Leadership

stripes

NCAJ Officers

John McCabe

President

John McCabe

President

John M. McCabe is the founder and president of The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A., which is located in his hometown of Cary, North Carolina. John graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991 with a degree in economics, and in 1994, he graduated, cum laude, from Campbell University School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor of the Campbell Law Review and was named to several national moot court teams.

Over the last 27 years, John has developed a statewide practice, devoted largely to representing the victims of trucking and auto collisions, on-the-job accidents, animal attacks, and nursing home neglect.

John is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and he has earned numerous recognitions, including: (1) Tier 1 Best Law Firms and Top Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report; (2) The Best Lawyers in America; (3) North Carolina Super Lawyer (Top 100), (4) North Carolina’s Legal Elite, (5) Best Lawyers in North Carolina, and (5) Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

John has remained active in NCAJ through his career. He has served on the Executive Committee since 2014, and last year, he chaired NCAJ’s Advocacy Strategic Plan Task Force, the Finance Committee, and the Nominations & Awards Committee. He was also appointed to the Chief Justice’s COVID-19 Task Force. John previously chaired the Auto Torts Section and the New Lawyers Division, and in 2015, he received the Ebbie Award.

John frequently presents at CLE’s and law schools throughout the State, and he serves on the Board of Visitors at Campbell Law School. He also authored The Analysis and Investigation of Personal Injury Cases” in the book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina.

In his spare time, John enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and going to concerts with his wife, Rebecca.

Valerie Johnson

President-Elect

Valerie Johnson

President-Elect

Valerie A. Johnson represents injured workers and individuals who have been wronged or injured at Johnson & Groninger PLLC, a law firm with offices in Charlotte and Durham. Valerie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC School of Law, and is a board-certified specialist in workers’ compensation law. Valerie taught elementary school after graduating from college and now helps to educate the next generation of lawyers, teaching trial advocacy at the UNC School of Law. She serves on the board of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice as the Education Vice President and on the board of Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

David Henson

Immediate Past President

David Henson

Immediate Past President

David Henson is a partner with Henson & Fuerst Attorneys and manages the firm’s eminent domain land condemnation division. David represents individuals, families, businesses, churches and other property owners across the state of North Carolina who are having their land taken by the government or other private condemnors. David received his bachelor’s degree with academic distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995 and his Juris Doctor from University of North Carolina School of Law in 1998. 

A member of NCAJ since 1998, David has actively participated in the Eminent Domain and Auto Torts sections and the Hispanic-Latino Division. Since 2012, he has served on numerous committees and task forces as a member or chair of: Finance, Building, Strategic Planning, Advocacy Strategic Planning, PAC, Governance Review, Ethics, Personnel, Nominating, and others. Further, he has served on the Executive Committee in the roles of Education VP, Communications VP, Legal Affairs VP, Fundraising and Development Officer, and at-large. He served as President-elect from 2019-2020, and then President from 2020-2021.

David is an ardent supporter of and believer in NCAJ and its mission.

Mark Sumwalt

Past President Appointed by the President

Mark Sumwalt

Past President Appointed by the President

Mark Sumwalt is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina who has practiced law in Charlotte since 1981, primarily in the field of worker’s compensation. He has litigated hundreds of cases to decision all over the state and handled many significant appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, particularly in the area of attendant care.

Mark has three children and two grandchildren, luckily all in Charlotte. He loves the outdoors, staying active, and most all sports.

Kimberly Wilson White

Education Vice President

Kimberly Wilson White

Education Vice President

Kimberly Wilson White, Managing Shareholder of Wilson Law, P.A. in Raleigh, NC, has been practicing law for 25 years. She received her law degree from West Virginia University, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For nearly 20 years, Ms. White has represented plaintiffs in personal injury cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, defective products and medical malpractice. Ms. White has been appointed to leadership positions by federal judges in various multidistrict litigations across the country. Recently, she was appointed by Federal Judge M. Casey Rodgers to the Expert and Science Committee in the 3M Products Liability Litigation pending in the Northern District of Florida. This litigation involves the use of defective hearing protection by U.S. Servicemembers, including many servicemembers from North Carolina.

As a member of NCAJ, Ms. White has served the organization as a lobbyist, PAC Trustee and member of the Board of Governors, Finance and Nominating & Awards committee. Over the past 10 years, she has also assisted with NCAJ opposition to proposed legislation impacting civil jury trials, specifically beating back, along with other NCAJ members, an effort in 2012 to pass legislation that would have afforded immunity for pharmaceutical companies from civil suit for injuries caused by dangerous drugs. But for the efforts of NCAJ, North Carolinians would not have the same access to the courtroom as other Americans who are injured by the misleading, inadequate warnings of drug manufacturers.

Anna Kalarites

Diversity & Inclusion Vice President

Anna Kalarites

Diversity & Inclusion Vice President

Anna Kalarites’ practice focuses on fighting for individual’s rights in nursing home, medical malpractice, and employment issues. Anna grew up in Winston-Salem, and upon graduating from Duke University, moved to Washington, DC. After living and working in DC for 7 years, Anna decided to go to law school. Anna graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2014.

After law school, Anna and her husband moved back to North Carolina where she joined the Law Office of David Pishko. David Pishko also happens to be her father. Together, they help those who have been harmed in nursing homes or hospitals, as well as those harmed in their places of work. Anna is a past chair of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Nursing Home Section and currently serves on the Board of Governors and is Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus.

Outside of work, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters, Abigail and Emma. When not busy shuttling them from dance class to swim class, she volunteers with Back Pack Buddies through the Junior League of Raleigh and is on the Edenton Street United Methodist Church Preschool Council.

Jon Moore

Legal Affairs Vice President

Jon Moore

Legal Affairs Vice President

Jon Moore grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri area before graduating college from Northwestern University.  After a year of teaching high school, Jon went on to law school at Georgetown University.  After briefly working in Missouri following law school, Jon moved to North Carolina when his wife accepted a job as a reporter at a local television station.  Jon focuses his practice on personal injury and medical malpractice.  He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine from 2017 through 2021.  Jon has served as Chair of the Product Liability section, and also Chair of the Auto Torts and Premises Liability section.  During his tenure as Chair of the ATPL section, Jon launched the popular monthly trial de-briefs.  Jon has served on the NCAJ’s Legal Affairs committee for several years, and authored multiple amicus briefs and served on multiple moot court panels.  His favorite part about being an NCAJ member is the collegiality and the willingness of members to share their knowledge and expertise.

Ann Ochsner

Legislative Vice President

Ann Ochsner

Legislative Vice President

Ann Ochsner practices with the Whitley Law Firm in Raleigh. Well versed in civil litigation and appellate advocacy, she concentrates in automobile collisions, slip and fall cases, dog bites and general negligence. Ochsner has been an NCAJ member since 2011 and has previously served as NCAJ’s education vice president. She is a graduate of Methodist University and Campbell University School of Law.

Andy Banzhoff

Membership Vice President

Andy Banzhoff

Membership Vice President

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 NCBA.  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.

Kevin Bunn

Political Action Committee Chair

Kevin Bunn

Political Action Committee Chair

Kevin Bunn graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986, and received his Master of Public Administration degree from UNC in 1989.  He graduated from the UNC School of Law in 1993. Kevin has practiced law in Cary, North Carolina, since graduating from law school. Kevin has been a Board-Certified Specialist in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law since 2013. He is a frequent presenter at workers’ compensation continuing education programs. Kevin is a Fellow of the National College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. Kevin is a former Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section, and currently serves on the Section’s Executive Committee and as Chair of the Section’s Legislative Committee. He also serves on the NCAJ Board of Governors, Executive Committee and Finance Committee. He is the Chair of the NCAJ Political Action Committee.

Kevin joined NCAJ for the continuation education, but he stays for the friendships.

Kristen Dewar

At-Large

Kristen Dewar

At-Large

Kristen Dewar is an associate attorney at Minick Law, P.C.’s Concord location, focused on DWI, criminal defense, and traffic law in Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, and Stanly County. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she holds an honors B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and a J.D., cum laude, and Certificate in Advocacy from Charlotte School of Law. As an active NCAJ member since 2014, she has held a series of leadership positions, including currently serving as the Immediate Past Chair of the Criminal Defense section, and on the Board of Governors.

Kim Crouch

Executive Director

Kim Crouch

Executive Director

Kim Crouch has served as executive director of NCAJ since 2017. She brings to the job 15 years of experience in leading legislative advocacy and public affairs in both the public and private sector. As director of governmental affairs for the North Carolina Bar Association for nine years, Crouch led strategic legislative policy for the largest non-profit association for legal professionals in the state, where she honed her skills in coalition building, lobbying and stake-holder management. 

Before her time at NCBA, Crouch served as director of public affairs for the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 

As executive director at NCAJ, Crouch manages the systems and staff of the organization with a constant focus on improving efficiency in order to provide excellent member service and support NCAJ’s mission to empower a strong community of trial lawyers across our state. Currently, she also serves on the board of North Carolina’s Equal Access to Justice Commission, which works to expand access to the civil justice system for low-income people.   

Crouch holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy and public relations from Syracuse University and juris doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.   

She and her husband, Edward, live in Cary with their two children, Cooper and Casey.   

NCAJ Governors

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Doug Abrams

AAJ Governor | Term Expires 2024*

Doug Abrams

AAJ Governor | Term Expires 2024*

Doug Abrams has been a practicing trial lawyer for more than 40 years. Doug is a partner in the firm of Abrams & Abrams, P.A. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Doug currently represents plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury cases, tractor trailer wrecks, plant explosions and fire cases, products liability or defective products cases, fifteen passenger van rollover cases, business tort litigation, and other tort cases.

Doug has given numerous lectures and has written extensively on the subject of personal injury and tort law. Doug served as the President of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (now the North Carolina Advocates for Justice) for 1995-1996 and has remained on the Board of NCAJ in numerous capacities both before and after that time. Doug has also been active in the American Association for Justice and currently serves on their Board of Governors. Doug has been selected for inclusion in a leading publication entitled The Best Lawyers in America, as well as the publication Super Lawyers. Doug and Peggy were jointly recipients of the Walter Clark Award given by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice in June 2012.

Margaret S. Abrams

AAJ State Delegate | Term Expires 2023*

Margaret S. Abrams

AAJ State Delegate | Term Expires 2023*

Michael Adkins

Term Expires 2022

Michael Adkins

Term Expires 2022

Michael’s past legal experience includes having served as an assistant prosecutor in Mingo County, WV, and as a member of the firm of Adkins & Adkins. Upon his return to North Carolina, he joined the firm of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem. He subsequently joined the law firm of former judge David R. Tanis where he did civil litigation, personal injury, traffic and criminal litigation before moving to Salisbury in 1992 to join the firm of Wallace & Whitley.

At Wallace & Whitley, his practice concentrated in personal injury and product liability. When that firm split in 1996, he remained as a shareholder in Wallace, Graham & Adkins (which is now known as Wallace & Graham) before leaving to join Cecil L. Whitley in his firm, where he practiced personal injury, civil litigation, traffic and criminal law until opening his own office in 2001. He joined Kluttz, Reamer et al as a partner in 2005 and led that firm’s injury practice until establishing Adkins Carter, LLC, in 2019.

Bartina Edwards

Term Expires 2022

Bartina Edwards

Term Expires 2022

Bartina L. Edwards, a member of the NCAJ Board of Governors, is an employment lawyer who is MD-110 Certified and Collaborative Law trained. Her special focus is on navigating the workplace, workplace issues and business disputes. She is a graduate of The College of Charleston and received her Juris Doctor cum laude from North Carolina Central School of Law. She has a corporate and entrepreneurial background giving her a unique ability to advise companies while being an employee advocate. As an extension of her legal practice, she sees her role as an employee advocate while helping businesses understand the strategic benefits of helping their employees navigate the workplace by replacing symptomatic responses with equity, inclusion and collaborative principles. This led to her vision of a transformative workplace culture redesign firm, CP3 Paradigm, LLC, where she is a co-founder. In addition to volunteering in various capacities and access to justice initiatives, she is a founding board member of the N.C. Civil Collaborative Law Association, a member of the College of Charleston Alumni Board, and the N.C. Bar Association Employment Law Council. She is published and speaks on such topics as Equity, Bias and Resolution through Collaboration. 

William Goldfarb

AAJ State Delegate | Term Expires 2022*

William Goldfarb

AAJ State Delegate | Term Expires 2022*

William was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 25, 1964. His father Carl, an attorney practicing in Charlotte at that time, inspired his son to always seek truth and justice for those who had no voice. With those principles in mind, William began his formal education attending North Carolina State University on a full gymnastics scholarship where he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science.

After his undergraduate studies, William attended the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University and received his Juris Doctorate 1991. After his Juris Doctorate, William began practicing law in 1991 and founded his own firm on March 18, 1996, dedicating his practice to helping seriously injured people. Over the years, William Goldfarb has been a leading member of the legal community serving as a founding member and past president of the Mecklenburg Trial Lawyers Association. William Goldfarb is also a member of the Union County Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, ABOTA, Belli Society and Southern Trial Lawyers Association.  William loves doing focus groups and trying to figure out the best way(s) to have successful jury verdicts.  He also enjoys teaching what he has learned to fellow lawyers.

Scott Harris

Term Expires 2023

Scott Harris

Term Expires 2023

Scott C. Harris is a senior partner at Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman LLP, and has been with the firm since its inception. Scott’s practice focuses on fighting for individuals, homeowners, homeowners’ associations, and small businesses in complex litigation, including construction defect, mass tort, and product liability.  

Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts from Hampden-Sydney College in 2001 and his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2006. Scott was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 2006 and to the Florida Bar in 2013. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina, the United States Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  

Scott’s success has been recognized by numerous professional associations. He was named a Super Lawyer in 2010, and every year since 2012. In addition, he has consistently been named a member of the Legal Elite by Business North Carolina. Scott is also an active member of several trade organizations including American Association of Justice (AAJ), North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), Public Justice. 

Meredith Hinton

Term Expires 2022

Meredith Hinton

Term Expires 2022

Darrin Jordan

President, North Carolina State Bar

Darrin Jordan

President, North Carolina State Bar

Rachel Matesic

Term Expires 2022

Rachel Matesic

Term Expires 2022

Rachel Matesic is an attorney with the Sasser Law Firm in Charlotte. Rachel helps individuals recover employer-sponsored benefits like long-term disability insurance and health insurance. Rachel also represents individuals in claims for privately-purchased disability insurance and insurance bad faith claims. Rachel joined NCAJ as a brand new attorney who had recently moved to North Carolina. As a new attorney, Rachel found NCAJ to be invaluable for developing a network and receiving substantive guidance from more seasoned practitioners on the listserv and at CLEs. Rachel is a past chair of NCAJ’s employment section, and is currently the membership co-chair for NCAJ’s Women Attorney’s Caucus. She has presented at several NCAJ CLEs on ERISA claims and how they interact with other practice areas, including employment law and workers compensation.

Miranda Mills

Term Expires 2022

Miranda Mills

Term Expires 2022

Amanda Mingo

Term Expires 2022

Amanda Mingo

Term Expires 2022

Amanda Mingo is an experienced trial lawyer who represents families who have lost a loved one and people who have been seriously hurt. She helps clients hold accountable those that caused them harm. Amanda’s compassion and ability to address each client’s fears and individual needs sets her apart. Her clients appreciate Amanda’s responsiveness, timely case updates, and the ease with which they can get answers to their questions. Amanda is a dedicated professional. She has received the highest “AV” rating by her peers and has earned the trust and respect of those working throughout the court system. Amanda is committed to getting to the root cause of the system failures that injure people and preventing future harm by achieving the best results for her clients.

In addition to injury claims, Amanda represents whistleblowers in reporting and prosecuting claims of fraud against our state and federal government. She also handles home and business insurance coverage disputes, ABC permitting and violations, zoning issues, professional licensing issues and other administrative matters. She defends claims of alienation of affection and criminal conversation and contract disputes.

Following law school, Amanda worked as an Assistant District Attorney with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, prosecuting drug crimes, and violent felonies. In 2003, Amanda left the D.A.’s office and began handling personal injury cases. She finds personal injury and wrongful death work to be much like her work as a prosecutor: to ensure the seriously injured and their caretakers are not left behind when they have been blindsided by the negligence of others. Amanda takes great satisfaction in the service and support RSCM provides to each client and in making a positive difference in their lives.

Charles Monnett, III

AAJ Governor | Term Expires 2024*

Charles Monnett, III

AAJ Governor | Term Expires 2024*

JK Moser

Term Expires 2023

JK Moser

Term Expires 2023

John Kenneth Moser practices with the firm of Comerford Chilson & Moser, LLP, in Winston-Salem. He handles cases involving catastrophic injury or death resulting from commercial and private motor vehicle wrecks, medical negligence, defective products, and premises liability. He has extensive experience in all aspects of litigation, including depositions, mediation, and trial. A lifelong native of Winston-Salem, John Kenneth (or “JK” as many call him) is a proud “Double Deacon” having attended Wake Forest University and Wake Forest School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Wake Forest Law Review.

Kevin Murphy

Term Expires 2023

Kevin Murphy

Term Expires 2023

Kevin began his private practice career at the nation’s leading management-side labor and employment firm. In 2016, Kevin left his career as a management-side attorney to represent individuals because people deserve the same quality of representation enjoyed by Fortune 500 companies.

Kevin now represents individuals in all types of employment disputes, including discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower actions, severance negotiations, equal pay violations, sexual harassment and assault, non-compete contracts, labor rights, wage and hour violations, leaves of absence, workplace safety, and executive compensation matters.

Kevin has won trial victories for clients in federal jury trials, state court trials, and arbitration. Kevin has fought employers who discriminated against clients based on their race, gender, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and military service. Kevin has fought back against retaliation based on his clients’ reports of unsafe working conditions, nuclear safety threats, and illegal overtime and wage practices. Kevin represents victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault at work. Kevin also regularly defends individuals accused of violating overbearing non-competition agreements or trade secrets laws. Kevin represents whistleblowers in actions filed on behalf of the government against companies guilty of fraud.

Kevin has served as Chair of the Employment Law Section and as a member of the NCAJ’s Strategic Planning and Nominating Committees. 

Lauren Newton

AAJ Revitalization Governor | Term Expires 2022*

Lauren Newton

AAJ Revitalization Governor | Term Expires 2022*

Paige Pahlke

Term Expires 2023

Paige Pahlke

Term Expires 2023

Manisha Patel

Term Expires 2023

Manisha Patel

Term Expires 2023

Nina Pirrotti

Term Expires 2022

Nina Pirrotti

Term Expires 2022

Stewart Poisson

Term Expires 2022

Stewart Poisson

Term Expires 2022

Stewart Poisson is a partner with Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC where she practices law with her brother and father. She practices in the firm’s Wilmington and Wadesboro offices, representing plaintiffs in workers’ compensation and personal injury matters. Stewart has litigated numerous cases before juries and the Industrial Commission and also handles cases before the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Stewart received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina in 2001 and received her J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2004. In law school, she was an editor on the North Carolina Law Review and received the William T. Joyner Award for Excellence in Journal Writing.

The North Carolina State Bar certified Stewart as a workers’ compensation specialist in 2009 and recertified her in 2014 and 2019. Stewart served as an advisory member of the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee from 2014 to 2020 and currently serves as a member of the State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Specialization Subcommittee and Authorized Practice Committee.

Stewart presents each year on various topics in the field of workers’ compensation for North Carolina Advocates for Justice CLE programs, is a former Chair of NCAJ’s Workers’ Rights Section and is a former chair of NCAJ’s New Lawyer’s Division. She currently serves on NCAJ’s Executive Committee as the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer; she formerly served on NCAJ’s Board of Governors from 2012 to 2017. She is active on NCAJ’s Legal Affairs Committee and has authored numerous amicus briefs for the organization.

Anabel Rosa

Term Expires 2023

Anabel Rosa

Term Expires 2023

Anabel Rosa is a Shareholder and personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. She has more than 25 years of legal experience in the areas of personal injury, civil rights, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Anabel has a longstanding record of public service advocating for the Hispanic-Latino community in North Carolina and has been recognized for her service to this community on the local, state, and national level.

Rosa is an active member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) and earned the NCAJ Order of Service Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She was elected to the NCAJ Board of Governors in 2020, and she currently serves on the NCAJ Diversity Committee. She was a contributor to the creation of NCAJ’s Immigration Law Section and its efforts to help Hispanics and Latinos update legal documents pro bono. Rosa has also actively participated in NCAJ’s Hispanic/Latino Division where she has served as executive secretary, chair, and division chair.

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. 

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. 

Brad Smith

Term Expires 2023

Brad Smith

Term Expires 2023

J. Bradley Smith is a Charlotte native who graduated from Charlotte Country School in 1996. Thereafter, he attended and graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Political Science. After his undergraduate studies, he attended the Walter F. George School of law at Mercer University, obtaining his JD in 2004.

After obtaining his license to practice in law in August of 2004, Mr. Smith joined the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office where over the course of nearly two years he prosecuted a variety of different misdemeanor and felony cases. While serving as an Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Smith attended and graduated from the Trial Advocacy Program at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC.

In 2006, Mr. Smith entered private practice and for the last 15 years he has fought for individuals charged with crimes in both State and Federal Courts across North Carolina. He has also had the honor of arguing cases in front of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond Virginia. Mr. Smith also frequently represents individuals in front of state administrative agencies. In developing an extensive criminal law practice and co-founding the law firm of Arnold & Smith PLLC, Mr. Smith has handled all types of state and federal criminal charges, including but not limited to murder, sex crimes, drug offenses, computer fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, tax fraud, conspiracy, financial crimes, embezzlement, assault, domestic violence offenses and DWI.  He also has extensive experience representing students, and teachers at schools and universities for sexual misconduct or Title IX violations.   

Mr. Smith also focuses his practice on Civil Rights cases. He has represented many plaintiffs including a North Carolina District Court Judge who have been injured by the negligent or intentional conduct of a law-enforcement officer, a government entity, or the employee of a government.

Mr. Smith has had several high-profile cases that have appeared in the news and he is frequently called upon by the medial to provide insight for topics pertaining to the criminal justice system in North Carolina. He has spoken at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and is a popular lecturer to various civic groups and area organizations.

He has been a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice for many years. He has served on the legislative committee and in 2019 was appointed to the Board of Governors.

Karonnie Truzy

AAJ Minority Caucus Delegate | Term Expires 2022*

Karonnie Truzy

AAJ Minority Caucus Delegate | Term Expires 2022*

Blia Vang

Term Expires 2022

Blia Vang

Term Expires 2022

Blia Vang earned her Juris Doctorate from Wisconsin Law School in 2005.  In 2009, Blia opened her private practice in Hickory focusing on Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injuries, and Disability.  Blia is dedicated to serving the underserved population and the minority community. Outside of work, Blia enjoys traveling, outdoor hiking, and spending time with her four children.  Blia’s weekend are packed with gymnastic and soccer tournaments. 

Being new to North Carolina many years ago, Blia joined NCAJ as a member to make friends.  Today, Blia serves on the Board of Governors and as Diversity Chair for the Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section. Blia is a member of NCAJ because we share the same mission and goal of protecting the people’s rights.

Starr Ward

Term Expires 2022

Starr Ward

Term Expires 2022

Starr Ward graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2001 and Campbell University School of Law in 2004. She worked for the Public Defender’s Offices in Durham and High Point before starting her own criminal defense firm in 2011.

Starr practices mainly in Guilford County where she defends every type of criminal charge in District & Superior courts.  Her main focus and passion is helping youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System and Raise the Age cases. Starr currently contracts through IDS where she serves approximately half of all juvenile cases in High Point. She is also the defense attorney for the Juvenile Drug Treatment speciality court.

Both she and her husband Jon Ward are active NCAJ members. Starr is on the NCAJ Board of Governors fulfilling the 2019-2021 term; she is also a Board Member for the Criminal Defense Section. Previously she served as the Committee Chair for the Juvenile Defense Section 2017-2018.

Jeremy Wilson

Term Expires 2023

Jeremy Wilson

Term Expires 2023

Jeremy is a litigation attorney in the Wilmington, North Carolina office of Ward and Smith, P.A., where he leads the firm’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 involving vehicle accidents, professional malpractice, premises liability, products liability, and class actions, among other areas. He also has litigated numerous cases involving complex insurance coverage issues and “bad faith” claims, as well as other areas of litigation, such as trusts and estates and eminent domain cases.

Jeremy earned his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in political science and economics. He then spent two years teaching high school math through the Teach For America program. After teaching, he concurrently earned a Master of Public Policy from Duke University and his law degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the North Carolina Law Review and graduated first in his class.

Jeremy is a native of Wilmington where he lives with his wife and two children, Addie (6) and Calvin (2). In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and being on the water.

Jeremy has been extensively involved with NCAJ’s Auto Torts and Premises Liability Section, serving on the executive committee for multiple years. He has spoken at and chaired multiple CLEs, and also has been published in Trial Briefs.

*All AAJ Delegates are ex-officio members of the NCAJ Board of Governors.

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Education Committee

Legislative Committee

Membership Committee