Empowering a strong
community of trial lawyers

stripes

Why I’m an NCAJ Member

Valerie Johnson

President

Valerie Johnson

President

Valerie Johnson has been a trial lawyer since she graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law with honors in 1994. Her firm, Johnson & Groninger PLLC, practices statewide in the areas of workers’ compensation law, personal injury, and bicycle crash law and has offices in Durham and Charlotte.

Johnson teaches trial advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law and has taught workers’ compensation law at the Wake Forest University School of Law. She is an editor of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: A Practical Guide to Success at Every Stage of a Claim published by LexisNexis. Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and a fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. She is the 2021 recipient of the Charles L. Becton Award for teaching from the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

She serves as a director on the Board of Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Andy Banzhoff

President-elect

Andy Banzhoff

President-elect

Andrew B. Banzhoff is a partner in the firm of Devereux & Banzhoff, PLLC, located in Asheville, NC.  His practice is focused primarily on criminal trial and appellate litigation.  He graduated cum laude from the University of Tampa in 1995 with a BA in Political Science and obtained a JD from Wake Forest University in 1999. 

He is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law by the N.C. State Bar.  He has served as president of the Buncombe County Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association, as Chair of the NCAJ Criminal Defense Section, as a member of the NCAJ Board of Governors, a member of the NCAJ executive committee, as a legal affairs vice-president for NCAJ and as Chair of the NCAJ PAC.  He continues to serve as a member of the CJA Panel Selection Committee for the Western District of North Carolina.

I belong to NCAJ because of my clients. My clients deserve a lawyer who is up-to-date on the law that relates to their cases. NCAJ also advocates for a fair playing field, the crucial factor in order for them to receive justice.

– Valerie Johnson, 2022-2023 President

Karonnie Truzy

AAJ Minority Caucus Delegate*

Karonnie Truzy

AAJ Minority Caucus Delegate*

Karonnie received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Government from the University of South Carolina Upstate as a basketball player and then earned his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. While at Wake Forest he was a member and Captain of the American Association for Justice Trial Team, was active in the Black Law Students Association, was a member of the Order of Barristers, and was named a 2001 Outstanding Advocate. Karonnie and his wife Ebony have a daughter and twin sons. He enjoys spending his free time serving on the Elder Board of Oak Springs Missionary Baptist Church, grilling in competitions, and watching and playing basketball.

His admissions and memberships include the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Guilford County Bar Association, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group, the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He additionally serves on the Board of Governors and in the First Chair of Diversity for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. His recognition by the National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 attorney and by the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum has resulted in numerous written and published articles in the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Trial Magazine and the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation magazine along with various speaking engagements throughout the country through the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group. Most recently, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly has selected Karonnie for its inaugural “Power List” of attorneys in North Carolina.

David Sherlin

Term Expires 2023

David Sherlin

Term Expires 2023

David Sherlin started his career in the Wake County District Attorney’s office in 2005 where he prosecuted for six years.  While serving as an Assistant District Attorney, David assisted with the prosecution of the former Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and other government officials.  David left the DA’s office in 2011 to join Kirby & Holt LLP where he began representing victims of medical malpractice and persons injured in automobile and trucking collisions.  In 2013, Mark Holt and David opened Holt Sherlin where David has continued to represent persons harmed through the negligence of others. In 2022, David joined Jake Epstein in opening Epstein Sherlin — a civil litigation firm focused on personal injury, commercial/business litigation, and administrative law.

One of the most important lessons that David was taught early in his career by his mentors is the importance of giving back to the community.  David has served two terms on the Wake County Bar Association’s Board of Directors, and he served as the WCBA president in 2019.  David has served on North State Bank’s Downtown Advisory Board since 2008 and he currently serves as president of Theatre in the Park’s Board of Directors. 

David and his wife Lise have two children, a daughter Addison (15) and a son Austin (12).  He’d be upset if we didn’t also mention his two dogs, both he calls “beagleish.”  Their names are Sadie and Tilly. 

I joined NCAJ a decade ago because I was told it was a great resource for like-minded attorneys. But I soon learned that NCAJ is so much more. NCAJ is an incredible community of attorneys who support each other, help educate each other and through this we make a better life for our collective clients. In short, I am a much better attorney because of my involvement with NCAJ.

– David Sherlin

Learn More About NCAJ Member Benefits

Learn More

About NCAJ

scale
60+
Years of Service
USA
3rd
Largest Trial Lawyer Association in the U.S.
community
2,000+
Lawyer Members
cap
40+
Continuing Legal Education Programs Annually
Learn More About NCAJ