also counsels clients on drafting and negotiating commercial transactions. Babel has been rated by his peers as being “preeminent” in his fields of law. He has White Belt and Yellow Belt certifications in Legal Lean Sigma and Project Management from the Legal Lean Sigma Institute.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Business, civil, and commercial litigation; contract liability and litigation; construction litigation; intellectual property litigation; products liability; real estate litigation

 
MARK BACHARA

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Real Estate
FIRM: Bachara & Essey
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: University of Arkansas (B.A.); University of Baltimore (J.D./ MBA)
AREAS OF FOCUS: Real estate, estate planning, transactions, minor crimes/traffic
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Bachara has been licensed since 2008 in NC and the Federal Eastern District of NC, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Goldsboro before joining a private firm on the coast. He then started his own firm in 2012 in Oak Island. Bachara is very active in the community and was appointment by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve on the Brunswick Community College Board of Trustees in 2015. He was honored to be selected as best attorney for Wills and Estate Planning by Southport Magazine.
 

CHRISTOPHER BEHM 

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Construction Litigation

See Behm's Legal Elite list profile

 

NORWOOD BLANCHARD III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Employment & Labor FIRM: Crossley McIntosh Collier Hanley &Edes
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: East Carolina University (B.S., B.A.); Duke University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Blanchard has argued numerous appellate cases at the N.C. Supreme Court, N.C. Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Employment, general civil and municipal

 

DANIEL BRAWLEY

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Construction Litigation (Also named to Hall of Fame for Legal Elite in Litigation)
FIRM: Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed
TITLE: Of Counsel
EDUCATION: UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A. and J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Brawley was a visiting professor at the law school at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. “The opportunity to work with law students and professors in a post-Soviet Union environment was educational and rewarding and confirmed my abiding appreciation of the American judicial system,” Brawley said.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Litigation, construction and admiralty
 

ALGERNON BUTLER III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Bankruptcy: Business

See Butler's Legal Elite list profile
 

STEPHEN E. COBLE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- General Litigation
FIRM: Coble Law Firm PC TITLE: Attorney, Manager
EDUCATION: Elon College (B.A.); Appalachian State University (MPA); University of Dayton (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Selected as an Emerging Legal Leader in 2010 by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly; as a Rising Star in 2012 and 2014 by Super Lawyers; a Legal Elite by Business North Carolina in 2013; Rated AV-Preeminent (the highest possible rating) by Martindale-Hubbell 2015-2018; as a Top Rated General Litigation Attorney by Super Lawyers in 2017 and 2018.
AREA OF FOCUS: General civil litigation
 

CLAY COLLIER

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Civil Litigation: Defense
FIRM: Crossley McIntosh Collier Hanley & Edes PLLC
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Collier has served as lead counsel for trials to jury verdict, state and federal court, in multiple counties throughout the Carolinas. Collier has represented clients before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a former director and officer of the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys and the 5th Judicial District Bar.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Civil litigation, municipal and professional liability defense
 

AULEY CROUCH III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- General Litigation
FIRM: Block Crouch Keeter Behm & Sayed
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: Citadel (B.S.); John Marshall Law School (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Crouch has been a Superior Court mediator since 1993. His representative reported cases include: Sevigny v. Dicksey; Marina Food Associates Inc. v. Marina Restaurant Inc.; and Williams v. Houses of Distinction Inc.
AREAS OF FOCUS: General civil, including commercial/business disputes, construction litigation, personal injury and condemnation in federal and state courts.

G. STEPHEN DIAB

CATEGORY: Tax, Business/Corporate, Estate Planning & Probate

See Diab's Legal Elite list profile

 

DON EVANS JR.

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Transportation/ Maritime
FIRM: Clark, Newton & Evans PA
TITLE: Managing Partner
EDUCATION: UNC-Chapel Hill; Campbell Law School; U.S. Naval Justice School
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Evans belongs to the Real Property Section of the N.C. Bar and represents developers and banks in eastern North Carolina, as well as having a significant wills and estates practice. Evans is also a retired Navy JAG Commander, providing him insight into land and sea transactions, finance and litigation. While his firm conducts a general practice, it has particular strength in real estate, maritime law, business transactions and estates, and it has two of North Carolina’s six proctors in admiralty.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Business transactions, maritime law, real estate, wills and estates
 

H. MARK HAMLET

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Construction Litigation

See Hamlet's Legal Elite list profile

 

JILL PETERS KAESS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Estate & Probate Planning
See Kaess' Legal Elite list profile

 

HENRY KITCHIN JR.

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Bankruptcy: Business

See Kitchin's Legal Elite list profile


REBECCA KNUDSON

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Construction Litigation
FIRM: Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: UNCW (B.A.); Northeastern University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Knudson focuses her practice on construction, business, community association and appellate law. Her litigation experience includes representation of businesses, construction professionals and corporate officers in several complex lawsuits, including cases before the N.C. Business Court and N.C. Court of Appeals. She currently serves on the Council for the Construction Law Section of the N.C. Bar Association.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Construction, litigation, business, community association law



PAULA KOHUT

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Estate Planning & Probate

See Kohut's Legal Elite list profile

 

JAMES LEA III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyer- Family Law
FIRM: The Lea/Schultz Law Firm
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: UNC-Chapel Hill; Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Lea has been practicing law for over 37 years. He specializes in domestic law and civil litigation. In 1996, he earned the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating and has maintained the rating for the past 22 years. For over 10 years he has been listed in Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America. His firm has been honored as one of The Best Law Firms in America along with Ryan Schultz and Paige Inman by U.S. News. He also was recently named as a Lawyer of Distinction.
AREA OF FOCUS: Family law

 

MICHAEL LEE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Employment & Labor

See Lee's Legal Elite list profile
 

 
ERICA LEWIS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Workers’ Compensation FIRM: Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: University of California, Davis (B.S.); Wake Forest University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Lewis founded the Wilmington office of Hedrick Gardner. She holds an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell and was recognized in the 2014 listing in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Workers’ compensation, appellate advocacy and employment law
 

JOHN D. MARTIN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Personal Injury Medical Malpractice: Defense
FIRM: Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog
TITLE: Managing partner, Wilmington office
EDUCATION: Wake Forest University (B.A.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Martin has successfully tried numerous medical malpractice and personal injury cases throughout eastern North Carolina. Many of his cases involve brain injury, birth trauma, paraplegia and wrongful death. Martin also has experience with large construction litigation, premises liability and hospital/workplace security. He has appeared before the U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, the U. S. Supreme Court and the N.C. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Martin has been named to The Best Lawyers in America list in Medical Malpractice Law, Defendants.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Business disputes-litigation, medical malpractice and professional liability
 

JEAN SUTTON MARTIN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Class Action/Mass Torts (Also named to Hall of Fame for Legal Elite in Litigation)
FIRM: Law Office of Jean Sutton Martin
TITLE: Founder
EDUCATION: Wake Forest University (B.S.); University of South Carolina (M.I.B.S.); Wake Forest University (J.D.) CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: With 20 years of experience in the field, Martin represents consumers and individuals in class actions, pharmaceutical drug cases and medical device litigation. She currently serves as lead or class counsel in numerous national class action cases, involving data breaches, consumer fraud and defective products.
AREA OF FOCUS: Consumer class action litigation
 

ANDREW MCVEY

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Employment & Labor, Business Litigation

See McVey's Legal Elite list profile
 

W. JAMES PAYNE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Criminal Defense: White Collar
FIRM: W. James Payne Law Firm
TITLE: Attorney at law
EDUCATION: Campbell Law School (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: A retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, Payne has defended over 30 felony jury trials on the state and federal level and defended over 20 persons charged with death penalty first-degree murder. He is a member of the White Collar Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and member of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. Payne is chairman of the Commission on Indigent Defense Services for North Carolina.
AREAS OF FOCUS: White-collar crime, capital murder, military law-courts martial

 
MICHAEL RAMOS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Criminal Defense
FIRM: Ramos Law Firm TITLE: Owner, Attorney at Law
EDUCATION: UGA, UNC-Pembroke; Campbell Law School (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Ramos has practiced criminal defense law in Brunswick and surrounding North Carolina counties for 30 years plus, both in state and federal court. He carries a preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He was certified as a specialist in state and federal criminal law by the N.C. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ramos is a N.C. State Bar Councilor for the 13th District. He served honorably in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division from 1972 to 1975.
AREA OF FOCUS: Criminal defense

 

JOEL RHINE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Top 100 list and Super Lawyers-Personal Injury General: Plaintiff

See Rhine's Legal Elite list profile

 

LINDA SAYED

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Family Law

See Sayed's Legal Elite list profile

 

GARY SHIPMAN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Personal Injury General: Plaintiff
FIRM: Shipman & Wright
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: UNCW (B.A.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Shipman has been practicing since 1980. He has handled more than 100 jury trials to verdict during his career. He was recognized by Encore as the Best Law Firm in Wilmington 2016, 2017; Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as part of the Nation’s Top One Percent; Voted by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America.
AREA OF FOCUS: Complex civil, business law, construction law, HOA law, wrongful death
 

HELEN L. TAROKIC

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Immigration
FIRM: Helen Tarokic Law PLLC
TITLE: Attorney, manager
EDUCATION: Lake Forest College (B.A.); Wake Forest University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Tarokic is one of three N.C. board-certified immigration law specialists in Wilmington. She was voted a Top Young Attorney in North Carolina Rising Stars in 2012-13 and 2015-16, before being named a 2017 Super Lawyer. In 2016 her firm won the UNCW Community Partner Award for Excellence in University Engagement, for its work coordinating Spanish-speaking student volunteers to assist deportation defense attorneys in Dilley Detention Center. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
AREAS OF FOCUS: N.C. board-certified immigration law specialist; fluent in Spanish, English and Croatian
 

RYAL W. TAYLOE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Construction Litigation
FIRM: Ward and Smith PA
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A.); Wake Forest School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Tayloe is an experienced litigator. He has handled a wide range of litigation cases in state and federal courts, many of them jury trials. Tayloe has extensive construction law experience, including lien law, federal and state bond claims, and defective workmanship cases. He also has significant experience with agribusiness litigation, property owner association disputes, personal injury and all types of real estate disputes, including title insurance claims, trespass, adverse possession, condemnation, easement rights and wrongful timber cutting.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Contract litigation; eminent domain/condemnation; construction litigation; real estate litigation; personal injury litigation
 

EDWIN WEST III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Criminal Defense

See West's Legal Elite list profile

 

WOODY WHITE

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Criminal Defense
FIRM: Woody White Law Firm PLLC
TITLE: Senior Partner
EDUCATION: Southern College (B.A.); University of Nebraska College of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: White is a board-certified specialist in state and federal criminal law. He has served as a: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Trustee 1999-2002; Cape Fear Community College Trustee 2012-15; 2017; UNCW Trustee, 2018; chief legal counsel for the N.C. Republican Party 2002-04; and state senator in 2004 as well as on the Lower Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Board of Trustees 2006-07; New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, 2012-present including as chairman, 2012- 14 and 2017-present; and Legion Stadium Commission 2012-present. White received the Legal Elite award in 2007 and 2010 and was named to North Carolina Super Lawyers in 2012 and 2017.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Criminal (both state and federal), serious personal injury cases, wrongful death, civil, DWI/DUI

 
WILLIAM WRIGHT

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Personal Injury General: Plaintiff FIRM: Shipman & Wright
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: UNCW (B.A.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Wright has been practicing since 1999. He is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in North Carolina. He is certified a Superior Court Mediator by the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission. He is also a certified athlete agent in the state of North Carolina.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Complex civil, workers’ compensation, domestic and alternative dispute resolution
 

RISING STARS

Local attorneys also were named to the Super Lawyers- Rising Stars list this year. To be eligible for the Rising Stars list, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less.

 

ABBY ADAMS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Estate Planning & Probate
TITLE: Shareholder
EDUCATION: Ferris State University (B.A.); University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Adams has practiced in Wilmington since 2011 and is a member of the N.C. Bar Association Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law and Elder and Special Needs Law sections. She serves on the boards of the New Hanover County Estate Planning Council and Coastal Women Attorneys.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Estate planning, trust and estate administration, guardianships, elder law and special needs planning
 

SETH BUSKIRK

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Transportation/ Maritime
FIRM: Clark, Newton & Evans PA
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: Appalachian State University (B.S.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Buskirk has represented clients in numerous maritime and inland transportation matters including: vessel collisions, fixed structure and cargo damage, personal injuries, wrongful death, limitation of liability actions, vessel arrest and sale, towing and salvage, charter party disputes and shipboard investigations on behalf of protection and indemnity clubs. He has also represented clients in areas of commercial, employment, real estate and planned community governance law.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Maritime and transportation law and general litigation
 

VIRGINIA C. CARTER

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Estate Planning & Probate
FIRM: Ward and Smith PA
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: Washington and Lee University (B.A.); Duke University School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Carter assists in the preparation of all components of estate plans, wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills. She also advises individuals, families and closely-held business owners on estate and business succession planning issues, gift planning to reduce potential estate taxes and the preparation of gift tax returns, as well as the administration of estates. AREAS OF FOCUS: Asset protection planning; business succession planning; estate administration; estate planning; trust and guardianship law
 

ERIN COLLINS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Workers’ Compensation FIRM: Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: N.C. State University (B.A.s); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Collins serves on the board of directors for the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys. Collins provides legal expertise, consulting services and training in regard to Medicare compliance matters. In 2015, she traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of the Legislature regarding implementation of a re-review process for a CMS-approved workers’ compensation Medicare set-aside. AREAS OF FOCUS: Civil litigation, workers’ compensation and Medicare secondary payer compliance

 
RICHARD COOK

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Bankruptcy/Consumer
FIRM: Cape Fear Debt Relief TITLE: Owner and managing attorney
EDUCATION: UNC Chapel Hill (undergraduate and J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Cook is one of only a few attorneys in Wilmington recognized by the N.C. State Bar as a board-certified specialist in business and consumer bankruptcy law. He founded Cape Fear Debt Relief in 2011 as a boutique bankruptcy law firm that represents both debtors and creditors in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases.
AREA OF FOCUS: Bankruptcy
 

EDWARD “TRIP” COYNE III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: General Litigation
FIRM: Ward and Smith PA
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: Appalachian State University (B.S.); Wake Forest University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Coyne has significant experience in corporate, construction, commercial, class action, maritime and real property litigation, and regularly appears as lead or local counsel throughout the state and federal courts of North and South Carolina, as well as in other jurisdictions. He also provides general business counsel to domestic and international clients. Coyne served for two terms as law clerk to the N.C. Business Court.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Appeals; business, civil, and commercial litigation; construction litigation; maritime and admiralty
 

JUSTIN K. HUMPHRIES

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Business/Corporate
FIRM: The Humphries Law Firm
TITLE: Managing partner
EDUCATION: University of South Carolina (B.S.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Humphries is dually licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. He has appeared before the N.C. Court of Appeals on three occasions and has practiced maritime law in federal courts in Virginia and North Carolina.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Business litigation

 
MELODY JOLLY

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Professional Liability: Defense
FIRM: Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: University of North Carolina (B.A. and J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Jolly practices professional liability defense, including the defense of attorneys, architects and engineers, real estate professionals, accountants, home inspectors and appraisers, land surveyors, directors and officersof community associations and other non-medical professionals. She leads Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog’s Professional Liability section and has also maintained an active leadership role in the Defense Research Institute’s Professional Liability Committee since 2009, currently serving as its vice chair.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Community Association Law, Construction Law, Professional Liability

 
HEATHER DOLAN KAEMMER

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Family Law FIRM: Kaemmer Law Firm, PLLC
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: Elon University School of Law
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Kaemmer worked for a law firm based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, from 2012 to 2017 before opening her practice, Kaemmer Law Firm PLLC, in Hampstead in September 2017. Other highlights: Rising Stars, Super Lawyers (2018); Pro Bono Publico, New Hanover County Pro Bono Program: New Hanover County Bar Association (2014, 2015, 2016); Client Satisfaction Award, 10 Best: American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2016); Top 10 Attorneys Under 40, North Carolina: National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (2014, 2015); Legal Elite, Family Law: Business North Carolina (2015); Client’s Choice, Family Law: Avvo (2014)
AREA OF FOCUS: Family Law
 

AMANDA MIARS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Estate Planning & Probate

See Miars' Legal Elite list profile


 

PATRICK MINCEY 

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Criminal Defense/White Collar

See Mincey's Legal Elite list profile

 

JAMES MOORE JR.

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Star: Personal Injury General/Plaintiff FIRM: Shipman & Wright
TITLE: Associate Attorney
EDUCATION: UNCW (B.S.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Moore was named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 and National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys Top 10 Attorneys under the age of 40 in North Carolina. He also is a certified contract adviser for the NFL.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Wrongful death, personal injury litigation, construction litigation and mass torts
 

ANDREW NETTLEMAN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Criminal Defense
FIRM: The Law Group
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: UNCChapel Hill (B.A.); Elon University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Nettleman has practiced law in Wilmington since 2010, when he opened The Nettleman Law Firm with his wife. In 2015 he joined The Law Group as a partner. He practices in the areas of criminal defense and employment law. His practice is centrally located in downtown Wilmington and serves New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
AREAS OF FOCUS: State and federal criminal defense, DWI, drug offenses, violent crime, sexual offenses, state unemployment appeals


 

WILLIAM ODEN III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Employment & Labor

See Oden's Legal Elite list profile
 

CONOR REGAN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Business Litigation
FIRM: The Regan Law Firm
TITLE: Founder
EDUCATION: Mary Washington College (B.A.); Campbell University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Regan represents businesses and individuals in transactions as well as in litigation before North Carolina’s trial and appellate courts, including the N.C. Business Court and all three of the state’s federal district courts. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in various types of matters, including breach of contract, real property, unfair and deceptive trade practices, insurance coverage, tort and regulatory matters. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served as a non-commissioned officer in the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
AREAS OF FOCUS: Litigation, business law, real estate, construction law
 

RYAN RHODENHISER

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Real Estate
FIRM: Siegel & Rhodenhiser
EDUCATION: UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A.); Wake Forest University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Rhodenhiser has practiced law in Wilmington since 2005. His real estate practice includes representing developers on site acquisition and creation of subdivisions and condominiums and representing individual homeowners in closing home purchase and refinance transactions. Rhodenhiser is a member of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina, N.C. Bar Association and New Hanover County Bar Association.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Real estate transactions, business transactions and estate planning
 

DUSTIN SULLIVAN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Criminal Defense/DUI/ DWI
FIRM: Sullivan Law PLLC
TITLE: Owner, Attorney
EDUCATION: University of Dayton (B.A.), Appalachian School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Licensed in the state of Alaska, Sullivan is president of the Brunswick County Bar and the 13th Judicial District Bar. He has won a number of awards for his DWI defense practice on a national, statewide andlocal level.
AREAS OF FOCUS: DWI defense, criminal defense
 

FAISON GIBSON SUTTON

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Real Estate
FIRM: Murchison, Taylor & Gibson
TITLE: Member (Partner)
EDUCATION: Duke University (B.A.); UNC-Chapel Hill (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Sutton advises real estate developers in the acquisition, development, subdivision, zoning, leasing and sale of real property and assists with the formation and management of residential planned communities, commercial and residential condominiums, timeshare and fractional interest projects, shopping center facilities, office complexes and mixed-use developments.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Commercial real estate and development and agribusiness
 

COLIN TARRANT

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: General Litigation
FIRM: Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
TITLE: Partner
EDUCATION: NC State University (B.A.); New England School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, Young Guns (2015); Leadership Academy, North Carolina Bar Association (2013); Leadership Wilmington Program, Greater Wilmington Chamber Foundation (2012)
AREAS OF FOCUS: Tarrant focuses his practice on business litigation, real estate, community associations, land use and development. Having a unique blend of litigation, real estate, and land use experience, he concentrates his practice on representing and advising clients on complex business, financial, real estate, commercial association and land use matters. He regularly represents a variety of litigation clients in state and federal court and community associations in governance and enforcement issues, as well as energy and utility companies, developers, builders, property owners, and local governments in land use, permitting and municipal law matters.
 

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL THERIAULT

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Personal Injury General/Plaintiff
FIRM: Theriault Law
TITLE: President
EDUCATION: UNC School of Law (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Theriault first received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in 2014. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys included him on its 2015 list of Top 10 under 40 in North Carolina. He also was named among The National Trial Lawyers top 40 trial lawyers in North Carolina under the age of 40 from 2012 to 2017 and Super Lawyers-Rising Stars in 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Business North Carolina named him as one of Legal Elite’s “Young Guns” in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
AREA OF FOCUS: Civil litigation
 

JASON TOUPS

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers- Rising Stars: Workers’ Compensation
FIRM: McAngus, Goudelock & Courie
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: Louisiana State University (B.A.); Mercer University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Toups has advised and defended North Carolina employers and municipalities against workers’ compensation and other employee disability claims since moving to Wilmington in 2006. In 2015 he joined MGC’s new office in Wilmington to help grow the firm’s insurance defense presence in eastern North Carolina. He is a frequent presenter at various regional and statewide industry- related conferences and regularly provides education and training to local employers and their employees about workplace safety, disability, investigation and defense against workplace injuries.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Workers’ compensation and subrogation
 

ALLEN N. TRASK III

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Business Litigation
FIRM: Ward and Smith PA
TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: East Carolina University (B.S.); Campbell Law School (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Trask focuses his practice on assisting those who own, manage and invest in real estate and common interest communities. He has experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including depositions, hearings, mediations, arbitrations, trials and appeals. As an eastern North Carolina native with family farming roots, Trask has a passion for representing those who work the land. He is the leader of Ward and Smith’s Agribusiness practice, where he coordinates the firm’s resources to address the specialized issues facing clients in the agribusiness community.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Business, civil, and commercial litigation; real estate and developer litigation; community associations disputes; zoning and land use; agribusiness


 

THOMAS VARNUM

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Intellectual Property

See Varnum's Legal Elite list profile

 

JASON VAUGHN

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Family Law
FIRM: Law Office of Jason Vaughn
TITLE: Managing Member
EDUCATION: MCRD San Diego (USMC); Mount Olive College (B.S.); North Carolina Central University (J.D.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2014-2018 Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards; 2015-2017 National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Nation’s Top One Percent; American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, 10 Best Client Satisfaction; American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 10 Best Client Satisfaction
AREAS OF FOCUS: Family law, criminal law, civil litigation

 
JEREMY M. WILSON

CATEGORY: Super Lawyers-Rising Stars: Personal Injury General: Plaintiff FIRM: Ward and Smith PA TITLE: Attorney
EDUCATION: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. and J.D.); Duke University (M.P.P.)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Wilson leads Ward and Smith’s Personal Injury and Wrongful Death practice. He has extensive experience litigating claims for wrongful death, serious personal injury and a broad range of civil litigation before state and federal courts, including cases involving vehicle accidents, professional malpractice, premises liability, products liability and class actions, among other areas. In addition to his personal injury matters, Wilson represents clients in business litigation cases.
AREAS OF FOCUS: Civil litigation; personal injury; medical malpractice; premises liability; insurance coverage and litigation

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