Membership

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Why NCAJ?

As an NCAJ member, you are part of a nonprofit, nonpartisan association dedicated to empowering a strong community of trial lawyers to protect people, prevent injustice and promote fairness.

Each year, thousands of North Carolina citizens are accused, injured or permanently disabled. Many North Carolina laws do not always benefit and protect these individuals. Trial lawyers take up their fight to ensure they and their families have knowledgeable representation and equal access to justice.

As an NCAJ member, you contribute to and benefit from the most important resource in North Carolina for training and supporting trial lawyers and legal professionals who fight for fair laws. We take seriously our obligation to serve as guardians of our constitutional rights, civil liberties and the jury system. We are a community, gathered together in the common cause to protect people.

Join NCAJ Today

Join NCAJ

Hear It From Our Members

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. 

Helen Baddour

Helen Baddour

Helen is a personal injury lawyer, advocating for people who have been wrongfully injured, with a special interest in representing victims of bicycle crashes. Helen grew up in Goldsboro, North Carolina. She sharpened her writing and public speaking skills in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These skills, combined with her desire to advocate for others, led Helen to law school at North Carolina Central University School of Law where served as Editor-in-Chief of the 2013-2014 North Carolina Central Law Review

Helen was selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list, published in Super Lawyers® Magazine, for 2020 and 2021. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in NC are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers® to receive this honor.

Helen is an active member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. She currently serves as past chair of the Women’s Caucus and co-legislative chair of the Auto Torts and Premises Liability Section. Helen also serves as co-diversity and inclusion chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Litigation Section.

An avid long distance runner, Helen has run a number of marathons and half marathons, including the Boston and the Chicago Marathons. Helen also enjoys writing her blog, Chasing Helen, a platform to motivate, educate and encourage others about running, fitness and overall well-being.

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

Jennifer M. Lechner

Jennifer M. Lechner

Jennifer Moeller Lechner is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, a position she has held since 2008.  Before moving to North Carolina, she founded and operated a Maine-based company focused on legal association management. .  Lechner began her career as the legislative counsel to the Maine State Bar Association where she lobbied the state and federal government on behalf of Maine’s largest professional trade association.

Lechner has served as a consultant to access to justice entities, legal aid organizations, bar associations, and political candidates. She is the Vice President of Membership for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. She is an author of articles on access to justice and a frequent speaker at law schools and state and national conferences.  

Lechner has found her legal community home in NCAJ.  It is a member-driven, diverse organization where all volunteers have an opportunity to be involved.  Her work with NCAJ has allowed her to collaborate with other members and use her professional skills to advance both the mission of NCAJ and justice in North Carolina.

Dan Bryson

Dan Bryson

Dan is a founding partner of the firm and is one of the nation’s most respected and experienced attorneys in the country in the area of consumer class actions and mass torts. Dan also has significant experience working with attorneys, funders and other partners on international litigation projects in the Courts in Amsterdam, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal, among others.

For over 32 years, Dan has handled hundreds of insurance related disputes, including first party bad faith insurance cases, and business interruption cases. Dan has written and taught numerous continuing legal education courses on a variety of insurance related topics. Dan and members of his firm are well equipped and dedicated to handling these cases on behalf of all entities who have had improperly denied claims.

Dan is a frequent lecturer and writer on a variety of consumer class action, insurance, and mass tort related disputes.  He has been quoted by a variety of media outlets over the years including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Law360 and Lawyers Weekly to name a few. He has been named as a member of the Legal Elite and Super Lawyers in North Carolina on numerous occasions. He has been awarded the designation of one of the Top 25 lawyers in Raleigh by Charlotte Magazine for a number of years including 2020.

Dan is on the Executive Board and Vice-President of the Public Justice Foundation Board. Public Justice is a nationwide public interest law firm. See www.publicjustice.net for more information about this great organization. Dan is also an adjunct professor at Campbell Law School in Raleigh, NC where he teaches “Introduction to Class Actions and Multi-district litigation.” Dan is also the current Board Chair of Theatre Raleigh and enjoys running, playing the guitar, and golf in his free time.

Each year, Dan and members of his firm run a marathon. Last year, they ran in the St. George Marathon in St. George Utah. In 2018, they ran in the New York Marathon.

NCAJ is a member-driven, diverse organization where all volunteers have an opportunity to be involved. My work with NCAJ has allowed me to collaborate with other members and use my professional skills to advance both the mission of NCAJ and justice in North Carolina.

– Jennifer Lechner, 2020-2021 Membership Vice President

Explore Our Section, Divisions, & Caucuses

Sections, Divisions, & Caucuses

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Trudi Brown

Director of Development & Membership Engagement

Trudi Brown

Director of Development & Membership Engagement

Trudi Brown joined NCAJ in 2020 as the director of development and membership engagement. She has more than 25 years of experience in development, fundraising, external relations, event management, board development, marketing and communications. She previously served as the director of external relations for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at N.C. State University where she managed the corporate partners program focusing on engagement and recruitment of nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, led internal communications efforts and managed various outreach programs and events.

Prior to joining N.C. State, Brown worked for Campbell Law School in Raleigh as the director of development and at N.C. State’s Poole College of Management as the director of development and external relations. She has also held development positions at the WakeMed Foundation and marketing, communications, sales and service roles with Central Carolina Bank in Durham. 

Brown leads all of NCAJ’s development and fundraising activities, as well as membership renewals, Leaders Forum and Circle of Advocates giving to NCAJ. In addition, she works on planning and executing member programming including initiatives of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Women’s Caucus.

Brown is a graduate of Leadership Raleigh Class 29 and formerly served on the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Chairman’s Committee. She received her bachelor of arts in business management with a concentration in marketing from N.C. State University.

An avid music lover and concert goer, Brown enjoys spending time with friends and family while taking trips to the beach at Topsail Island and snow skiing in the winter months.

Allison Parker

Membership & Database Manager

Allison Parker

Membership & Database Manager

Allison Parker joined NCAJ in 2020. She has worked with associations for nine years and in the nonprofit sector industry for 14 years. Prior to her role with the NCAJ, Parker served as member engagement manager at a healthcare IT association.

She began her career with nonprofits at a food bank and has held program management and administrative roles with Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels. At these organizations, she oversaw objectives in member engagement, recruitment and retention, database administration and implementation, event and meeting planning, volunteer management, sponsorship development and marketing.

In her current role, Parker develops and executes NCAJ’s annual membership renewal and new member acquisition campaigns. She also oversees the data management, training, support and reporting of the AMS, system migrations, and development of the standard operating procedures. She also serves as staff liaison to NCAJ’s Family Law Section.

Parker volunteers her time with her daughter’s elementary school PTA and Girl Scout troop and has held multiple roles with local advocacy groups.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in psychology from the University of South Carolina Upstate, in Greenville, S.C., and began her educational career at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Parker lives in Durham and has been a resident of the Triangle for more than 16 years. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family. Among other leisure activities, she also likes traveling, running, hiking, fitness classes, book club, gardening, cooking and baking.

Sonja Way

Membership and Sections, Divisions and Caucus Coordinator

Sonja Way

Membership and Sections, Divisions and Caucus Coordinator

Sonja Way has been with NCAJ since 2013, and most members know her as the first face that greeted them when they arrived at the old Annapolis Drive building. Currently, she serves as NCAJ’s coordinator of membership, sections, divisions and caucus. Way has worked as an administrative assistant for 12 years. Prior to relocating to Raleigh, she lived in New York City where she worked as an office manager for six years.

At NCAJ, she facilitates all aspects of standard office functions, providing clerical and office support to management and staff. Way believes that any organization’s most valuable assets are its clients and members and she enjoys assisting with various issues.

In her personal time, Way enjoys dancing. And she and her husband can often be found spending time with their sons, cooking and playing board games.