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Drew Erteschik

Partner
t: 919.783.2895

Drew Erteschik focuses on high-stakes litigation.

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Biography

Clients trust Drew to take the lead on their most significant matters, especially those with challenging or novel legal issues.  Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has profiled Drew’s “highly acclaimed practice,” and Benchmark Litigation has named him a “state litigation star.”  He has also been repeatedly recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, North Carolina Super Lawyers, and Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite.”  In 2020, Drew was inducted into Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite “Hall of Fame.”

In recent months, he has successfully represented a coalition of craft breweries in a high-profile challenge to beer laws, won a large settlement for physical therapists and their patients in a federal antitrust case, represented the North Carolina Department of Revenue before the U.S. Supreme Court, won a $5 million settlement for a corporate plaintiff in a case against Garden & Gun Magazine, and, as lead trial counsel for a whistleblower plaintiff, won the largest jury verdict in the history of the state’s whistleblower law.

Drew is frequently called upon to litigate cases that attract significant public interest.  North Carolina’s largest state agencies, cities, and counties have retained him to handle some of their most sensitive and closely watched cases.  He has represented these public clients before the highest appellate tribunals, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Drew also represents private-sector clients whose business interests intersect with the government.  He has a track record of beating the state and federal governments in court, and a number of his cases have established landmark precedents on the scope of government power.  On multiple occasions, he has persuaded courts to strike down laws as unconstitutional.

A substantial portion of Drew’s practice is also devoted to representing businesses in bet-the-company litigation.  His clients include Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and regional businesses, and he frequently appears before North Carolina’s specialized Business Court.  In all manner of high-exposure cases, including class actions, he has persuaded courts to dismiss lawsuits shortly after they were filed.  He also represents both plaintiffs and defendants in qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act and related state laws that encourage whistleblowers to report fraud.

Drew’s practice is split between the trial and appellate courts.  He thrives on the intensity of multi-week jury trials, and he has tried cases to successful verdicts in state court, federal court, and the North Carolina Business Court, as well as before administrative tribunals and arbitration panels.  At the same time, he has built a substantial appellate practice, and is regularly retained by lawyers outside of the firm to brief and argue their appeals.  He is a board-certified specialist in appellate practice, and has served as an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy at the UNC School of Law.  He began his career clerking for Justice (later Chief Justice) Mark D. Martin of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Drew is active in the Bar.  He is the chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee, which makes recommendations to the North Carolina Supreme Court on issues of appellate procedure.  He is also the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division Amicus Committee, which evaluates the potential for amicus participation by the ABA in cases involving the judiciary.  Two of North Carolina’s Chief Justices, a Republican and a Democrat, have separately appointed him to three-year terms on the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.

Drew also serves on a number of boards and commissions focused on improving the quality of justice in North Carolina.

Areas of Focus

+Business Litigation

  • Drew recently served as lead counsel for a large corporate plaintiff in a lawsuit over royalty payments owed by Garden & Gun Magazine.  After Garden & Gun’s publisher and owners were deposed, Garden & Gun paid our client a settlement of more than $5 million.
  • As lead defense counsel for a nationwide lender, Drew recently persuaded a federal court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging thousands of violations of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
  • Drew was recently lead plaintiffs’ counsel in Henry v. North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board, a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by North Carolina physical therapists and their patients over access to dry needling, a type of physical therapy. The defendants ultimately yielded to all of our clients’ demands, and they paid our clients a large monetary settlement.
  • In Laws v. Priority Trustee Services, Drew obtained a decision from the Fourth Circuit affirming the dismissal of a multimillion-dollar class action against a company on the grounds that the lawsuit impermissibly relied on lawyer ethics rules.
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+Government & Constitutional Litigation

  • Drew recently represented the North Carolina Department of Revenue before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case over whether the Due Process Clause allows a state to tax a trust when a trust beneficiary lives in that state.  The North Carolina Supreme Court had concluded that the Due Process Clause categorically bars such taxes.  The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that rule in favor of a new, more flexible constitutional analysis, which allowed the Department of Revenue to preserve millions in annual tax revenue for North Carolina.
  • Drew was recently lead counsel for a coalition of craft breweries in Craft Freedom v. State of North Carolina, a constitutional challenge to North Carolina’s beer-distribution laws.  The case ended with historic legislation that gave the craft breweries the relief they had sought in the lawsuit.  As a result, North Carolina’s craft beer laws are now among the most progressive in the nation.
  • In Halbrook v. Bradsher, Drew recently led the trial team that obtained the largest jury verdict ever under the North Carolina Whistleblower Act.  Our client was a judicial branch employee who reported a district attorney to the State Bureau of Investigation for a criminal scheme to steal from taxpayers.  In the wake of the lawsuit, the district attorney was convicted of multiple felonies.
  • In North Carolina Association of Educators v. State of North Carolina, Drew won a First Amendment challenge to a state law that would have prohibited payroll dues deductions for approximately 50,000 current and retired public school employees.  The Court struck down the law as unconstitutional.
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+Appellate Practice

  • Drew recently represented the North Carolina Department of Revenue before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case over whether the Due Process Clause allows a state to tax a trust when a trust beneficiary lives in that state.  The North Carolina Supreme Court had concluded that the Due Process Clause categorically bars such taxes.  The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that rule in favor of a new, more flexible constitutional analysis, which allowed the Department of Revenue to preserve millions in annual tax revenue for North Carolina.
  • In Laws v. Priority Trustee Services, Drew obtained a decision from the Fourth Circuit affirming the dismissal of a multimillion-dollar class action against a company on the grounds that the lawsuit impermissibly relied on lawyer ethics rules.
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+Litigation

  • Drew recently served as lead counsel for a large corporate plaintiff in a lawsuit over royalty payments owed by Garden & Gun Magazine.  After Garden & Gun’s publisher and owners were deposed, Garden & Gun paid our client a settlement of more than $5 million.
  • As lead defense counsel for a nationwide lender, Drew recently persuaded a federal court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging thousands of violations of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
  • Drew was recently lead plaintiffs’ counsel in Henry v. North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board, a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by North Carolina physical therapists and their patients over access to dry needling, a type of physical therapy. The defendants ultimately yielded to all of our clients’ demands, and they paid our clients a large monetary settlement.
  • In Laws v. Priority Trustee Services, Drew obtained a decision from the Fourth Circuit affirming the dismissal of a multimillion-dollar class action against a company on the grounds that the lawsuit impermissibly relied on lawyer ethics rules.
  • Drew recently represented the North Carolina Department of Revenue before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case over whether the Due Process Clause allows a state to tax a trust when a trust beneficiary lives in that state.  The North Carolina Supreme Court had concluded that the Due Process Clause categorically bars such taxes.  The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that rule in favor of a new, more flexible constitutional analysis, which allowed the Department of Revenue to preserve millions in annual tax revenue for North Carolina.
  • Drew was recently lead counsel for a coalition of craft breweries in Craft Freedom v. State of North Carolina, a constitutional challenge to North Carolina’s beer-distribution laws.  The case ended with historic legislation that gave the craft breweries the relief they had sought in the lawsuit.  As a result, North Carolina’s craft beer laws are now among the most progressive in the nation.
  • In Halbrook v. Bradsher, Drew recently led the trial team that obtained the largest jury verdict ever under the North Carolina Whistleblower Act.  Our client was a judicial branch employee who reported a district attorney to the State Bureau of Investigation for a criminal scheme to steal from taxpayers.  In the wake of the lawsuit, the district attorney was convicted of multiple felonies.
  • In North Carolina Association of Educators v. State of North Carolina, Drew won a First Amendment challenge to a state law that would have prohibited payroll dues deductions for approximately 50,000 current and retired public school employees.  The Court struck down the law as unconstitutional.
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Credentials

+Certifications & Specializations

North Carolina State Bar Board-Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice

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+Education

University of North Carolina, JD

University of North Carolina, BA

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+Notable Accomplishments

Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Litigation: General Commercial), 2016-2019

North Carolina State Bar Board-Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice

Ranked among Super Lawyers magazine’s North Carolina “Rising Stars,” 2011, 2013-2017, and “Super Lawyers,” 2018-2019

Ranked in Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite,” 2015, 2017-2019

Ranked #1 in Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” 2020

2016-2019 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society

Named State Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2019

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+Professional & Community Activities

NC Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (2015-2017) (appointed by the Chief Justice of North Carolina)

Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism (2016-present) (appointed to consecutive three-year terms by two different Chief Justices)

American Bar Association – Co-Chair (2016-present) and member (2014-present) of Judicial Division Amicus Committee; Liaison to Young Lawyers Division, Judicial Division (2013-2014); Articles Contributor, Lawyer Professional Liability e-Advisory Journal (2011-2013); Lawyers’ Conference, Judicial Division (2012-present)

NC Bar Association – Vice Chair (2017-present) and member (2011-present) of Appellate Rules Committee; Treasurer (2017-2018), Secretary (2016-2017), and Section Council member (2015-2018) of Appellate Practice Section; Section Council member and Membership Chair, Government and Public Sector Section (2017-present); Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee (2014-2017)

Wake County Bar Association – Board of Directors (2014-2017); Grievance Committee, Tenth Judicial District Bar (2014-2016); Vice Chair, Strategic Planning Implementation Committee (2014); Chair, Sponsorship Committee (2012-2013); Strategic Planning Implementation Committee (2014); Sponsorship Committee (2011-2013)

NC Supreme Court Historical Society – Board of Trustees (2010-2016); Second Vice President (2010-2011); Membership Chair (2010-2011); Chair, Annual Meeting Committee (2009)

UNC School of Law – Adjunct Professor, Appellate Advocacy (2009); Adjunct Instructor, Legal Writing (2007-2010); Faculty Coach, Moot Court Program (2009)

Arbitrator, Wake County District Court Mandatory Arbitration Program (2012-2013)

Pro Bono Appellate Counsel, NC Guardian ad Litem Program (2010-present)

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