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The Basics of Workers' Compensation (2021 Workers' Compensation Fall Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Cases Every Workers' Compensation Attorney Should Know

Michael W. Ballance, Dickie McCamey & Chilcote PC, Raleigh

Review the top 10 cases you need to know as a practicing workers' compensation attorney.

10:00      Break

10:10      Challenges Faced on Both Sides of a Claim

Paul C. McCoy, Lewis & Roberts PLLC, Raleigh
Vernon Sumwalt, The Sumwalt Group Workers' Comp and Trial Lawyers, Charlotte

Listen as attorneys from opposing sides discuss how to manage difficult clients and strategically navigate through some tricky issues.

11:10      Break

11:20      Appearing Before the NC Industrial Commission

Ashley M. Moore, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh
William W. "Bill" Peaslee, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh

Hear practical tips for writing opinions and awards, and for appearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

12:20      Lunch Break

12:50      Non-insured and Fines

Mary Grace Roberson Linthicum, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh

Delve into the different dockets — penalty dockets, non-insured dockets and contempt dockets — and their role in workers' compensation claims. Discuss the calculation of the alternate penalty, explore the agricultural exemption, and find out how to determine if the new or former N.C.G.S. § 97-94(b) applies to your case.

1:50        Break

2:00        Appearing Before the North Carolina Court of Appeals

Angela F. Craddock, Young Moore and Henderson PA, Raleigh
M. Duane Jones, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, Charlotte

Gain insight into appearing and arguing before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

3:00        Break

3:10        Mediation for Workers' Compensation Attorneys≠

Jacqueline R. "Jackie" Clare, Jacqueline R. Clare Attorney at Law, Raleigh
Thomas M. Clare, Thomas M. Clare Attorney at Law, Raleigh

Learn about the nuts and bolts of a workers' compensation mediation, including an overview of the North Carolina Industrial Commission mediation rules, the Standards of Professional Conduct and advisory opinions that act as guides for mediators.

4:10        Adjourn

≠ Indicates portion providing NC Dispute Resolution Commission Continuing Mediator Education


Join us as we dive into the basics of practicing workers' compensation from the perspectives of both representing plaintiffs and representing defendants.


  • Michael W. Ballance

    Michael W. Ballance is the Managing Attorney of the Raleigh office of Dickie McCamey & Chilcote PC. He is an experienced civil litigator with his practice concentrated in the areas of administrative law, appellate practice, employment law, and workers' compensation. He represents clients at all stages of civil trials and administrative proceedings, from mediation through appeals to the Supreme Court. Michael has appeared as counsel in over two dozen North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases. He is also a certified mediator who regularly helps parties resolve their disputes without going to trial.

    Additionally, Michael serves as an Adjunct Professor at both The University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill and Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh where he currently teaches Workers' Compensation Law and Practice. The deans from both universities have appointed him to represent their schools in North Carolina's transition to adopting the Uniform Bar Exam. He is one of five lawyers chosen to develop a required course of study and examination on the state's workers' compensation law. Michael has also taught Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy and is a frequent writer and speaker on workers' compensation topics.

    Prior to joining the firm, Michael clerked for Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. of the North Carolina Supreme Court and was in private practice with other law firms in Raleigh.

    Click here for more information about Michael.

  • Jacqueline R. "Jackie" Clare

    Jacqueline R. "Jackie" Clare, after practicing law with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Jackie has been a DRC Certified Superior Court Mediator since 1993 and since that time has devoted her professional career to a full-time mediation practice, having mediated over four thousand cases primarily in the areas of workers' compensation, personal injury, business, bankruptcy, and medical malpractice.

    Jackie is a recipient of the 2013 Lawyers' Weekly Women of Justice Litigation Practitioner Award, the North Carolina Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Peace Award, and is included as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a North Carolina Super Lawyer for her work in mediation. Jackie is an adjunct professor at Campbell Law School, teaching Mediation Advocacy.

    Jackie received her B.A. degree from East Carolina University and her J.D. degree with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jackie.

  • Thomas M. Clare

    Thomas M. Clare is a solo practitioner in Raleigh. Tom practiced with an insurance defense firm, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham, from 1987 to 2007, where he handled a variety of cases, including personal injury, commercial litigation, and workers' compensation, with a concentration in asbestosis and other occupational disease claims. His experience also includes a number of jury trials in both state and federal court, and he has argued cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    Tom became a certified mediator in 2001 and has mediated thousands of cases in a variety of practice areas, including workers' compensation, toxic torts, personal injury, insurance coverage and commercial litigation. From January 2008 to April 2011 he was the resident partner in the Raleigh office of Oxner Thomas & Permar PLLC, where he concentrated his practice in the representation of plaintiffs in workers' compensation cases. Tom is now a full time mediator and is available for mediations statewide in North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Tom.

  • Angela Farag Craddock

    Angela Farag Craddock is a partner at Young Moore and Henderson, P.A., focusing her practice on helping businesses and institutional clients navigate state administrative litigation and appeals. Her practice includes assisting clients with complex workers' compensation matters, risk management policies, medical cost containment strategies, and in directing care toward evidence-based solutions. She is also a current member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Section Council, and has been selected by her peers for inclusion among North Carolina Super Lawyers' Rising Stars list in workers' compensation practice for 2014-2018, and for Best Lawyers in America for 2020.

    Angela has also developed a burgeoning appellate practice across several areas of civil, administrative, and regulatory practice, and leads the firm's appellate practice team. As part of her appellate practice, Angela is active in the Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, has served on its Appellate Rules Committee, and is frequently called upon to prepare amicus curiae briefs for industry groups in important cases passing through our appellate courts.

    Click here for more information about Angela.

  • Rita Beard Dorry

    Rita Beard Dorry is with Lewis & Roberts PLLC in Raleigh. Rita, a Raleigh native, received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University in 2011 and her law degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2015. Prior to joining Lewis & Roberts, PLLC in 2018, Rita served as a Special Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission for several years. In this capacity, she ruled on administrative motions and compromise settlement agreements exclusively before the Office of the Executive Secretary and under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act.

    Rita is currently a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Wake County Bar, Tenth Judicial Bar, Susie Sharp Inn of Court, and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. She currently serves on the NCBA Workers' Compensation Section Council as well as the NCBA Workers' Compensation Fall CLE Co-Chair (defense).

    Since joining Lewis & Roberts, PLLC, Rita has practiced exclusively in the area of workers' compensation defense, representing interests of employers and their insuring agencies. Rita has also spoken at several seminars for continuing education credit regarding best practices before the Office of the Executive Secretary and the ethical impacts of Medical Marijuana with respect to Chapter 97.

    Outside of her legal practice, Rita enjoys competitive long distance running. So much so, that she founded a non-profit organization, the Raleigh Distance Program, comprised of elite female athletes who train in the Raleigh area and perform on a national platform. Rita also mentors youth at a local non-profit, Neighbor to Neighbor, to be a stand-in for students falling at least two grade levels behind their peers.

    Click here for more information about Rita.

  • J. Jack Hardison

    J. Jack Hardison joined Hardison & Cochran in Raleigh in 2008. He made a transition from defending insurance companies in Workers' Compensation cases to representing injured and disabled workers. He applies the insights he gained from representing insurance companies to assist the injured workers he represents. There is little doubt about which type of practice he prefers.

    Jack received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina in 1999 and a J.D. from the UNC School of Law in 2004. He was a member of the law school's Holderness Moot Court team and was named to the Dean's List.

    His practice includes every aspect of representing individuals in Workers Compensation, from initial filings to appeals that can extend all the way to federal district court. In one of those federal cases, his client secured a $3.5 million recovery that was chosen by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as one of the notable cases of 2015. His client was a worker who was paralyzed from the waist down when a tree fell on him while on the job in Mebane.

    He is certified by the North Carolina Bar Association as a Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation Law.

    Away from the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, including a young daughter and young son, and following University of North Carolina sports.

    Click here for more information about Jack.

  • M. Duane Jones

    M. Duane Jones is an experienced and skilled appellate attorney and leads the firm’s appellate practice group. He is a Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice. He has over 17 years of appellate experience, with a full time focus on appellate matters since 2010.

    Since 2012, Duane has also been active in the North Carolina State Bar Appellate Rules Committee, which meets several times a year to improve and revise the rules governing appellate procedure in North Carolina.

    Duane has been selected to the North Carolina Super Lawyers® list, published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazine, from 2015 to 2021 for his Appellate work, and also selected to Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite from 2018 to 2020 for his Appellate work.

    Duane began his career as a workers’ compensation attorney and continues to handle appeals before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

    Prior to joining Hedrick Gardner, Duane served as a law clerk to Judge Linda McGee of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

    Click here for more information about Duane.

  • Mary Grace Roberson Linthicum

    Mary Grace Roberson Linthicum represents the North Carolina Industrial Commission as an Assistant Attorney General with the North Carolina Department of Justice. She provides a full range of legal support to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, including the enforcement of civil penalties assessed against non-insured employers. In addition to representing the N.C. Industrial Commission, she handles criminal appeals for the State of North Carolina as assigned by the North Carolina Attorney General.

    Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Grace worked for Oxner + Permar, PLLC in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a workers' compensation and social security disability attorney.

    Grace earned her J.D. from Charlotte School of Law and undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from Campbell University.

    Most recently, Grace served as a keynote speaker for the North Carolina Women's Leadership Conference.

    Click here for more information about Grace.

  • Paul C. McCoy

    Paul C. McCoy is a partner with Lewis & Roberts. Paul primarily practices in the area of Workers' Compensation defense. Paul is also certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission as a certified mediator. Paul also handles a select number of civil litigation matters each year.

    Paul regularly represents a wide variety of self-insured employers, insurance carriers, and third-party administrators in all stages of litigation before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and North Carolina appellate courts. Paul has also acted as a presenter and instructor for the North Carolina Industrial Commission's annual conference, as well as for the North Carolina Bar Association. Additionally, Paul regularly presents on hot topics in workers' compensation for his clients. Paul is a member of the North Carolina Industrial Commission Workers' Compensation Section Counsel and has previously served as editor of the Course and Scope publication, a publication dedicated to updating section members on recent developments in North Carolina workers' compensation law.

    In his free time, Paul enjoys spending as much time as he can with his wife and children. Paul also has served as a Sunday school teacher and a community fundraising campaign volunteer with the WakeMed Foundation.

    Click here for more information about Paul.

  • Ashley M. Moore

    Ashley M. Moore was appointed as Deputy Commissioner in the North Carolina Industrial Commission Raleigh office in 2018. Moore has served most recently as Law Clerk to Chairman Allen. Previously, she served as Law Clerk to former Commissioner Linda Cheatham and as Law Clerk to Vice-Chairman Yolanda K. Stith.

    In addition to her work at the Commission, Moore has practiced law in Wake County. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

  • William W. "Bill" Peaslee

    William W. "Bill" Peaslee was appointed to serve as a Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission in Raleigh in 2016. He served as Chief Deputy Commissioner from June 1, 2016 until April 4, 2018.

    Peaslee came to the Industrial Commission from the North Carolina Department of Administration, where he served as General Counsel. Prior to serving the State, he was in private practice in Cary, North Carolina. Peaslee earned a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Campbell University Law School. He is a Member of the N.C. Property Tax Commission, a former Chairman of the Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section of the N.C. Bar Association, and a former member of the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

    Click here for more information about Bill.

  • Vernon Sumwalt

    Vernon Sumwalt is with The Sumwalt Group Workers' Comp and Trial Lawyers in Charlotte. Vernon has handled approximately 250 workers' compensation hearings, 100 appeals--mostly from cases he has tried--and many other cases before juries and our courts of general jurisdiction in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

    Vernon is the immediate past President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers) and has taught almost 140 state and national classes for lawyers and other professionals. He has also written over 50 books, chapters, and articles on different aspects of workers' compensation and trial law.

    Since 2005, Vernon has been a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in the area of Workers' Compensation Law. In 2014, the North Carolina State Bar also certified him as a Specialist in Appellate Practice.

    Click here for more information about Vernon.

November 5, 2021
Fri 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 15M

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