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Lawyers in the News – May 2023

Lawyers in the News – May 2023

New associations 

Former Superior Court Judge Drew Heath, focusing his practice on government relations and civil litigation, and health care attorney Knicole Emanuel have joined Nelson Mullins in Raleigh.  

Donald Pocock has joined the Winston Salem office of Akerman as a partner in the litigation group.  

Kelli Sanders has joined Barnwell, Whaley, Patterson & Helms as the chief operating officer. Based in the Charleston, South Carolina office, she leads all firm operations.  

The Raleigh office of Ragsdale Liggett has added Elizabeth H. Overmann as a partner in the civil litigation group, where she utilizes her expertise in trucking, personal and catastrophic injury, construction, premises and product liability.  

Three new attorneys have joined Smith Anderson in Raleigh: Chase Parker, an attorney in the litigation group, will focus on asbestos and toxic torts, as well as other environmental exposure cases; Peter “PJ” Cline focuses his practice on tax, private equity and fund formation matters; and Tess Rogers is a member of the real estate development and litigation practice groups.  

Michele P. Lee has joined the Greensboro office of Ellis & Winters. A member of the firm’s litigation group, she concentrates her practice on fiduciary litigation, guardianship of minors and adults, and power of attorney disputes.  

As part of an expansion of Womble, Bond, Dickinson’s patent prosecution and litigation practice, Lisa Moyles has joined the Raleigh office as a partner, counseling clients at every stage of the protection lifecycle.  

Jennifer Fant has joined Cranfill Sumner’s Charlotte office as a paralegal.  

Emma B. McEvoy has become a trial attorney with Riddle & Brantley, where she focuses her practice on personal injury cases, car and truck accident lawsuits, and workers’ compensation claims.  

Maynard Nexsen added two new attorneys in North Carolina: registered patent attorney Vanessa Perez-Ramos in the Charlotte office, and Lindsey B. Nelson, a labor and employment attorney, in the Raleigh office.  

Law firms 

The merger of Maynard, Cooper & Gale and Nexsen Pruet is complete, with the creation of a national firm now known as Maynard Nexsen. The firm has offices in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, as well as Washington, D.C.  

Dempsey Law Group has merged with Fox Rothschild, with Kelly Tillotson Dempsey joining Fox as a partner in the Charlotte office. She represents clients as they create families through agency compliance, assisted reproductive technology, and domestic and international adoptions.  


Six lawyers have been appointed as diversity and inclusion partners at Shumaker, including Christina Davidson Trimmer, a partner in the Charlotte office.  


Moore & Van Allen was recognized as a Global Competition Review 2023 Behavioural Matter of the Year – Americas award winner. The firm received the award for securing complete acquittals in a high-profile U.S. Department of Justice criminal antitrust prosecution of executives in the chicken industry. Attorneys on the winning trial team include John A. Fagg Jr., Frank E. Schall, James P. McLoughlin Jr., Kaitlin M. Price, Catherine R. Prater, Katherine Clarke McDiarmid, Fielding E. Huseth and Alexis T. Narducci 



Mike McIntyre of Ward & Smith will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at its spring commencement ceremony. McIntyre is a UNC-Chapel Hill alum.  


The American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation has awarded Baker Donelson the 2023 John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award. In addition to its global pro bono work, the firm was recognized for creating Free Legal Answers in 2010 and its efforts to provide access to legal representation for those experiencing homelessness. FLA is a website on which anyone can receive pro bono legal advice from a volunteer lawyer.  


Joseph J. “Jack” Santaniello has been named a 2023 Legal Eagle by Franchise Times Magazine. Santaniello, a partner at Shumaker in Charlotte, is known for his work in mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and commercial transactional matters, and franchise, distribution and licensing law, as well as copyright and federal and state trademark matters.  


Professional groups 

On July 1, Jennifer Csik Hutchens will join the board of directors of the American Health Law Association. A partner at Bryan, Cave, Leighton, Paisner in Charlotte, where she serves as the global head of the firm’s health care practice, Hutchens is one of only three health care law practitioners nationally to be appointed to the AHLA board.  


Ashley S. Rusher, an attorney with Blanco Tackabery in Winston Salem, has been named a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. One of 17 North Carolina attorneys inducted into the college in its 34 years, she concentrates her practice in bankruptcy and creditor’s rights, outside general counsel service, and title curative litigation.  


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