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Lawyers in the News – June 2023

Lawyers in the News – June 2023

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New associations 

Beth Trahos has joined Fox Rothschild in Raleigh as a partner in the real estate department. She focuses her practice on commercial real estate development, land use and government regulation, representing developers, builders, property owners and local governments.  


Matthew “Matt” Orso has joined the Charlotte office of Troutman Pepper as a partner in the white-collar and government investigations practice group, where he will defend companies and individuals in criminal and civil white-collar enforcement actions, conduct high-stakes internal investigations and handle complex immigration matters.   


Shad Spencer, former zoning administrator for Charlotte’s Planning, Design and Development Department, has joined Moore & Van Allen’s zoning, entitlement and land use team as a zoning consultant in the Charlotte office.  


Robin Tatum has joined the Raleigh office of Fox Rothschild after serving as Raleigh’s city attorney for several years. Her practice will focus on land use, zoning and municipal work.  


McGuire Woods has added Richard Starling as a partner in its Charlotte office, where he will advise fund sponsors on the organization, negotiation, structuring and operation of private investment funds, as well as regulatory and internal governance issues, and institutional investors with respect to those and other alternative investments.  


The Raleigh office of Baker Donelson has added two new associates, Savannah E. Lavender in corporate restructuring and bankruptcy and William Maddrey in health. 


Felicia M. Gardner has joined Moore & Van Allen’s employee benefits and compensation team as a member in the Charlotte office. Most recently, she served as associate general counsel at Bank of America, where she advised on benefits, compensation and litigation management.   


Cranfill Sumner has added three new attorneys. In the Raleigh office, C. Andrew Dandison will focus his practice on construction, premises liability, transportation, and admiralty and maritime law, and Winston West will practice as an employment and business dispute associate. Maxwell Shafer will join the Wilmington office as an associate in the civil litigation practice group handling admiralty and construction law matters.  



Bridget Grant, a land use and zoning consultant, has been elevated by Moore & Van Allen to co-lead the zoning, entitlement and land use team, along with veteran commercial real estate member Jeff Brown. She has nearly 20 years of land planning and urban design experience in the private and public sector and has helped lead rezonings such as River District, Camp North End, Ballantyne Reimagined, and the new mixed-use development and Novant Community Hospital at Steele Creek and Interstate 485.  


Jason Evans, a partner in the business litigation practice group, became office managing partner in the Charlotte office of Troutman Pepper on May 1. In his practice, Evans helps companies in the financial services, energy and other industries when facing high-stakes litigation and government investigations. He represents business clients in complex litigation and class action disputes, antitrust litigation, investigations and compliance, as well as other government enforcement and regulatory matters.  


Jason Stiles, based in Wilmington, has been promoted to office services director for Cranfill Sumner. He will supervise all office services managers and assistants across the firm’s three offices and lead training for those positions; he also will work to establish standard operating procedures for office services.  


Fox Rothschild elevated Brian C. Bernhardt, a taxation and wealth planning attorney in the firm’s Charlotte office, to partner.  


Offit Kurman announced the promotion of two attorneys in the family law practice group in its Charlotte office. Kyle Frost was promoted to principal, and Jessica Moreau Hester was promoted to counsel. 



The Mecklenburg County Bar Association presented Robinson Bradshaw attorney Adam K. Doerr with the Outstanding Individual Attorney Pro Bono Award at its annual meeting. Among his many pro bono projects, he spearheaded an effort challenging North Carolina’s distribution of COVID-19 relief aid payments to parents, led a team of firm lawyers as pro bono counsel for the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and is part of the legal team arguing constitutional questions on behalf of the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. Doerr co-chairs the firm’s appeals and class action practice groups.  


Professional groups 

Several members of Ragsdale Liggett were tapped for positions with the North Carolina Bar Association. Litigation partner Sandy Mitterling Schilder, a member of the executive committee since 2020, was elected chair of the construction law section, while Melissa Brumback, also a litigation partner, was elected as a council member of the construction law section, beginning her three-year term in July. Sarah White, a senior litigation paralegal at the firm, was elected secretary of the executive council of the paralegal division and litigation paralegal Erica Hauge was elected for a three-year term to the council of the paralegal division. 


Angie Zimmern, McGuire Woods pro bono director and senior counsel, is a member of the defining law firm pro bono working group, a part of the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge initiative. Challenge signatory law firms set goals to contribute at least 3% or 5% of their total billable hours to pro bono annually, uphold the principles of the challenge and develop their firms’ pro bono cultures. The working group, formed in August 2021, recently identified and recommended changes to guidance documents in four key areas: impact finance and social enterprise, global pro bono, public rights, and racial justice.  


Cary B. Davis was sworn in as the president of the Mecklenburg County Bar on May 24 for a one-year term. A partner at Robinson Bradshaw in the Charlotte office, his practice focuses on the resolution of business disputes through negotiation, trial and appeal. His litigation practice includes contract disputes, sports and entertainment law, defamation and media law, business torts, real estate and commercial lease disputes, antitrust law, government and internal investigations and trademarks and copyright law. He is the firm’s sixth attorney to serve in the position.

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