Steve represents employers in a wide variety of employment matters in state and federal court as well as before the EEOC, U.S. and North Carolina Departments of Labor, and other agencies in North Carolina and throughout the country. In addition, Steve conducts investigations; provides counseling to employers; and training. Steve is a frequent presenter on employment issues.
Areas of Focus
Harris v. Matthews, 361 N.C. 265, 643 S.E.2d 566 – Counsel for church pastor in lawsuit arising from internal church governance dispute. The plaintiffs, representing the minority of the congregation, sued the pastor and other church officials for alleged mismanagement of church resources. Successfully argued to the North Carolina Supreme Court that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over the case, as the First Amendment prohibits involvement in matters of religious doctrine and practice.
Jacobs vs. Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church, Inc. et al., 214 F. Supp. 2d 552 – Represented Church, Presbytery, and other Defendants being sued by minister, who claimed he was harmed by the procedural actions taken by the church administration in investigating allegations of misconduct. Obtained dismissal of all Defendants.
Charlene Eley v. Rocky Mount Family YMCA, et al., 536 S.E.2d 71 – Represented YMCA and others in action brought by former employee. Former employee’s claims included conspiracy, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with contract. Obtained dismissal of all claims and dismissal of appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Petition for discretionary review was denied by the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Dana N. Bowen vs. Moye and Reedy Branch Free Will Baptist Church, Superior Court of Pitt County – Represented Church being sued by Church member, who alleged was harmed by the choir director. Obtained judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Church.
Marvin E. Cobb vs. Rocky Mount Board of Education, 335 N.C. 236, 439 S.E.2d 143 – Represented Board of Education in regard to petition for reinstatement by former employee. Trial Court affirmed Board of Education’s decision, which was affirmed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Petition for discretionary review was denied by the North Carolina Supreme Court.+ CLOSE
+Certifications & Specializations
Certified Yellow Belt in Legal Lean Sigma by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute®+ CLOSE
Wake Forest University, JD, 1988
Wake Forest University, BA, 1985+ CLOSE
Martindale Hubble AV Rated 2000-2018+ CLOSE
+Professional & Community Activities
Chairman, USLAW Employment and Labor Law Practice Group, 2017
North Carolina Bar Association (Litigation Section, Labor and Employment Section, Workers Compensation Section)
Defense Research Institute
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
Chair, Attorneys Section of Carolinas Council of Housing, Redevelopment and Code Officials
Elder and Clerk of Session, First Presbyterian Church of Rocky Mount
Board of Directors, United Community Ministries
Board of Directors, Triangle East Community Penalties/Eastern Carolina Judicial Resource Center, Inc.
Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Rocky Mount Area United Way
Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of New Hope
Advisory Committee, CareNet Counseling East of Rocky Mount+ CLOSE