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Lawyers in the News – Jan. 21

William “Rick” Freeman has Manning, Fulton & Skinner in Durham. Freeman is a litigator whose expertise includes complex civil litigation, medical malpractice defense, and surety and construction claims. He was previously with Moore & Van Allen.

Mark Merritt has rejoins Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte, where he was a litigator for 33 years prior to serving as vice chancellor and general counsel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Johnston of Raleigh has joined Taylor English Duma as a partner in the firm’s intellectual property practice group, focusing on patent prosecution. Prior to joining the firm, Johnston was a member of Moore & Van Allen.

Kara Gansmann has been named a partner at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog in the firm’s Wilmington office. Gansmann is an elder law and estate planning attorney who previously served as a staff attorney on an appellate court in Houston, Texas.

Phillip B. Jefferson has joined Goldberg Segalla as an associate in the firm’s workers’ compensation Practice Group in Raleigh. Jefferson was previously with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog.

David Mannheim has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough as a partner and member of the emerging growth and venture capital practice in the firm’s Raleigh office. He was formerly a partner with Wyrick Robbins, and his practice focuses on corporate and securities law, including private and public securities, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance for biotech industries.

Rebecca M. Schaefer has joined K&L Gates LLP as a health care partner in the firm’s Research Triangle Park office. She joins the firm after serving as associate university counsel and health care practice group leader at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

James Erlinger III has returned to the firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner as of counsel in its life sciences practice group in Charlotte. Erlinger was previously executive vice president and general counsel of IQVIA, formerly Quintiles.

Josh Hiller has joined Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog in the firm’s Raleigh office in an of counsel role. Hiller will focus his practice in the area of business disputes and litigation and professional liability defense.

Patrick Baker has become the new city attorney for the city of Charlotte, having previously served as the city attorney for Durham.

Womble Bond Dickinson announced five partner promotions in its North Carolina offices. John Branson of Charlotte, Vivian Coates of Winston-Salem, Hunter Edwards of Charlotte, Sonny Haynes of Winston-Salem, and Diana Quarry of Charlotte were all promoted, having previously served in associate or of counsel roles at the firm.

Smith Anderson in Raleigh announced that it has admitted attorneys Toby Coleman, Amanda Keister, and Sharita Whitaker to the firm’s partnership effective Jan. 1.

Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo announced that Brooke Mulenex and Austin Walsh have been promoted to partner and Michael Hedgepeth has been promoted to special counsel, all in the firm’s Charlotte office.

Goldberg Segalla has announced that Michael A. Goode has been promoted to special counsel. Goode practices in the firm’s workers’ compensation practice group in Raleigh.

King & Spalding has announced that Kathryn Johnson Fletcher and Aleksandra Kopec in the firm’s Charlotte office have been promoted to counsel.


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