7:45 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:10 Welcome and Introductions
8:15 The Opening: Pleadings-Stage Strategy for Breach of Contract and Tortious Interference Claims
Steven A. Scoggan, Ellis & Winters LLP, Greensboro
Learn about strategic considerations for both prosecuting and defending claims for breach of contract and tortious interference. This presentation explores procedural rules and tips for addressing dispositive issues early in a case, as well as substantive areas of the law most susceptible to resolution through a pleadings-stage motion.
9:25 Covenants Not to Compete
Michael C. Lord, Williams Mullin, Raleigh
This session covers trends with the enforceability of non-competes in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Recent decisions of significance rendered by North Carolina courts are discussed as well.
10:35 Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices? How the FTC May Be Transforming Liability for Artificial Intelligence
Jeffrey M. "Jeff" Kelly, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Raleigh
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are impacting every industry and outpacing regulators' ability to establish clear rules for new technologies. Although the United States does not have comprehensive regulation of artificial intelligence, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance on how businesses can responsibly use artificial intelligence to avoid violating consumer protection laws, including Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This presentation provides a brief primer on artificial intelligence and contextualize the FTC's guidance on how even well-intentioned technology may expose companies and developers to liability.
11:15 Taking Professional Conduct Rules 5.1 and 5.2 to Heart: A Panel Discussion on Sponsorship of Junior Attorneys *
Jim W. Phillips Jr., Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro Preetha Suresh Rini, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh (Moderator) Thomas H. "Tom" Segars, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh Anne M. Tompkins, Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP, Charlotte Giovonni D. "Gio" Wade, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill Katarina "Katie" Wong, Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Raleigh
This panel discusses best practices for mentoring and sponsoring newer attorneys so that all attorneys can have an opportunity to become successful members of the profession. Explore how mentorship and sponsorship can benefit both parties in the relationship so that the profession can be a more collegial and inclusive working environment. Panelists also highlight recent survey results regarding perceptions of diversity and inclusion in the practice area and discusses how law firms and organizations can work to help all attorneys feel included in the profession.
12:30 Lunch Break
Diversity & Inclusion Brownbag Lunch Discussion
From 12:30-1:15pm. Grab lunch and join us back in the auditorium for an informal discussion led by Gavin Parsons.
This session does not provide MCLE credit.
1:25 Panel Discussion: Perspectives From In-House Counsel
Monica H. Dongre, RTI International, Research Triangle Park Shana L. Fulton, Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Raleigh (Moderator) Carolyn C. Pratt, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill James E. McLean Jr., Duke Energy Corporation, Charlotte
These panelists — seasoned in-house attorneys who work routinely with outside litigators on complex business disputes share insights from their unique perspective as fellow advocates and representatives of corporate clients.
2:35 An All-Natural Program and Deception Claims
Stephen D. Feldman, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh
Broad conduct standards in state statutes like N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 invite a wide range of suits, including claims about deceptive practices. This session addresses one type of frequently litigated deception claim: allegedly misleading food labels. Discusses theories and defenses that plaintiffs and defendants raise in these types of claims and consider how variations in state-law standards affect strategies and outcomes.
3:45 Business Court Panel Discussion
Sophia V. Blair, Wyrick Robbins, Raleigh (Moderator) Chief Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III, North Carolina Business Court, Charlotte Judge Adam M. Conrad, North Carolina Business Court, Charlotte Judge Mark A. Davis, North Carolina Business Court, Raleigh Judge Julianna T. Earp, North Carolina Business Court, Greensboro Agustin M. Martinez, Ellis & Winters LLP, Greensboro (Moderator) Judge Michael L. Robinson, North Carolina Business Court, Winston-Salem
Frequently regarded as the highlight of the section's annual CLE, this panel discussion features sitting business court judges, who offer their perspectives about practice before the business court.
5:15 Adjourn * Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
This program explores issues that challenge lawyers in complex business disputes, providing in-depth coverage of topics that arise frequently such as covenants not to compete and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1.
Sophia V. Blair
Sophia V. Blair is an attorney at Wyrick Robbins in Raleigh. She is a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation practice group. She handles complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts, and before arbitration tribunals. Her practice focuses on assisting diverse clients on a wide range of issues, including representing commercial entities and individuals in disputes involving commercial contract breaches and business torts.
Prior to joining the firm, Sophia began her career at the North Carolina Business Court as a law clerk to the Honorable Louis A. Bledsoe, III, Chief Business Court Judge, and the Honorable James L. Gale, Senior Business Court Judge.
cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law. She received her B.A. from New College of Florida, majoring in Comparative Religion. During law school, Sophia served as an Articles Editor for the Wake Forest Law Review and as a Moot Court Board Member. Upon graduation, Sophia was recognized by North Carolina Advocates for Justice for Outstanding Advocacy.
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Chief Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III
Chief Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III presides as Chief Judge of the North Carolina Business Court with chambers located at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte. He was sworn in as a Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases in July 2014 and was designated Chief Judge of the Business Court, effective July 1, 2018.
A native of Charlotte, Judge Bledsoe graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981, where he was a Morehead Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and the recipient of the William P. Jacocks Award as the outstanding man in UNC's graduating class. Judge Bledsoe graduated from Harvard Law School,
cum laude, in 1984, and immediately after graduation served as a law clerk to Judge Sam J. Ervin, III on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Judge Bledsoe is a member of the American College of Business Court Judges and currently serves as one of the College's representatives to the ABA Business Law Section.
Upon completion of his clerkship in 1985, Judge Bledsoe joined the law firm of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Charlotte where he practiced commercial and business litigation for nearly 29 years until his appointment to the bench. During his time in private practice, Judge Bledsoe was regularly selected to appear in Woodward/White's Best Lawyers in America, North Carolina Super Lawyers, and Benchmark Litigation.
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Judge Adam M. Conrad
Judge Adam M. Conrad, was sworn in as a Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases on December 23, 2016, with chambers located at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte.
A resident of Charlotte, Judge Conrad holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and received his J.D. from the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Editor in Chief of the Georgia Law Review. After receiving his law degree, Judge Conrad clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Honorable Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court.
Prior to joining the Business Court, Judge Conrad was a partner in King & Spalding's national appellate practice with experience in intellectual property, constitutional, and other civil matters.
Judge Conrad is a member of the American College of Business Court Judges.
Judge Mark A. Davis
Judge Mark A. Davis was sworn in as a Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases on July 1, 2021, with chambers located in Raleigh. He has served as an associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (2019-2020) and previously as a Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He worked as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department of Justice for five years. He spent thirteen years as an attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice where he was a Member of the firm in the Litigation Section. He also served as General Counsel in the Office of the Governor for approximately two years.
Judge Davis received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and served on the North Carolina Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Franklin T. Dupree, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Judge Davis has been active in the North Carolina Bar Association, serving on the Appellate Rules Committee and the Bench-Bar Liaison Committee. In 2018, he received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Judicial Studies from the Duke University School of Law. He is also a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
In March of 2019, Judge Davis was appointed as an Associate Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court. He served in that role through December 2020. In January of 2021, he was appointed to a six-month term as a Visiting Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the Elon University School of Law.
Judge Davis has given presentations at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars in North Carolina on the subject of appellate advocacy.
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Monica H. Dongre
Monica H. Dongre is Senior Employment Counsel at RTI International in Research Triangle Park.
Monica is a lifelong learner, champion of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. She's a dynamic and adaptive in-house employment attorney and human resources professional with demonstrated experience providing energetic business leadership and practical legal advice.
Monica earned her B.A. in History and Political Science from Furman University and his J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law.
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Judge Julianna T. Earp
Judge Julianna T. Earp is presently the Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases with chambers in Greensboro. She was appointed a Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases in May 2021.
After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in management (B.B.A.
summa cum laude) and law (J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), Judge Earp practiced as a civil litigator with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and its predecessors from 1986-2018, when the firm joined Fox Rothschild LLP. Over the course of that time, she tried cases and resolved conflicts for clients that varied widely in size and by industry. She spent the final 7 years of her time with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP as Chair of its Management Committee and, in that role, facilitated the combination with Fox Rothschild LLP. From November 2018 until she joined the Court in May 2021, Judge Earp managed the Atlanta, Charlotte and Greensboro offices of the combined firm while also continuing her practice.
Stephen D. Feldman
Stephen D. Feldman is a shareholder at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Raleigh. He concentrates his practice in complex litigation, antitrust and appeals. He partners with businesses on their most important legal matters, and his approach emphasizes teamwork, efficiency, creative thinking and attention to detail.
Stephen's recent experiences include successfully representing government agencies in federal and state antitrust litigation, defeating claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices in state and federal court, and defending shareholders in corporate-control disputes.
A significant portion of Stephen’s practice involves matters in the North Carolina Business Court. The Business Court recently appointed Stephen to lead a committee that rewrote the court's rules. Stephen has served on the leadership of the North Carolina Bar Association's Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes Section, and he is the chair of the association's Appellate Practice Section. From 2015-18, he led the American Bar Association's Appellate Practice Committee.
Stephen regularly writes and speaks on issues related to complex litigation, including the law on unfair and deceptive trade practices and techniques for clear legal writing.
A native of downstate Illinois, Stephen earned a business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Pasco M. Bowman II on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
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Shana L. Fulton
Shana L. Fulton is a partner at Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP in Raleigh. She represents businesses and individuals in criminal and civil litigation, under government investigation or in conducting internal investigations. As a defense attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, she has experience litigating and investigating high-profile and complex matters at all levels of federal and state trial courts. She loves using her deep experience as a defense attorney and federal prosecutor on complex matters that feature a mix of criminal, civil and regulatory issues.
Shana represents individuals and businesses facing white-collar criminal prosecution and government investigations. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, she has extensive experience handling trials and hearings in state and federal courts of all levels.
A former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, she has extensive experience handling trials and hearings in federal courts. Prior to arriving at Brooks Pierce, Shana served as the Deputy Chief for both the Felony Major Crimes Section and the General Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. She also served as Senior Litigation Counsel for the Homicide Section. Many of her previous cases garnered national news coverage, including in The Washington Post.
Shana is a member of the North Carolina, Wake County and Federal Bar Associations, North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers and the Capital City Lawyers Association.
Shana earned her B.A., with highest honors and distinction in English and Political Science, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
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Jeffrey M. "Jeff" Kelly
Jeffrey M. "Jeff" Kelly is an associate at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Raleigh. He focuses his practice in areas of complex litigation and outside corporate counsel services. He advocates for companies and individuals faced with significant business disputes, most often involving corporate and securities litigation, financial services and fraud, trade secret and intellectual property protection, and unfair trade practices. He has experience serving clients in state and federal courts, including on appeal. He regularly represents clients in the North Carolina Business Court, a specialized division of the North Carolina judicial system, handling significant issues of corporate and commercial law.
Jeff also advises clients faced with sensitive business and white-collar matters, guiding domestic and international clients on global strategy ranging from multi-jurisdictional risk analysis to navigating alternate legal proceedings, such as regulatory complaints, investigations, and arbitration. He has led and worked with special litigation committees, conducting internal audits and independent investigations of companies and directors accused of fraud, corporate malfeasance, and gross mismanagement.
Jeffrey is a member of the North Carolina, American, Wake County and Federal Bar Associations.
He received his B.A. degree in Philosophy from North Carolina State University and his J.D. degree from Campbell Law School.
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Michael C. Lord
Michael C. Lord is a shareholder at Williams Mullin in Raleigh. For nearly 30 years, Mike Lord has provided solutions to workforce problems for employers of all sizes. Business owners, managers, human resources and safety professionals appreciate Mike's practical guidance, which is grounded in his experience, legal acumen and controversy skills.
Mike serves as a trusted resource for his clients as they confront a variety of labor challenges, including those related to employment-related drug testing, probationary employment issues, EEOC sexual harassment charges, reduction in force management and more.
Directly upon graduating from the Wake Forest University School of Law, Mike clerked for the Honorable Eugene A. Gordon, Senior U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina. Mike experienced first-hand how the law is applied at the trial-court level in civil actions. He also assisted Judge Gordon when he sat by designation with the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to decide challenges to district court rulings.
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John P. Marshall
John P. Marshall is a member of White & Allen PA in Kinston. John maintains a broad civil litigation practice with an emphasis on commercial and business litigation in the federal and state courts, including the North Carolina Business Court. He also maintains a mediation practice.
John is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is admitted to practice in all courts in North Carolina. He is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a mediator. He currently serves the North Carolina State Bar as the chair of the Eighth Judicial District Bar Candidate Committee. He is a member of the Litigation, Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes, Business Law and Dispute Resolution Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association. John currently serves on the council for the Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes Law Section.
John is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest achievement rating. According to Martindale-Hubbell's website, an AV Preeminent rating is a significant rating accomplishment and a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. He was named to the 2019 and 2020 Super Lawyers list in the area of Business Litigation.
John earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Campbell University and his law degree,
magna cum laude, from the Campbell University School of Law.
Click here for more information about John.
Agustin M. Martinez
Agustin M. Martinez is an attorney at Ellis & Winters LLP in Greensboro. He is a trial and litigation attorney concentrating his practice on complex commercial and business litigation. Before joining Ellis & Winters, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael L. Robinson at the North Carolina Business Court.
Agustin received his J.D.,
cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was an editor on the Wake Forest Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board. Agustin was recognized by both his peers and the faculty during his time at Wake Forest. He was named the Board Member of the Year for the Wake Forest Law Review and received the Dean's Award, which honors the graduating student who demonstrates extraordinary contributions to the law school. As a member of Wake Forest's Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Agustin had the rare opportunity to present oral argument as a law student before a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Before attending law school, Agustin earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management,
summa cum laude. During college and after graduation, Agustin worked at DTE Energy, a Detroit-based energy company, in the Human Resources department, where he worked on employee and labor relations matters affecting the company's 10,000-plus employees.
A native of Veracruz, Mexico, Agustin moved to the United States with his family when he was four years old and grew up in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan. Although his legal practice keeps him busy, Agustin finds time to enjoy the great outdoors with his wife. He also likes to share his Mexican heritage with his wife, especially his mom's traditional Mexican food recipes. Agustin thinks he is close to perfecting his mom's tamale recipe (but even then, they probably will not taste as delicious as hers).
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James E. McLean Jr.
James E. McLean Jr. is Associate General Counsel at Duke Energy Corporation in Charlotte. He is a personal injury, property damage, and corporate litigation expert with 12+ years of experience in the energy industry submitting and responding to actions, resulting in numerous favorable judgments. He is able to create roadmaps focused on expanding legal support to multiple sites/units and decrease spending on outside counsel. He is known for minimizing reputational risks and mitigating liability exposure for companies with multi-state operations.
James earned his B.A. in Political Science and Government from Wittenberg University and his J.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Law.
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Jim W. Phillips Jr.
Jim W. Phillips Jr. is a complex business litigation partner at Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP in Greensboro. He advises and represents businesses, business people and professionals in litigation and other disputes with third parties and the government.
Jim has been voted as one of North Carolina's "Top 100" lawyers, and is recognized regularly for Business Litigation in
North Carolina Super Lawyers. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, recognized in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in Litigation, listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and recognized as a litigation star in Benchmark Litigation.
Jim is known for his effective advocacy in the courtroom, and has litigated complex business matters in federal and state courts in North Carolina and across the United States. He has led the defense of significant claims for violations of the federal and state securities laws, and has litigated numerous intellectual property and trade secrets cases, many of which involved preliminary hearings seeking injunctive relief. In addition, Jim has litigated cases involving contracts, real property, employment issues, tax issues, defamation, construction issues and a variety of business torts.
Recently, Jim has represented the Office of the Governor of North Carolina in a series of high-profile lawsuits challenging legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. For several years during the 1990s, Jim served as Legislative Counsel to the Honorable Jim Hunt, Governor of North Carolina. Jim currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Jim has chaired the N.C. Bar Association's Administration of Justice Committee. Jim also served on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, chairing the Board from 2006 through 2008.
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Carolyn C. Pratt
Carolyn C. Pratt is Deputy General Counsel at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He supports the work of the Division of Legal Affairs in advising and representing the President, the System Office, and the Board of Governors in litigation matters as well as counseling on employment and HR matters. She serves as staff counsel to the Committee on Personnel & Tenure and the Committee on University Governance.
Prior to joining the UNC System Office in 2015, Carolyn spent five years litigating in the areas of employment and education law. Before entering private practice, Carolyn served as a law clerk at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Carolyn received her J.D. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Preetha Suresh Rini
Preetha Suresh Rini is an attorney at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Raleigh. She represents clients in complex business litigation and appeals. She has wide-ranging experience, including contract disputes and business torts involving allegations of fraud, copyright and trademark infringement cases, First Amendment violations, and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims. Preetha has advised clients in various stages of litigation, including fact investigation, discovery, motions practice and appeals.
Prior to joining Robinson Bradshaw, Preetha was an attorney with Ellis & Winters LLP.
Preetha owns and operates her own art business,
Prints By Preetha. Her dual role as both a small business owner and a licensed attorney affords her unique insight and perspective for clients dealing with business disputes. She utilizes her own personal experience as a small business owner to provide comprehensive advice to her clients and to develop and maintain litigation strategies that are consistent with their overall business objectives. Additionally, Preetha is actively involved in several local arts organizations in the Triangle.
Preetha earned her B.A.,
magna cum laude, from Centre College and her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Mark A. Davis of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
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Judge Michael L. Robinson
Judge Michael L. Robinson was sworn in as a Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases on July 1, 2016, with chambers located at Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem. A lifelong resident of Winston-Salem, Judge Robinson received a B.A. degree in economics from Davidson College in 1977 and his J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1980, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif.
Prior to joining the business court, Judge Robinson was engaged in the private practice of law for 35 years in Winston-Salem with Petree Stockton & Robinson and with Robinson & Lawing, concentrating his practice for several decades on complex business litigation. In addition to his service on the court, Judge Robinson served as a North Carolina State Bar Councilor from 2009 through 2018 and is a member of the American College of Business Court Judges.
Click here for more information about Judge Robinson.
Steven A. Scoggan
Steven A. Scoggan is an attorney at Ellis & Winters LLP in Greensboro. He partners with clients facing significant changes and challenges in their professional and business relationships. He frequently advises clients about key employee departures and guides them through lawsuits involving employee raiding, unfair trade practices, trade secrets, and non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements. In addition, he advocates on behalf of business owners and officials in disputes about the management, control, and ownership of business enterprises. He also handles commercial disputes involving licensing, software, real estate, and warranties.
Steven attended the Duke University School of Law, where he served as the Articles and Comments Editor for the
Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy.
Before law school, Steven received his undergraduate degree,
summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama, where he studied philosophy, political science, and history and was selected to join Phi Beta Kappa.
When he's not practicing law, Steven enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and hiking.
Click here for more information about Steven.
Thomas H. "Tom" Segars
Thomas H. "Tom" Segars is a lawyer at Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh. He litigates complex business disputes. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants from many different industries in a wide variety of business cases.
A significant portion of Tom's cases arise from the departure and subsequent competition of key employees, officers, business partners, and/or sellers of businesses. He has litigated many so called "departing employee" cases that involve bids for emergency injunctive relief; expedited forensic discovery; covenants not to compete or solicit; tortious interference claims; fiduciary duty claims; and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims.
Tom graduated from Wake Forest University (B.A.,
magna cum laude, 1997) and the University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., with High Honors, Order of the Coif, 2000). During 2001 and 2002, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jane R. Roth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
When he is not practicing law, Tom enjoys spending his time with his wife and two daughters, especially when they are travelling, camping, or hiking together. He loves to watch his daughters pursue their gifts and passions: violin, ballet, and competitive rock-climbing. Tom and his family are also active parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Raleigh.
Click here for more information about Tom.
Anne M. Tompkins
Anne M. Tompkins is a partner in Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's White Collar Defense and Investigations Group, resident in the Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C., offices, and a member of the firm's Management Committee. Her practice focuses on representing companies and financial institutions, as well as their officers and directors in criminal, civil, and administrative investigations. Anne has been regularly recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-The-Company-Litigation and voted by her peers as the Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White-Collar in Charlotte in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
Anne was the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina from April 2010 to March 2015. She led numerous high-profile, complex criminal and civil investigations during her tenure, including a public corruption case involving the former mayor of Charlotte, the national security case against former general and CIA Director David Petraeus, numerous securities and financial fraud cases, as well as significant matters in the mortgage-backed securities business. Anne served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, which acts on behalf of all of the other U.S. Attorneys in providing advice and counsel to the Attorney General. Anne was appointed Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Subcommittee and was an active member of the Health Care Fraud and White Collar Crime Subcommittees, giving her insight into the priorities and decision-making processes at the highest levels of the Department of Justice.
Click here for more information about Anne.
Giovonni D. "Gio" Wade
Giovonni D. "Gio" Wade is the Director of Diversity Initiatives at University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. She joined the CDO in May 2019 and counsels students and alumni on all aspects of their job search and career development. While she enjoys working with individuals with various interests, her focus areas include opportunities in diversity, education law, small firm practice, and corporate legal departments.
Before returning to Carolina Law, Giovonni practiced at an education law firm in downtown Raleigh and later served as Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development at North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Gio also chaired the North Carolina Bar Association's Education Law Section, in addition to holding a seat on the executive board for a few years, and served on committees for the Wake County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. She currently serves on the North Carolina Bar Association's Minorities in the Profession Committee.
Gio earned her B.A in Psychology and English from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Click here for more information about Gio.
Katarina "Katie" Wong
Katarina "Katie" Wong is a Complex Civil Litigation, Investigations, and Intellectual Property Attorney at Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP in Raleigh. She focuses her practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation, representing clients in all state and federal courts. She works with individuals and companies facing white-collar criminal charges and government investigations. She also counsels media and broadcasting companies on regulatory, corporate, and IP issues.
Katie represents businesses of all sizes, as well as individuals, in litigation in state and federal court. She counsels clients through a wide variety of complex commercial matters, and has experience with both civil and criminal procedure.
Katie earned her B.A.,
cum laude, from Duke University, her M.A. from Columbia Teachers College and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Katie.
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