Jerry is a recipient of the Friend of the Court award by the Judicial Branch of state government, a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, a Recipient of the Chief Justice’s Professionalism Award, and concentrated his practice in professional malpractice defense and government investigations. In more than 40 years of practice he was involved in a wide array of civil and criminal cases throughout the western half of North Carolina, in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the appellate courts of North Carolina.
After graduation from the University of North Carolina School of Law, Jerry served as law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Bobbitt of the North Carolina Supreme Court and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He was a founder and chairman of the North Carolina Federal Bar Advisory Council, a founder of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, a founding member of the Board of Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, Inc., a founding member of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, and is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, a member of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents and the National Conference of Bar Presidents. He served three-year terms on the Board of Governors, the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association. Jerry served as the State Chair for North Carolina in the ABA House of Delegates and State Chair of the Fellows.
Areas of Focus
In Re: Grand Jury Subpoena Under Seal, 175 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 1999) – the first reported decision in the Fourth Circuit affirming the quashing of a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena.
State v. Buckner, 351 N.C. 401, 527 S.E.2d 307 (2000) – a death penalty post-conviction case establishing the right to discovery orders in such cases.
United States v. Rudisill, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 10380 (4th Cir. 2000) – an appointed criminal case in which the trial court’s erroneous sentence following a guilty plea was reversed.+ CLOSE
Piraino Brothers v. Atlantic, 211N.C. App. 343, 712 S.E. 2d. 328, review denied 365 N.C. 357, 2011 N.C. Lexis 915 (2011) – Zero-liability trial and appellate results in defense of attorney and law firm accused of breach of trust agreement, conversion, civil conspiracy, and aiding and abetting client fraud in multi-million dollar real estate transaction.
Whiteheart v. Waller, 199 N.C. App 281, 681 S.E.2d 419 , petition for discretionary review denied, 363 N.C. 813 ( 2010), holding that in pari delicto is a defense to a legal malpractice case in North Carolina.
Carlisle v. Keith, 169 N.C. App. 674, 614 S.E.2d 542 (2005) – case that established statutes of limitation in certain types of legal malpractice issues.
Hahne v. Hanzel, 161 N.C. App. 494, 588 S.E.2d 915, petition for discretionary review denied, 358 N.C. 543; 599 S.E. 2d 46 (2004) – a decision affirming summary judgment on behalf of a lawyer in a legal malpractice action arising from a securities claim. It is the case in North Carolina establishing that contributory negligence is a defense in a legal malpractice action.
Belk v. Cheshire, 159 N.C. App. 325, 583 S.E.2d 700 (2003) – a case affirming summary judgment in favor of a lawyer establishing the elements of a legal malpractice action arising from criminal defense.
Mabry v. Huneycutt, 149 N.C. App. 630, 562 S.E.2d 292 (2002) – establishing an extension of the applicable statute of limitations.
Bolton v. Crone, 162 N.C. App. 171, 589 S.E.2d 915 (2004) – affirming summary judgment in favor of a lawyer in a real estate-transaction malpractice action.+ CLOSE
University of North Carolina, JD, 1973
North Carolina State University, BS, 1969+ CLOSE
Presented with the Friend of the Court Award by the North Caroline Judicial Branch, 2016
Ranked among Super Lawyers magazine’s North Carolina “Super Lawyers”, 2006 – 2013 and in “Top 100 Super Lawyers” (Professional Liability Defense), 2006, 2012, 2014-2015, and 2018
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® (Criminal Defense: White Collar), 2001 – 2017, and (Legal Malpractice Law), 2007 – 2017
Recognized in Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite” (Criminal Defense), 2006, 2009+ CLOSE
+Professional & Community Activities
ABA Board of Governors (2015 – 2018) Board Committees on Finance and Audit; Liaison to the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, Standing Committee on Professionalism, and Center for Professional Responsibility
Sustaining Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (State Chair 2010 – 2015)
Member, American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2010 – 2013 ) and Ethics and Professional Responsibility (2002-2005); Member, House of Delegates (2004 – 2018); the State Delegate and Member, Nominating Committee (2006 – 2015); Steering Committee of the Nominating Committee (2007 – 2010); Criminal Justice, Litigation Sections, Judicial Division, and Center for Professional Responsibility
UNC Law School Alumni Association, Board Member (2012 – 2018)
NC IOLTA Board of Trustees (2012 – 2016)
Moderator, Permanent Judicial Commission, The Presbytery of Charlotte (2005 – 2011)
The Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
National Conference of Bar Presidents
Southern Conference of Bar Presidents
North Carolina State Bar, President (2001 – 2002)
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Board Member (2006 – 2009)
Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, Founding Member (1997 – 2002)
North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, Founding Member, Treasurer (2006-2015)
North Carolina Federal Bar Advisory Council, Founding Member and Chairman
Board of Directors, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (2004 – 2010)
Board of Directors, Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, Inc., Founding Member, Treasurer (2006-2015)
The Judicial Response Committee of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, Founding Member+ CLOSE