WHO WE ARE
We are courtroom lawyers. We are your advocates, at trial, at the negotiating table, and whenever your interests are at stake. From the moment we take a case, our thoughts center on achieving the best result for our client. Our attorneys work hard to understand our clients’ needs and help them achieve their goals — whether the client is an individual, a family, a closely-held business, a large company, general counsel, or a public body.
Litigation can be a long road. We seek to make it a smooth one, striving for the best possible outcome. We recognize that cases are different, people are different, and “best” sometimes is different too. Regardless of the ultimate goal, our experienced trial lawyers will work tirelessly to the end, providing peace of mind and support along the way. We do this because we value our clients and our relationships with them.
Being trial lawyers starts long before a lawsuit is filed. We research and investigate, seeking a thorough understanding of the issues. Through innovation, intelligence, and intense intellectual curiosity, we doggedly pursue the best solution for every challenge.
WHAT WE DO
Our litigation attorneys represent clients who need proven ability and face multifaceted, often high-profile, issues. These are the kinds of cases that have complex facts and require an analysis of intricate law and, most of all, hard work. A good way to understand more about what we do and how we do it is to learn about what we have done:
- Our trial lawyers represent plaintiffs and defendants, including individuals, personal injury victims, privately-held and publicly-traded corporations, local and state governments, universities, hospitals, and charitable organizations.
- Our practice spans the country and the globe. Our litigation attorneys have tried cases in courts across the United States, including many cases that are international in scope. We have litigated cases involving events occurring in Canada, Chile, Italy, Nepal, China, Japan, and elsewhere.
- We are frequently engaged to assist with cases that face an uphill battle. Whether it is to join a team of lawyers, to take over a case on appeal, to jump in shortly before trial, or to serve as local counsel, we are experienced in getting up to speed quickly and have the resources to do so. We have also taken the lead on already-pending litigation, often on short notice.
- Our work extends beyond traditional courtrooms. Our attorneys represent clients before arbitration bodies like FINRA and in Title IX proceedings at universities. We also represent injured people in cases before the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (commonly known as the Vaccine Court).
- Our attorneys have successfully represented companies of all sizes in “bet the company” litigation, including complex ownership disputes, intellectual property issues, and claims posing a significant financial risk to the company’s survival. In these cases, our mission is to use every available resource to protect our clients’ successful businesses from attack.
- Demonstrating the broad reach of our work, Allison Mullins and Alan Duncan were successful trial counsel for John Edwards in his criminal campaign finance trial brought by the United States Department of Justice. We were hired for our trial skills for one of the biggest cases in the country, even though our practices are generally not focused on criminal law. In only a few weeks, we learned the case and brought our skills to bear in one of the most publicized trials of the twenty-first century.
- Our lawyers were contacted by a Japanese family whose otherwise healthy daughter ended up in a persistent vegetative state following treatment at a hospital. The medical professionals were stumped. We got to work, ultimately uncovering a massive drug overdose by the hospital that was missed by all those involved. In a case that had no apparent path to recovery without our work, the family received significant funds to care for their daughter, and just as importantly for them, the knowledge of what actually happened to her.
- Allison Mullins was asked, with notice of only a few months, to join the trial team for the first bellwether trials in the transvaginal mesh multi-district litigation (MDL) in Charleston, West Virginia. Even though these medical device cases had been pending for years, Allison was specifically sought out because of her skills as a trial lawyer. Joining the trial team late in the process, our lawyers got up to speed quickly and tried the very first bellwether case to a favorable $2 million verdict.
- Our trial attorneys represented a hospital and national hospital system in a series of ownership disputes over health care facilities. In one case, our work led to a favorable settlement on the eve of trial. In another, we obtained a temporary restraining order from the North Carolina Business Court that prevented a forced redemption of our client’s ownership interest and set the stage for a beneficial sale of that interest.
- The firm’s litigation attorneys assisted a Japanese insurance company obtain a $1.12 billion arbitration award arising from a massive financial fraud involving aircraft reinsurance. At the time, court confirmation of that award was one of the largest, if not the largest, judgments in North Carolina history. The victory also vindicated ourclient’s reputation, which was of particular value to the company. Later related work resulted in another very significant recovery against a large accounting firm.
- In a class action lawsuit, we represented 11,000 residents of a small town in North Carolina who had been overcharged for sewer services for four years. We established the defendants’ liability for the overcharges early in the case, leading to a $12.47 million settlement that resulted in full refunds plus 9% interest to all class members – instead of pennies on the dollar that are commonly recovered in class actions.
- We have helped clients who seek to avoid publicity to achieve favorable and confidential pre-trial settlements of disputes.
- We have served as trial counsel and local counsel in patent, trademark, and other intellectual property disputes pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and elsewhere.
- We have represented municipalities, government officials, law enforcement officers, and elected officials. For example, we represented a municipality in a series of lawsuits filed by police officers alleging discrimination, winning many and obtaining favorable settlements in the others. Our litigation attorneys also have successfully defended lawsuits alleging wrongful imprisonment, alleging unlawful use of force by law enforcement, and alleging discriminatory conduct by elected officials.
- We also represent beneficiaries of trusts, in the defense of the donor’s intent and against attacks intended to negatively alter the terms of the trust. This complex trust litigation often requires work in multiple forums, with difficult issues and numerous parties.
- Our trial lawyers have pursued wrongful death suits arising from automobile crashes in North Carolina to airplane crashes on the other side of the world. We have also represented victims of medical malpractice and other life-altering injuries obtain the compensation they need and with the compassion that they deserve.
- We have represented both employees and employers with regard to alleged discrimination and other unlawful conduct.
- Our lawyers represent many public entities, including a professional licensing agency, in cases alleging constitutional and antitrust claims.
- We regularly appear before the North Carolina Business Court in a variety of mandatory complex business and investment disputes.
- Our attorneys have conducted independent investigations of highly sensitive and publicly-charged matters, including on behalf of public entities.
As experienced litigation attorneys, we not only work hard, we work smart, by harnessing technology to efficiently meet client needs. Even on the go, we are available to clients and can readily access information.
Excellence is our hallmark and our target — for every client and every case.
HEART OF SERVICE
In addition to client service, we believe it is important as North Carolina lawyers to serve our community, our state, our profession, and our neighbors. This spirit of service is exemplified by Alan Duncan, who currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education, and on the North Carolina Task Force for Safer Schools, the North Carolina Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound, Basic Education, and Davidson College’s Board of Visitors. Previously, Alan served as an elected member of the Guilford County Board of Education for almost two decades, including 16 years as Chair. He serves on several other education-related boards, as part of his dedication to our children and the advancement of public education. In addition, Alan recently served as President of the North Carolina Bar Association, and he is a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He previously served as president of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys.
Allison Mullins devotes a great deal of time to improving the justice system and the practice of law. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association, on the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission (which reviews allegations made against judges), and on the North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. She has served on many other state and local bar committees, including committees aimed at improving court rules. Like Alan, she also is an advocate for education, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Guilford Technical Community College.
The firm’s attorneys also serve on many other boards and bar committees. For example, Steve Russell has long served on the development committee of the North Carolina Bar Foundation. Cooper Harrell recently completed a term as Chair of the 2,000-member Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Hillary Kies, like several other firm attorneys before her, serves on the board of the Young Lawyers Section of the Greensboro Bar Association.
We encourage our lawyers and staff to volunteer on causes that are meaningful to them. We sometimes close the office to volunteer together. This is an important part of making us better lawyers for our clients, better members of our communities and of the bar, and better stewards of our many blessings.
The cases mentioned on this site are illustrative of the matters handled by the firm and by the attorneys who practice at the firm. Not all cases handled by the firm and by the attorneys who practice at the firm are mentioned on this site. The result of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Prior results in one case do not guarantee a similar outcome in another case.