NCAJ Elects New Members To Board of Governors, Executive Committee

Tags: NCAJ News
June 19, 2020

The North Carolina Advocates for Justice held its Annual Convention and Meeting on Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19 virtually via Zoom.

The NCAJ’s newly elected leaders Board of Governor’s Members for its 2020-2021 fiscal year are:

Class of 2023: J.K. Moser Kristen Dewar, Darrin Jordan, J.K. Moser, Kevin Murphy, Paige Pahlke, Manisha Patel, Anabel Rosa, David Sherlin, Brad Smith, Jeremy Wilson
Class of 2022 (filling unexpired term): Mike Adkins, Rachel Matesic
Class of 2021 (filling unexpired term): Miranda Mills

Representing NCAJ at the American Association for Justice will be:
AAJ Delegate: William Goldfarb
AAJ Minority Delegate: Curtis Osborne
AAJ Revitalization Delegate: Lauren Newton

Also, the NCAJ Board of Governors approved members of the 2020-21 Executive Committee, a subset of the board.

President: David Henson, Henson Fuerst, PA, Raleigh (
David Henson has led Henson Fuerst, PA’s injury, disability, and mass tort sections for 15 years and currently focuses in the area of eminent domain/land condemnation.

President-elect John McCabe: John McCabe, Law Offices of John M. McCabe, PA, Cary (
John McCabe exclusively represents people who have been injured by trucking collisions, medical negligence, defective products and on-the-job accidents.

Immediate Past President: Vernon Sumwalt, The Sumwalt Law Firm, Charlotte (
Vernon Sumwalt is a board-certified specialist in the fields of Workers’ Compensation and Appellate Practice. He formerly served as chair of the NCAJ Workers’ Compensation section.

Fundraising/Development Officer: Andrew Banzhoff, Devereux & Banzhoff, PLLC, Asheville (
Andrew Banzhoff handles a broad range of civil and criminal litigation cases throughout western North Carolina, has previously served as president of the Buncombe County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and is a former chair of the NCAJ Criminal Defense Section.

Past President Appointed by the President: Peggy Abrams, Abrams & Abrams P.A., Raleigh (
Peggy Abrams concentrates her work in the areas of personal injury, focusing on tractor trailer wrecks, products liability and defective product cases, industrial injuries, plant explosions and fires, and other tort cases. She has previously served NCAJ as president in 2008-2009.

PAC Chair: Kevin Bunn, Kevin Bunn Attorney at Law, Cary (
Kevin Bunn is an experienced personal injury trial attorney and a member of the NCAJ Executive Committee and a member the Workers’ Compensation section.

Diversity Officer: Stewart Poisson, Poisson Poisson Bower Attorneys at Law, Wilmington (
Poisson opened the Wilmington office of Poisson, Poisson & Bower in 2006. She focuses her practice on Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury and handles all appellate work for the firm.

At Large: Philip Miller, Blanchard, Miller, Lewis & Isley, PA, Raleigh (
Philip Miller has devoted his practice to representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases, with an emphasis on cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect and motor vehicle negligence.

Legislative VP: Ann Oschner, The Whitley Law Firm, Raleigh (
Ann Oschner is an experienced litigation attorney, with a focused practice in personal injury, who has presented cases all the way up to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Membership VP: Jennifer Lechner, North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, Raleigh (
Before moving to North Carolina, Lechner founded and operated a Maine-based company focused on legal association management.  She served as the first executive coordinator of the Justice Action Group, Maine’s access to justice entity, and as the first coordinator of a unified statewide fundraising campaign for all Maine legal aid providers.

Education VP: Valerie Johnson, Johnson & Groninger, PLLC, Durham (
Valerie Johnson represents injured and wronged individuals, teaches North Carolina law students and works for the rights of injured workers. Her book, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: A Practical Guide to Success at Every Stage of a Claim, was first published in June 2014 and is now in its third edition.

Communications VP: Jason Orndoff, Orndoff Law Firm, Hickory  (
Jason Orndoff is a solo practitioner in Hickory handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has served NCAJ as chair of the Auto Torts Section, on the board of governors, and as a PAC trustee.

Legal Affairs VP: Sonya Pfeiffer, Rudolf Widenhouse, Charlotte (
Sonya Pfeiffer is a criminal defense lawyer and an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She has served NCAJ as a member of the NCAJ Board of Governors.

President Emeritus: Charles Blanchard, Blanchard, Miller, Lewis & Isley, PA, Raleigh (
Charles Blanchard is a founding member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.