NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program

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The 2023 NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program Cohort

Emily Beeson

Emily Beeson

Emily J. Beeson is passionate about achieving justice for injured people. Her work has centered on pursuing claims against major medical device manufacturers on behalf of individuals injured by dangerous products. Both in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) and individual settings, Emily has a successful track record of defeating defense motions and effectively resolving her clients’ claims.

In order to truly understand the impact that an injury has on a client’s life, Emily feels it is important to forge a meaningful connection with them. She believes that this understanding is key to zealous advocacy for her clients.

Emily is a native of High Point and graduated from Guilford College before going on to earn her Juris Doctor from Elon University School of Law. At Elon Law she was awarded a Presidential Scholarship reserved for students demonstrating extraordinary academic achievement, exceptional character, commitment to service, and leadership.

Emily is licensed by the State Bar of North Carolina, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts of Eastern, Middle, and Western North Carolina. Her practice frequently requires appearances in courts across the country, from New Jersey to California.

Tripp Combs

Tripp Combs

Tripp is a dedicated attorney at Ricci Law Firm, PA whose primary practice focuses on those who have been injured. Driven by the pursuit of justice, Tripp prides himself in providing holistic first-class service for underrepresented individuals who have been through traumatic and life changing situations. 

Tripp grew up in Kinston, North Carolina and is committed to giving back to the people of Eastern North Carolina. He remains heavily involved in the local community while spending time outdoors, visiting family, and pulling for NC State athletics.

He graduated from North Carolina State University, cum laude, with a double major in both Finance and Economics before pursuing a legal career. Tripp then attended North Carolina Central University where he graduated, cum laude, with his Juris Doctor and earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. At NCCU he served as treasurer of the Moot Court Board, symposium editor of the Environmental Law Review, and parliamentarian of the Student Bar Association. 

Tripp provides a uniquely client-centered approach to the practice of law with a focus on efficient and informed representation.

Nichad Davis

Nichad Davis

Nichad Davis joined Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in 2022. Nichad supports the firm in the areas of civil rights, employment, education, personal injury, and wrongful death. After graduating law school, Nichad gained valuable experience working at a Charlotte insurance defense firm, representing employers and insurance companies in complex litigation. Nichad later made the decision to dedicate his life to advocating for plaintiffs, and worked at a reputable personal injury firm in his hometown of Greensboro, NC.

Nichad believes that he was born to be a civil rights attorney. Growing up in Greensboro, his grandfather was a notable advisor to civil rights leaders, including members of the Greensboro Four, who became the face of student protest that sparked change nationally and resulted in the desegregation of public accommodations during the Civil Rights Movement. He has a passion for advocating against systems and structures that subvert the rights of people, whether it be a Constitutional violation or an issue in the workplace.

Nichad began his undergraduate studies at UNC-Charlotte, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. During his senior year, Nichad studied abroad in South Africa, at Stellenbosch University. Nichad served as a 7th grade social studies teacher in Duplin County, North Carolina through Teach for America. His time as an educator birthed his desire to attend law school, continuing his fight for education equity and anti-discrimination.

At Campbell Law, Nichad was a very active member of the Mock Trial team and competed in national competitions including the National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC) and the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge. His mock trial experience earned him several awards, including the National Black Lawyers Association (NBLSA) Best Advocate Award. Nichad was also team captain of the NFL Negotiations Team. Nichad was inducted into The Order of Barristers and was awarded the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for distinguished achievement in the student advocacy program. Nichad was also the recipient of the David Teddy Innovative Leadership Award.

Nichad is an active member in the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) and the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). Nichad has also continued his public service locally through a non-profit he founded, Davis Academy, which is dedicated to promoting equity and closing the achievement gap in North Carolina. He founded the Rose From Concrete Scholarship Fund which provides academic scholarships and internships each year to a graduating senior at James B. Dudley High School. In addition to his community involvement, he serves as a mentor to students at North Carolina A&T University. Nichad enjoys college football games, cooking, playing chess, and spending time with his family.

Susan Downs

Susan Downs

Susan is a disability lawyer who serves her clients with compassion as they endure a difficult administrative law process. But she also helps ensure her clients receive justice through post-administrative appellate advocacy.

Law is a second profession for Susan who taught philosophy and history for 15 years before enrolling in law school. She received an MS in ethics from the University of Utah and a BA in philosophy from the University of Vermont. Not surprisingly, her lifelong interests in the world of ideas, ethics, and argument led to an interest in the law. Raised by an NAACP Image Award Winner, Susan grew up with an awareness of racial inequality and injustice.

Susan attended the North Carolina Central University School of Law Evening Program and in her final year clerked in the Appellate Division of the US Attorney’s Office, EDNC.  She now runs her own practice, The Downs Law Office PLLC.

Susan grew up in State College, PA. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, Big Ten football, partner dancing, and her dogs Sophie (Pug) and Hank Williams (GSP).

Allison Dunlap

Allison Dunlap

Allie attended Campbell University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in December of 2016. Allie was a member of Campbell’s Division I Soccer Team and served as a First Year Student Athlete Mentor.

Allie received her Juris Doctorate from Elon University School of Law in December 2019. While attending law school, Allie completed her Residency Program at the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office and spent her summers working at a general law practice in Kernersville.

Allie has successfully completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s course on DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, a 24-hour course taught to officers trained in DWI investigations.

Allie met her husband Landon while attending East Forsyth High School and they were married in 2020. They enjoy spending their free time with their family and two cats, Bella & Blair.

Kaitlyn Fudge

Kaitlyn Fudge

Attorney Kaitlyn Fudge joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2019 handling personal injury cases.

Kaitlyn earned her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, NC, where she graduated first in her class. During law school, Kaitlyn received 18 different recognitions, including 13 Book Awards (which represent the highest grade earned in a specific class), three Academic Success Awards (which represent the highest overall yearly grade point average per class), a Campbell Law Review “outstanding achievement” recognition, and, most notably, the Jessie and Elizabeth Leonard Valedictorian Award. Not only did she win various academic awards while in law school, she was also the Chief Articles Editor for the Campbell Law Review, a Pro Bono project coordinator, a member of the Executive Board for both the Campbell Law Review and the Pro Bono Council, and a teaching scholar. She graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC with a B.S. in Environmental Science, magna cum laude.

Before joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Kaitlyn worked as a summer associate for a large law firm that represented large companies. Prior to that, she worked at a small law firm in a small town in North Carolina that helped individuals with their legal matters. During law school, Kaitlyn worked for the Blanchard Community Law Clinic, which provides free legal services to people who can’t afford it. There, she was very hands-on with handling her clients’ cases.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Kaitlyn is passionate about helping her fellow North Carolinians face their toughest life challenges.

Victoria Hanafin

Victoria Hanafin

Victoria (“Torie”) graduated from The George Washington University Law School in 2021. While in law school, Torie was a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, interned at the United States Court of Federal Claims, and dedicated over 150 hours to pro bono work. Torie graduated from The College of William & Mary in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Music. Before attending law school, Torie worked for five years as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in Washington, D.C. It was in this role that Torie developed a passion for helping clients who were navigating difficult circumstances.

During law school, Torie worked extensively with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project to screen cases and build litigation strategies for individuals who were wrongfully convicted in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. After relocating to Raleigh, Torie was an Associate Attorney in the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice before joining Edwards Beightol.

Torie enjoys spending time outside exploring the different parks in the Raleigh-Durham area with her husband, Chris, and son, Lucas. She also loves cooking, live music, British crime dramas and her pets Figaro and Lily.

Winston Kirby

Winston Kirby

Attorney Winston S. Kirby is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, an association of legal professionals working to protect people’s rights through the community, education, and advocacy. His areas of practice include wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, trucking accidents, automobile collisions, motorcycle collisions, sexual abuse, and products liability.

Winston is the third generation of the Kirby family to provide legal services to the citizens of North Carolina. He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, J. Russell Kirby, a former attorney and State Senator who began practicing law in 1948, and his father, David Kirby, an admired member of the North Carolina legal community for 40 years. He took an early interest in the study of law and has worked for various attorneys in the Raleigh area since he was 16 years old.

Winston is an active member of the North Carolina Bar, The Tenth Judicial District Bar, The North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and The Wake County Bar Association. Winston has volunteered to aid students studying for the BAR exam and the North Carolina Bar Legal Feeding Frenzy Food Drive. In his free time, he enjoys college basketball, college football, playing golf, and duck hunting.

Jenny Maynard

Jenny Maynard

Jennifer “Jenny” Maynard is a personal injury who focuses her practice on helping those injured in motor vehicle collisions and on the premises of negligently kept property. Jenny grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina before attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she double-majored in American History and Political Science, and minored in Spanish. Pursuing her interest in medical treatment, she shadowed doctors in high school and spent many summers before law school at a personal injury firm combing through clients’ medical records. At the firm, interacting with clients and seeing them achieve just compensation for their injuries was the highlight.

After graduating from college in 2017, Jenny spent a year working in a personal injury firm before her skills and interests led her to Wake Forest University School of Law. She was a published staff member on the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy and worked at several personal injury firms over the summers and in her final semester of law school.

In her free time, Jenny enjoys trying new food, cooking for friends and family, exercising, and the occasional furniture building or re-finishing project.

Amiee Nwabuike

Amiee Nwabuike

Amiee Nwabuike is a personal injury attorney who represents clients across North Carolina. From an early age, she has always felt the importance of advocating for the vulnerable, and since graduating law school, she has worked as a plaintiff’s attorney helping injured clients and their families recover for motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, and wrongful deaths.

Amiee earned her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law where she was awarded the Eugene Gressman & Daniel H. Pollitt Oral Advocacy Award for Best Appellant Argument. She received her Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina State University where she graduated with honors.

When not at work, Amiee enjoys taking a long run with a good podcast and exploring the Triangle for the best dinner spots.

Elizabeth Robertson

Elizabeth Robertson

Elizabeth Ray Robertson is a litigation attorney whose practice is focused on litigating personal injury cases with CR Legal Team, LLP in Greensboro, NC.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies – Crime and Criminology and a minor in Communication Studies from James Madison University and continued her education to earn her Juris Doctor at Elon University School of Law where she was an Advocacy Fellow.

When out of the office and the courtroom, Elizabeth enjoys gardening, exercising, and watching motocross.

With her admission to practice law in North Carolina, Elizabeth is also an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Greensboro Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys. Elizabeth was named a “Rising Star” by Lawyers Weekly in 2021.

Taylor Rodney

Taylor Rodney

Taylor’s practice focuses on a broad range of litigation matters, with an emphasis on personal injury and wrongful death claims in cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, and product liability, among other areas.

Additionally, a portion of Taylor’s practice is dedicated to trusts and estates litigation and business litigation.

In 2020, Taylor was a Ward and Smith summer associate. Prior to joining Ward and Smith, Taylor served as a judicial intern for Chief Judge Linda McGee of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Shana Rothwell

Shana Rothwell

Shana Rothwell is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Durham, NC and she is enthusiastic about advocating for vulnerable populations. Shana attended North Carolina State University for her undergraduate studies and went on to earn her law degree from UNC School of Law. After graduating, she went into public interest work at Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a small business lender with a focus on women and minority business owners. While there, Shana filled many roles within the credit department and helped to establish a compliance department.

Most recently, Shana pursued her passion for trial work and criminal defense as an associate with Vásquez Law Firm, PLLC. In her free time, she enjoys reading for pleasure and spending time with family.

Abraham Rubert-Schewel

Abraham Rubert-Schewel

Abraham Rubert-Schewel joined Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in 2020, after moving from New York back to his home state of North Carolina. 

In New York, Abe co-founded a civil rights firm, Lord & Schewel PLLC, clerked for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York and served as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan.

Abe’s civil rights practice includes cases involving wrongful conviction, excessive force, and systemic challenges to unconstitutional state, city and police conduct. Abe also represents clients in employment, voting, and North Carolina public records litigation. Some of Abe’s current and past civil rights cases include Douglas v. City of New York, a suit on behalf of two young Black men who were wrongfully held for a combined 5.5 years on Rikers Island before they were exonerated by GPS data and awarded two million dollars in a settlement; NAACP v. City of Charlotte, a suit brought after police trapped and tear gassed 350 people protesting the murder of George Floyd; and Washington v. City of Raleigh, a suit brought on behalf of 15 clients falsely arrested and incarcerated on fabricated heroin trafficking charges. 

Arista Sibrey

Arista Sibrey

Following in the footsteps of her father, James, Arista “Ari” Sibrey embarked on her legal journey with the hopes of helping others better understand and navigate the law. After a couple years of practicing in various legal fields, Ari most recently took on the practice of Social Security Disability and Veteran’s Disability law at The Clauson Law Firm, a firm based in Durham, NC.

She enjoys every aspect of the field, from counseling and advising her clients to representing and advocating for them before Administrative Law Judges. Ari also enjoys volunteering for various pro bono opportunities in her local community. From Call 4All, Wills for Heroes, and NC Free Legal Answers, she enjoys sharing her legal knowledge and skills to those who may not have access or resources to obtain legal services.

When she’s not practicing law, volunteering, or networking with her colleagues, Ari enjoys spending time with her family and friends, the most important of which is her 3-year-old son, James. James is the light of her life and his energic spirit keeps her on her toes and his magnetic smiles makes all seem right with the world.

Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Ari moved to Raleigh in 2013 to attend Campbell University School of Law where she received her J.D. in 2016. After graduating from law school, she became licensed to practice in North Carolina in May 2017.

Joseph Sise

Joseph Sise

Joe Sise is a personal injury attorney in Raleigh. He was raised in Amsterdam, NY, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bowdoin College in 2014. He attended Stetson University College of Law and competed on the trial team. Through national, state and regional competitions, he sharpened his skills and strengthened his passion for trial advocacy. After graduating, he moved to North Carolina with his partner and went to work for O’Malley Tunstall, seeking to get into the courtroom early and often. 

Joe currently practices premises liability and personal injury, handling everything from car wrecks to slip and falls. He tries to get better as an advocate and a storyteller, and to use those skills to stand up for those that have been injured by the powerful and careless. In his spare time, he reads, composes music, and writes fiction.

Gabriel Snyder

Gabriel Snyder

Gabriel Snyder is an attorney focusing on injury and workers’ compensation law. In addition to working with clients who have been injured, Gabe advocates for landowners whose property has been taken by the State of North Carolina through eminent domain.

Gabe knew from the time he was a child that he wanted to be an lawyer. He grew up watching his father help others through his law practice which inspired Gabe to pursue a career in law as well. A car accident that left him in critical condition shaped his passion to help injured people. As a result of the car accident, he was placed in a medically-induced coma, underwent 5 surgeries, and spent a month in the hospital recovering. He had to learn how to walk again and understands first hand how difficult it is to recover from serious injuries. He chose personal injury and workers’ compensation as areas of law in which to focus because of his empathy for those who have been seriously injured. He believes he can offer help in ways they may not even know they need.

Gabe earned his Juris Doctor from Campbell Law and Bachelor of Science in History (Pre Law) from Campbell. After graduating law school, he joined Snyder Law where he worked alongside his father practicing personal injury, family and criminal law. In his first year of practice, he successfully argued in front of the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Gabe met his wife, Audrey, during undergraduate school at Campbell and then attended Campbell Law together. After they were married, they decided to return to Gabe’s hometown of Greensboro to pursue their legal careers. He enjoys spending time with his family and his church community. His hobbies include golfing with friends and hunting.

Anna Turpin

Anna Turpin

Anna Claire Turpin was raised in rural Southern Virginia, and eventually found her way to North Carolina for law school and decided to make the Raleigh area her home. She has a passion for being a fierce advocate for those who need guidance in navigating the legal system. With a background in litigation and family law, Anna Claire Turpin is detail-oriented and knows that each person and each case is different. She has experience in helping clients who are dealing with one of the most difficult periods in their lives.

Allison Vaughn

Allison Vaughn

Allison is a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney at Wilder Pantazis Law Group in Charlotte, N.C. She advocates for the rights of her injured clients and seeks to ensure they are not taken advantage of by insurance companies.  

Allison grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina.  She earned her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of South Carolina in 2011 and her J.D. from The Charleston School of Law in 2014.  While in law school she served as the Student Works Editor of The Federal Courts Law Review and received several CALI awards. 

Following law school, Allison opened her own firm in Mount Airy, North Carolina and practiced in several areas-including criminal defense, family law, and general civil litigation.  She routinely took on matters representing indigent defendants and gained valuable courtroom experience early in her career. 

Allison is an active member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, serving as the co-membership chair for the Women’s Caucus and is a member of the auto torts and workers’ compensation sections. 

Outside of the office, Allison enjoys traveling, cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks, and spending time with her golden retriever, Ryne.

Kendell R. Williams

Kendell R. Williams

Kendell is a North Carolina native who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He then earned his Juris Doctor from Elon University School of Law where he was a member of the Black Law Students Association, the Mock Trial Team, and the Leadership Fellows. Kendell also participated in a study abroad program where he spent time in South Africa studying Prisoner’s Rights. Kendell truly believes in focusing on each client, listening to their unique stories, and providing the best representation possible all while avoiding a “one-size-fits-all” approach to cases. 

Ben Winikoff

Ben Winikoff

Ben Winikoff is a law partner with Elliot Morgan Parsonage, PLLC in Winston Salem, NC. He has a diverse civil litigation practice with a focus on the areas of employment law, workers’ compensation, and personal injury. Through this diverse practice, he has represented clients on a range of issues, including claims of race, sex, disability, pregnancy, sexual harassment, and genetic discrimination in the workplace.  He has also represented whistleblowers, clients under the False Claims Act, and clients with retaliation claims under state and federal law. He has also represented state and local government employees subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA).

Ben is a 2018 graduate of the North Carolina Bar Association Leadership Academy and was the 2022 president of the Forsyth County Bar Association-Young Lawyers’ Division.

In addition to being a full-time attorney, Ben teaches workers’ compensation law as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law and serves as a Captain in the United States Army Reserves as a Judge Advocate.

Ben is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Wake Forest University School of Law. He lives in Winston Salem with his wife, Holley, and two daughters.

The NCAJ NEXT Program was founded in 2020 for the purpose of engaging NCAJ’s next generation of trial lawyer leaders in North Carolina.   

The program’s goals are to educate participants in the benefits and the expectations of NCAJ membership, to offer an environment for members to build strong relationships with fellow young trial lawyers from a variety of locales and practice areas and ultimately, to better prepare tomorrow’s trial lawyer leaders today.   

Regardless of how you decide to lead in the legal profession, the NCAJ NEXT Program better prepares participants for the day when they assume an important leadership role, not only within NCAJ but within the practice of law at large in our state.

There are many ways for attorneys to build their leadership skill set by engaging with NCAJ. During the various sessions of the NCAJ NEXT program, participants will learn more about and be empowered to: 

Schedule for 2023 NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program

How are candidates selected?  

Criteria for Admission   

Applicants must:  

Applicants should submit the following:  

Who should apply?

We encourage any new-to-the-practice (in the last 10 years) NCAJ members from diverse locales and practice areas who have a history of involvement and leadership in their communities, offices and/or profession to apply. You will likely be a great fit if you are an attorney who wants to become more involved in NCAJ and you have a genuine interest in empowering a strong community of trial lawyers in our state through volunteer leadership. 

What should I know before I apply?  

Participating in the NCAJ NEXT Program requires a commitment of time and resources. We guarantee that your experience in the program and the rewards of participation will greatly outweigh any sacrifice you will make to attend.  

Participants are selected through a competitive application process and are chosen from diverse geographic locations and areas of trial practice. Letter(s) of recommendation from at least one current NCAJ member, your employer, community leader, legislators, judges, etc. are strongly encouraged (although not required). 

Are there any costs related to the program?

The tuition for participation in the NCAJ NEXT Program is $750. This fee, combined with NCAJ’s support through partner firms, sponsors and the Allen A. Bailey Endowment, covers program costs and events associated with the NCAJ NEXT sessions. Any travel or lodging needs are the responsibility of the NCAJ member.  

Jes Averhart | NCAJ NEXT Facilitator

Jes Averhart is the founder of Jes & Co. specializing in stakeholder engagement and leadership development. Jes advises executive leadership on growth strategies and talent development.

Her cross-industry corporate engagement includes companies within Research Triangle Park and the American Underground, a Google for Startups Tech Hub (aka, the “Startup Capital of the South” by CNBC).

Learn More

The 2022 NCAJ NEXT Fellows

Santiago Arroba

Santiago Arroba

Attorney Santiago Arroba brings a unique perspective to the Whitley Law Firm. Born in Venezuela, but raised in Wilson, North Carolina, Santiago is able torelate and connect to people of all backgrounds. He decided to put these skills to use as an attorney to help the people of our state fight for their rights against corporations and insurance companies. Focusing on both personal injury and worker’s compensation, Santiago will endeavor to ensure that your case is handled effectively and efficiently so that you are able to focus on recuperating. Additionally, he demands that his clients be treated fairly by their employers when they are injured.

Santiago believes that getting to know every client individually, and not just as a number, is what the Whitley Law Firm is all about. This is crucial to being able to tell a client’s story, whether it be to a jury or an insurance adjuster, and so he makes it a point to connect with each and every client that walks into his office. Through thorough preparation and a meticulous attention to detail, in combination with an excellent team of case managers and paralegals, Santiago will fight for the compensation that youdeserve.Santiago earned his BA in Ancient History and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attended Campbell University School of Law in downtown Raleigh.In his spare time, Santiago enjoys cooking, going to concerts, watching soccer and rooting for the Tar Heels.

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.

Matthew Berthold

Matthew Berthold

Matthew has been a trial attorney since 2013 when he began practicing at his father’s firm in his hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. Growing up around the legal practice, Matthew was ingrained with the struggle that families suffering catastrophic injuries or deaths had to endure every day, and raised with the empathy and passion to relentlessly fight to obtain justice on behalf of the people.

Now with Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, Matthew concentrates his practice on all forms of medical malpractice, wrongful death, physician and medical staff sexual misconduct, birth injuries, traumaticbrain injuries, catastrophic personal injuries, and mass litigation.

Matthew continues to represent victims and their families throughout all of North Carolina, litigating cases both large and small. He is passionate about fighting for every client, no matter the size of the case, to ensure that they are treated fairly, with respect, and to obtain the best possible outcome. Matthew is a firm believer that all catastrophic injury victims deserve the highest quality legal representation. Through hard work and thoughtful representation, Matthew provides his clients with a legal experience without the stress and worry that many litigants face, while still achieving the results his clients deserve.

During his time as a trial attorney, Matthew has advocated as lead attorney in successfully litigating cases to jury verdict, through arbitration, as well as obtaining over $30 million dollars in settlements for his clients. Matthew also had the honor of serving as co-lead and/or liaison counsel in Mass Litigation cases before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel.

Prior to practicing law, Matthew completed his undergraduate education at the University of Kentucky and went on to work in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers. During his time in the Clippers Communications Department, Matthew worked closely with the Clippers Vice President of Communications, as well as the Los Angeles media, on a variety of team and media relations and publications. After working in Los Angeles, Matthew went on to the West Virginia University College of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate degree. Outside of his practice of law, Matthew is a proud husband and father, residing in Charlotte with his wife, son, and their dog.

Matthew Bissette

Matthew Bissette

Associate attorney Matthew Bissette knew at an early age that he wanted to enter a profession where he could help injured or sick people, some down on their luck, every day that he walked into the office. He grew up helping his dad, a family medicine doctor, every Wednesday night at a free medical clinic put on for some of his hometown’s most needy. That’s why he went to law school and he brings that background with him each day that he works for his clients as a lawyer.

Matthew does not want insurance companies to take advantage of people who may not understand their rights when they have been hurt in some way by no fault of their own. Matthew works hard to ensure that insurance companies give to these harmed individuals the compensation that they deserve.Matthew believes that intense work and focus combined with critical legal analysis can allow him to bring strong results for injured people.

Drew Culler

Drew Culler

Drew Culler is dedicated to serving injured workers and residents across North Carolina. Drew understands that the legal system can be overwhelming, especially during an injury. He works closely with his clients and strives to provide the best service possible.

Drew strives to serve those in difficult times. As a child, Drew’s mother worked at a district attorney’s office and often took Drew to work with her.There, Drew learned how important it was to advocate for those who are injured and underserved. Drew continued his call to service after college, working at the Key West District Attorney’s Office, where he was a victim advocate. Drew took pride in helping victims of violent crime navigate the justice system.

Drew graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law, where his law school trial team bested competing teams from law schools across the country to win the American Association for Justice National Trial Championship. During law school, Drew also served as the Executive Editor of Wake Forest’s Journal of Law and Policy and was awarded the Moot Court Service Award for his commitment to legal advocacy.

Drew is an active member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, serving on the executive committee of the Auto Torts and Premises Liability Section, as well as the New Lawyers’ Division.

When he is not advocating for his clients, Drew enjoys spending time with his two spaniels, Lily and Finnigan and picking up a good book. He is looking forward to spending a few weeks in Spain for his upcoming honeymoon.

Spencer Fritts

Spencer Fritts

Spencer S. Fritts joined The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A. in Cary in July 2022. Fritts is a graduate of the inaugural class of the NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program.

Before joining McCabe, he practiced with Oxendine Barnes & Associates PLLC. That followed a two-year stint as a judicial law clerk at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. During his time at the Court of Appeals, he had the privilege of clerking for three separate judges on the Court –Judges Ann Marie Calabria, Tobias S. Hampson, and John M. Tyson. Spencer’s clerkship experience provides him with a unique insight and perspective that he utilizes to his clients’ advantage when assessing and analyzing their individual facts and claims. Spencer is also an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, where he co-chaired a committee within the Young Lawyers Division, and was recognized twice as the Young Lawyer of the Quarter in the 2019-2020 bar year.

Spencer earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Campbell Law School. During law school, he was the symposium editor of theCampbell Law Review and a student representative for the North Carolina Bar Association. Spencer was published in the Campbell Law Review as a student for his note on the intersection of administrative law and an employer’s right to their tips, which was subsequently cited with approval in a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. He also completed externships with the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Raleigh City Attorney’s Office, as well as serving as a research assistant for three different law school professors.

Spencer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of South Carolina Honors College. Outside of the office, he enjoys spending time on his boat, playing golf, and following the Gamecocks.

Gagan Gupta

Gagan Gupta

Gagan Gupta leads Paynter Law’s insurance disputes division. Presently, he is helping businesses navigate their insurance policies to secure coverage due to COVID-related business losses. Prior to joining Paynter Law, Gagan graduated from Stanford Law School and then clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan. Thereafter, he joined a large national law firm where he handled litigation on behalf of Fortune 500 clients with a focus on technology disputes and federal appeals. His most notable case was a $1 billion jury trial in Silicon Valley which resulted in a favorable settlement for his client during the middle of trial. Gagan’s lead insurance case –captioned North State Deli, LLC et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-cvs-02569 (Durham County, North Carolina) –was the first among thousands across the nation to achieve a summary judgment ruling in favor of policyholders. This landmark victory was a powerful win for policyholders during an era of economic devastation for small businesses everywhere.

Gagan grew up in Belmont, NC and went on to receive his undergraduate degree in political science from Davidson College, where he received a full merit scholarship. Prior to law school, Gagan received a masters degree in economics from The London School of Economics and served as White House political appointee in President Obama’s administration.

Gagan is committed to civil causes and social justice and spent his first year after college in New Orleans assisting with the disaster recovery effort following Hurricane Katrina.

Madeline Hurley

Madeline Hurley

Originally from Rougemont, North Carolina, Madeline is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University. She went on to attend Campbell University School of Law where she was awarded a merit scholarship and served on the Campbell Law Pro Bono Council. During law school, Madeline was an extern for North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby and Senator Jim Davis.

Madeline devotes her practice to family law litigation and negotiation including issues related to divorce, property distribution, spousal agreements, child custody, child support, and domestic violence. Madeline appreciates that going through a divorce or separation can be challenging and she is committed to helping her clients navigate the process. Madeline is a strong advocate for her clients, passionate about protecting their rights, their family, and their financial stability.

Madeline is member of the Wake County Bar Association, North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the North Carolina Bar Association where she serves on the NorthCarolina Bar Association’s Task Force on Integration, Equity, and Equal Justice.

Madeline was selected to the 2020 and 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars Lists. Only 2.5% of Lawyers in the state receive the honor of being named a Rising Star. While Madeline appreciates recognition from her peers, her greatest satisfaction comes from successfully resolving her clients’ disputes and knowing that she has assisted them in overcoming personal challenges.

In addition to her legal activities, Madeline serves as a member of the Board of Directors for East Wake Education Foundation. Madeline is also an active member of the Junior League of Raleigh and serves as a chapter advisor to Kappa Delta Sorority at North Carolina State University.

Xavier Lightfoot

Xavier Lightfoot

Xavier’s practice primarily focuses on labor and employment law, serious personal injury and wrongful death, and civil litigation.

As a member of Ward and Smith’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, he regularly advises employers on a wide range of labor and employment law issues, including personnel policies and handbooks, employment discrimination and harassment, employee discipline and termination, drug and alcohol testing, and various wage and hour matters.He has also conducted training presentations and webinars for employers on various COVID-19 employment topics such as workforce reduction, ADA compliance, emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements under the FFCRA, best practices and strategies for employers to return workers to the workplace, and preparation of liability waivers.

In addition, Xavier has experience litigating claims for serious personal injury, including cases involving vehicle accidents, professional malpractice, and premises liability, among other areas.He also represents both corporate and individual clients in a broad range of civil litigation before state and federal courts.

Courtney Mann

Courtney Mann

Courtney earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida and earned her Juris Doctor from Charlotte School of Law. As a Floridian who moved north, Courtney enjoys the views of the North Carolina mountains, but also needs the sand of the beach. Courtney met her husband in college at UCF, and truly enjoys spending time with him and their two rescue dogs, and they take every opportunity to travel around the world and experience new cultures. Currently, their favorite travel destinations are Spain, England, and South Korea.

Courtney is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. She has served on many committees with the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and is currently the Chair-Elect of the Law Day Committee. Courtney also spends time teaching Continuing Learning Education courses on liens and subrogation rights with the NCAJ, NBI, and other CLE dedicated companies. She was recently selected to the Super Lawyers North Carolina Rising Star list for 2022, which only 2.5% of attorneys in the state receive such an honor.

Blake Marcus

Blake Marcus

Blake is originally from South Florida, but fell in love with the mountains of Western Carolina. Blake lives in Asheville with his lovely wife, two young children, and three crazy cats.

Education:

Florida State University -(2006-2010) Bachelors in Accounting and Finance (magna cum laude)
Michigan State University College of Law -(2011-2014) (magna cum laude)

Jacob Morse

Jacob Morse

Jacob Morse began practicing law in 2017 at a large regional firm (Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP) where he focused on commercial litigation. In 2020, he transitioned to a new role as plaintiff’s lawyer at Miller Law Group, PLLC, concentrating on personal injury work, including wrongful death, catastrophic and workplace injury, and auto torts.

Jacob believes there is something special about taking up the task of fighting for the wronged or harmed. Oftentimes, corporations and wrongdoers get away with (or even profit from) bad conduct across industries and in communities where others pay the price for those actions.  Unless someone stands up and holds the wrongdoer accountable, the conduct will be rewarded and repeated at significant cost to others.

As a law student, Jacob took an elective course titled Complex Litigation taught by Milberg’s co-founder Dan Bryson. Jacob quickly became interested in the work of Dan and his colleagues as they pursued interesting and complex cases across the country. He became close friends of members of the firm’s Raleigh office and stayed in touch with their cases, the causes they champion, and things they do in the community. When they reached out to ask if Jacob was interested in joining the firm, the answer was yes.

Jacob continues to fight for justice, standing with those who are wronged or harmed by big corporations. However, when he’s not in the office, he continues to give back to legal community by coaching Campbell Law School’s Mock Trial teams. He prides himself in having coached one regional and two national championship-winning teams (including the AAJ 2019 national champtionship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia).

Outside all things law, Jacob loves taking in concerts and shows. An avid beach goer, he loves the sand and sea most in the winter. If he’s not catching a concert or enjoying the beach, you can find him cooking and dining (mooching off his friend’s Green Egg when he can).

Patrick Wallace

Patrick Wallace

Pat Wallace is an attorney in Milberg’s Raleigh office. His nationwide practice focuses on fighting for individuals in complex and class action litigation, including false advertising, consumer protection, and product liability.

Pat attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received his B.A. in Philosophy. During his time as an undergraduate, he was an active member of the Navigators, an international, interdenominational Christian ministry, and was an active leader at his local church’s youth group. After his undergraduate studies, Pat earned his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.While at Wake Forest, he was a member of Moot Court, a regional finalist for the 2013 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trial Advocacy Competition, and a semi-finalist for the 2014 AAJ Trial Advocacy Competition.In addition, Pat was a part of Wake Forest’s Appellate Advocacy Clinic, where he briefed and argued a case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and helped prepare an argument before the United States Supreme Court. At graduation, Pat was informed he was nominated by the law school faculty for induction into the Order of Barristers, which recognized his exceptional skills in trial advocacy, oral advocacy, and brief writing.

While in law school, Pat also worked as a law clerk for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and for the North Carolina Department of Justice. Upon graduating from Wake Forest, he worked as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Catharine R. Aron, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Patrick joined Whitfield Bryson LLP, the predecessor firm of Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC, in 2015.