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Appellate Lawyering in Context (2022 Appellate Practice Section Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        The Government's Appellate Lawyers: A View From the State and Federal Offices of the Solicitor General

Solicitor General Ryan Y. Park, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh
Jonathan Y. Ellis, McGuireWoods, Washington, D.C./Raleigh
Matthew W. Sawchak, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh

What's it like to be the government's appellate lawyer? Who is your client, and how do you decide what cases to appeal? How does it feel to have all the appellate work you could ever do (and more)? Our panelists explore these questions and others, drawing on their work in the North Carolina and federal offices of the solicitor general. Along the way, they offer the insights they have gained as government appellate lawyers and compare their government experience with their experience in private appellate practice.

10:00      Break

10:10      Appellant and Appellee Briefs: Writing Tips From the Criminal Context for All Appellate Lawyers

Glenn Gerding, North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender, Durham
Jennifer P. May-Parker, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh

How should one approach writing an appellant brief versus an appellee brief? To be persuasive, an appellant brief must do more than present a sterile recitation of the law in the client's favor. Persuasive appellant briefs must be credible, reasonable, logical and readable. Gerding, drawing on his experience with appellant briefs on behalf of criminal defendants, provides practical strategies for crafting appellant briefs that convince judges that the trial court erred and the client is entitled to relief.

Appellee briefs, similarly, are called "briefs" for a reason: they should be as brief and focused as possible. May-Parker, drawing on her experience as the government's lawyer in criminal appeals, focuses on how to write concise and effective appellee briefs that make the client's case, defend the lower court's decision, and skillfully rebut the appellant's arguments.

11:10      Break

11:20      Increasing Diversity in the Appellate Bar*

Justice (Ret.) Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Supreme Court of North Carolina, Fayetteville
Judge (Ret.) Wanda G. Bryant, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Durham
Ian L. Courts, The Appellate Project, Washington, D.C./Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Philadelphia, PA
Geeta N. Kapur, Attorney & Counselor at Law and Adjunct Law Professor, Durham

Appellate lawyers — including private- and public-sector advocates, judges, and judicial clerks — make the case law that affects all North Carolinians. As our state continues to increase in diversity, it is imperative that the appellate bar thinks about whether that diversity is reflected among its own members. This moderated panel of appellate judges and attorneys addresses the lack of diversity in the appellate courts, specifically, discussing these topics: What is diversity? Why does diversity matter and should it be a priority of everyone working and practicing in the appellate courts? How can diversity be implemented?

12:20      Lunch Break

1:20        The Latest in North Carolina Appellate Practice: Recent Amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure and Case Law Update

Christy C. Dunn, Young Moore & Henderson PA, Raleigh
Caitlin A. Mitchell, Nexsen Pruet, Raleigh

The Supreme Court of North Carolina has amended the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure twice within the last 12 months. In this session, the speakers summarize the major amendments and identify how you can tweak your appellate practice to accommodate these procedural updates. They also highlight key cases that inform strategies for appellate practice in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit, involving issues such as substantial-right jurisprudence, certiorari review, recusal and rule of necessity, en banc review, divestiture of trial-court jurisdiction upon notice of appeal, and facial versus as-applied constitutional challenges.

2:20        Break

2:30        Building and Maintaining an Appellate Practice

Tillman J. Breckenridge, Stris & Maher LLP, Washington, D.C.
Matthew N. Leerberg, Fox Rothschild LLP, Raleigh
Jonathan G. McGirt, Attorney at Law, Raleigh

Appellate practice: the one thing they more-or-less teach you how to do in law school. And yet, so few lawyers end up sustaining a substantial appellate practice. Our panelists — three appellate attorneys who took diverse paths to building and maintaining appellate practices — engage in a lively discussion on how they have done so and share tips for others who wish to make appellate work a steady part of their practice.

3:30        Break

3:40        Maximizing Moots

Andrew Hessick, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill
Sherri Horner-Lawrence, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh

Preparing for an oral argument can be a daunting task. Moot courts with prepared participants can provide advocates with the opportunity to practice their argument, answer questions, and further brainstorm issues and arguments raised by the appeal. Having participated in countless moots, these experienced practitioners share tips and best practices for scheduling, preparing for, and participating in moot arguments.

4:40        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Appellate Lawyering in Context (2022 Appellate Practice Section Program).

Contributors

  • Quintin D. Byrd

    Quintin D. Byrd is the managing member at Q Byrd Law in Raleigh. He manages all aspects of the firm and lead's litigation matters. He represents licensees before professional licensing boards including North Carolina Board of Nursing, North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board, and North Carolina Real Estate Commission. He also provides defense for individuals and entities within the behavioral health/mental health/substance abuse community navigating proposed government sanctions.

    Quintin's interest in appellate litigation was piqued after interning with the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the Fourth Circuit and clerking for the Honorable Samuel J. Ervin, IV during his tenure at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Quintin has been able to incorporate that passion into his practice, serving as primary and local counsel for parties and amici in state and federal courts. He has been fortunate to argue in both state and federal appellate courts. Quintin has also found the appellate courts fertile ground to give back, serving consistently as pro bono appellate counsel for the Guardian Ad Litem program.

    Quintin also dedicates a significant portion of his practice to trial work. He represents clients in state and federal trial courts, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and before licensing boards. Majority of Quintin's clients consist of licensed professionals, behavioral health/mental health/substance abuse agencies, and both employer and employees in an array of employment matters.

    In addition to serving on the Council of the North Carolina Bar Association's Appellate Practice Section, Quintin serves on the board of the Eagles Association (North Carolina Central University School of Law's alumni organization), the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, and his homeowner's association.

    Quintin earned his B.A. in Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D., summa cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Quintin.

  • Tillman J. Breckenridge

    Tillman J. Breckenridge is a partner at Stris & Maher LLP in Washington D.C. He is an experienced appellate lawyer whose practice includes a diverse array of appellate litigation matters at all levels. He has represented companies, organizations, individuals, and foreign, state, and local governments before the United States Supreme Court, every federal court of appeals, and several state courts, such as the Supreme Court of Virginia, the California Courts of Appeal, and the Illinois Courts of Appeal.

    Tillman also has been an adjunct professor of law at William and Mary Law School, where he founded the Appellate & Supreme Court Clinic. His appellate successes have spanned the country, from the Supreme Court of the United States to each of the federal courts of appeals to several state supreme courts. His work has also led to numerous honors. He has been named to Savoy Magazine's Most Influential Black Lawyers in America, an honorary member of the Order of the Barristers, a Washington D.C. SuperLawyer, and a member of Virginia's Legal Elite. He also became the youngest fellow ever—and first under 40—in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

    In addition to his appellate practice, Tillman speaks on appellate and related topics in front of various audiences.

    Tillman received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he argued, and won, his first appeal as a third-year student in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a case that presented an issue of first impression.

    Click here for more information about Tillman.

  • Judge (Ret.) Wanda G. Bryant

    Judge (Ret.) Wanda G. Bryant is retired from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Durham. She was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mike Easley in March 2001 and re-appointed in December 2002. She was elected to a full eight-year term in November 2004, and re-elected in November 2012. She retired in December of 2020.

    Judge Bryant has chaired and served on numerous Judicial Branch committees and commissions including the Public Trust and Confidence Committee on the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice and chair of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission. In 2017, Judge Bryant held a special session of court in Brunswick County in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

    Originally from Brunswick County, Judge Bryant began her legal career in 1982 as an attorney with the law firm Walton Fairley and Jess. In 1983, she became an assistant district attorney in the 13th Prosecutorial District and the first female and first African American prosecutor . She worked in this position until 1987, when she joined the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington D.C., as the first ever staff attorney. From 1989 to 1993, she worked as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia. She then joined the Office of the Attorney General as a senior deputy attorney general where she led the newly created Citizens' Rights Division, which oversaw the advocacy and protection of interests of citizens in a variety of areas, including victim’s rights, child and elder abuse, hate crimes, domestic violence, open government, health care and consumer protection..

    Judge Bryant earned an undergraduate degree in history and comparative area studies from Duke University, then earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University.

  • Ian L. Courts

    Ian L. Courts is an associate Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC in Philadephia, PA. He represents clients in a variety of trial and appellate litigation matters within Pennsylvania State and federal courts, including railroad and transportation litigation, general litigation, and toxic torts.

    Ian was previously an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office's Law Division-Appeals Unit, where he handled a large volume of Commonwealth responses to criminal appeals before Pennsylvania's Superior and Supreme Courts. Ian currently serves the broader community as a Board of Directors member of The Appellate Project. In addition, Ian is the Communications Chair of the Philadelphia Lawyer's Chapter of the American Constitution Society and a Pennsylvania Bar Association's Appellate Practice Committee member.

    In May 2020, Ian received his J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law, where he first developed his passion for appellate advocacy by serving on the Moot Court Board and American Constitution Society. During law school, Ian interned for a number of state and federal judges, including U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Webster of the United States Middle District of North Carolina, Judge Wanda G. Bryant of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and Associate Justice Anita Earls of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He is an American Constitution Society Next Generation Leader. In 2017, Ian received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In the Fall of 2021, Ian will begin his part-time L.L.M studies in International Criminal Law and Justice at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Ian.

  • Christy C. Dunn

    Christy C. Dunn is an associate at Young Moore & Henderson PA in Raleigh. She represents insurers and businesses in a variety of civil litigation matters including insurance coverage, employment, electric, and long-term care claims. She is recognized among Business North Carolina's Legal Elite™ in the Young Guns category (2022).

    Before obtaining her law degree, Christy spent 13 years working as a sales engineer consulting with end users, engineers, and contractors to design, sell, and install power protection and precision cooling solutions for data centers and industrial applications. This experience provides Christy with unique insight into the responsibilities of professionals whose products and services support mission-critical business operations. By working closely with decision-makers at all levels of the end-user companies, Christy developed an appreciation for the challenges faced by business leaders making major strategic decisions.

    Christy earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from Campbell Law School. While in law school, Christy interned in the Office of the Solicitor General of North Carolina and for The Honorable J. Douglas McCullough at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Before joining Young Moore, she clerked for The Honorable Allegra Collins at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

    Click here for more information about Christy.

  • Jonathan Y. Ellis

    Jonathan Y. Ellis is a partner at McGuireWoods in Raleigh and Washington D.C. He is a co-chair of the firm's Appeals and Issues Team and a member of the firm's Complex Commercial Litigation Department. He focuses his practice on briefing and arguing appeals and dispositive motions, as well as counseling clients on complex legal issues. Jonathan has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and has also handled appeals and dispositive motions in other federal courts and state courts across the country. Jonathan has significant experience nationally in assisting clients in formulating appellate strategy both in pending appeals and at the trial court level before judgment.

    Before joining McGuireWoods, Jonathan served in the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant to the Solicitor General. During his tenure, Jonathan briefed and argued Supreme Court cases involving patent and copyright law, constitutional law, administrative law, ERISA, international arbitration, telecommunications, securities regulation, and other areas of federal law. His arguments include Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP, and Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC.

    Jonathan graduated first in his class from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and has served as a lecturer at the school. After graduation, Jonathan served as a law clerk to John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, and to Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He also previously served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from North Carolina State University.

    Click here for more information about Jonathan.

  • G. Glenn Gerding

    G. Glenn Gerding is the North Carolina Appellate Defender. The Office of the Appellate Defender, located in Durham, represents people from across North Carolina in the appellate courts after a criminal conviction.

    Before becoming the Appellate Defender in 2015, Glenn was in private practice for ten years, primarily representing people at trial and on appeal in criminal cases. He also served as an assistant public defender in Orange County for two years, and for six years on active duty in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps. Glenn still serves in the Navy Reserves.

    Glenn is also a part-time Adjunct Professor Of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Glenn.

  • Andrew Hessick

    Andrew Hessick is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. He joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2016 and serves Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Strategy. His teaching and research interests include federal courts, administrative law, remedies, and criminal sentencing. His work has appeared in, among other places, the California Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the William and Mary Law Review. His work has been cited by the Supreme Courts of Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah; various federal district and circuit courts; and the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Andrew received his J.D. from Yale Law School, at which he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. After law school, he clerked for Judge Reena Raggi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge A. Raymond Randolph on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He then served as a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Solicitor General's office and practiced litigation at Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel PLLC in Washington D.C. He previously taught at the University of Utah and Arizona State University and was a visiting assistant professor at Boston University.

    Click here for more information about Andrew.

  • Geeta N. Kapur

    Geeta N. Kapur is an Attorney & Counselor at Law and Adjunct Law Professor in Durham. He is a seasoned civil rights and criminal defense lawyer who has devoted her entire career of almost two decades to defending poor and oppressed racial minorities. She represents indigent people at the trial and appellate level. She has argued several landmark constitutional law cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. She has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the top 100 criminal defense lawyers in North Carolina.

    Kapur was the lead pro bono lawyer for the North Carolina's NAACP Moral Monday protests, led by Reverend William Barber, II and received the prestigious North Carolina NAACP's Humanitarian of the Year Award for her service. In addition, Kapur teaches on race and the law as an Adjunct Professor of Law.

    A native of Kenya, Geeta is a civil rights attorney and an activist. She's also an alumna of UNC-Chapel Hill and its law school. She is the author of the book about UNC To Drink from the Well: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the Nation's Oldest Public University.

    Click here for more information about Geeta. 

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  • Sherri Horner-Lawrence

    Sherri Horner-Lawrence is a Special Deputy Attorney General at the North Carolina Department of Justice in Raleigh. She is a North Carolina board certified specialist in state and federal appellate practice.

    Sherri represents the State of North Carolina in federal habeas proceedings in the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She has filed numerous briefs and orally argued many cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

    Sherri currently serves as a member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Appellate Rules Committee, Criminal Justice Section Council, Appellate Practice Section and Gilchrist-Smith Awards Committee. She is a member of the Tenth Judicial Bar and the Wake County Bar Association. She also serves as the North Carolina Attorney General's designee member of the North Carolina Child Fatality Prevention Team. She previously served as the Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and a member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Law Day Committee. She previously worked for several years as an Assistant District Attorney in Pitt County (Greenville) and served as first chair for many high level felony jury trials in Superior Court.

    Sherri received her B.S. from Elizabeth City State University and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Matthew N. "Matt" Leerberg

    Matthew N. "Matt" Leerberg is a partner with Fox Rothschild LLP in Raleigh. He is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Appellate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping businesses navigate state and federal litigation and appeals. He leads Fox's national appellate team, which serves clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, every federal circuit court in the country and more than 20 state appellate courts.

    Along with his Fox colleague Beth Scherer, Matt authors the comprehensive treatise North Carolina Appellate Practice and Procedure, published by LexisNexis, © 2022, 2019. Matt enjoys thinking through appellate strategy issues and is always happy to chat.

    Matt is a member of the North Carolina, Wake County and Federal Bar Associations, North Carolina Business Court the Defense Research Institute.

    Matt received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 2000 and his J.D. degree, with high honors, from Duke University School of Law in 2006.

    Matt is a founder and regular writer for the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog, which provides news, information, tips and resources for practicing law in North Carolina's state and federal appellate courts.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Michelle A. Liguori

    Michelle A. Liguori is an appellate and trial-court litigator at Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh, where she represents clients in a broad array of civil and criminal litigation matters. At Ellis & Winters, Michelle has litigated numerous commercial disputes involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and corporate information rights. She has also defended several class actions, and regularly writes about issues that arise in the class-action context. Michelle's practice also involves estate disputes, product-liability defense, and consumer-protection litigation.

    Before joining Ellis & Winters in 2018, Michelle spent three years helping federal judges decide appeals as a staff attorney and law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She later worked for the Solicitor General's Office at the North Carolina Department of Justice, handling civil and criminal appeals in the state and federal appellate courts. At Ellis & Winters, Michelle has worked on numerous appeals that have arisen in civil litigation matters, and she represents criminal defendants in the North Carolina appellate courts as a member of the Office of the Appellate Defender's Criminal Appellate Roster. Michelle is also on the Criminal Justice Act Appointments list for the Eleventh Circuit.

    In addition to her law practice, Michelle serves the next generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor at Duke Law School, where she has taught legal writing to international L.L.M. students, and scholarly writing to J.D. students. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Club of the Research Triangle.

    Click here for more information about Michelle.

  • Jennifer P. May-Parker

    Jennifer P. May-Parker is the Chief Counsel for Litigation at the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh.

    Jennifer began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York City (Manhattan) District Attorney's Office. She then served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Environmental Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice. In 2013, Jennifer was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a United States District Judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina. This year will mark her 23rd with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    During her tenure in the Office, Jennifer has been a criminal trial attorney, an appellate attorney, the Chief of the Appellate Division, the First Assistant United States Attorney, the Diversity Chairperson, and a HOPE Court Team member. She has tried numerous cases to jury verdict, written hundreds of briefs (and reviewed hundreds more) and argued many cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also served as a member of DOJ's Appellate Chief's Working Group, which provides advice to the Department on legal strategy and key issues.

    Jennifer recently assumed the role of Chief Counsel for Litigation at the United States Attorney's Office, a senior leadership role. In this role she will lead the Litigation Support and Victim-Witness Assistance Sections, lead the office's training and mentorship programs for AUSAs, and take on special litigative projects in the areas of economic crimes and civil rights.

    Recently, Jennifer was awarded the 2022 Judge David Daniel Award for Excellence in the Legal Community by the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter. The Judge David Daniel Award for Excellence in the Legal Community was created by the Federal Bar Association in memory of Magistrate Judge Daniel to honor lawyers who exemplify integrity, commitment, and service to the legal community.

    Click here for more information about Jennifer.

  • Jonathan G. McGirt

    Jonathan G. McGirt is a sole practitioner with a statewide practice based in Raleigh. He has practiced law for 28 years, and since 2010, his practice has concentrated exclusively on all aspects of family law appeals. He is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice Law. He is a member of the NCBA Appellate Practice Section Council, and he is Chair of the NCAJ Family Law Section.

    Jonathan received his B.A. in German and Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the UNC School of Law.

  • Caitlin A. Mitchell

    Caitlin A. Mitchell is an associate at Nexsen Pruet in Raleigh. She is an associate with Nexsen Pruet's robust litigation team, where she focuses her practice on complex business, product liability, and employment litigation and appeals.

    Before joining the firm, Caitlin completed a judicial clerkship with Justice Phil Berger, Jr., of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, during Justice Berger's tenure at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and then went on to practice business litigation at a mid-sized firm in Raleigh.

    Caitlin is a presidential scholar and summa cum laude graduate of Elon University School of Law. During law school, Caitlin served as the Business Editor of the Elon Law Review, moot court competitor, civil procedure teaching assistant, intellectual property research assistant, Academic Dean's Fellow, and Leadership Fellow. During law school, she also completed an array of full- and part-time externships with Chief Justice Mark Martin of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Judge James L. Gale of the North Carolina Business Court and
    Judge Glen E. Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

    Prior to law school, Caitlin graduated, magna cum laude, from Roanoke College with a degree in English and secondary Education. After college, Caitlin continued to reside in Roanoke, Virginia, where she worked at a marketing and public relations agency and then as a paralegal for a civil defense firm.

    Click here for more information about Caitlin.

  • Solicitor General Ryan Y. Park

    Solicitor General Ryan Y. Park is Solicitor General with the North Carolina Department of Justice at the North Carolina Department of Justice in Raleigh where he oversees the State's civil appellate litigation and advises Attorney General Josh Stein on legal policy and constitutional issues. He teaches North Carolina Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor at UNC Law School.

    Ryan had served alongside Matt Sawchak as a Deputy Solicitor General since 2017. He previously clerked for Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also has practiced appellate and complex commercial litigation at a large international law firm and served in the legal office of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.

    While serving as Deputy Solicitor General, Ryan presented oral argument in more than a dozen appeals in the North Carolina and federal appellate courts on matters ranging from free speech to tax. He also led the briefing and presented oral argument in both the Fourth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court in Allen v. Cooper, a case at the intersection of copyright law and sovereign immunity.

    Ryan is a graduate, summa cum laude, of Harvard Law School and Amherst College.

  • Matthew W. "Matt" Sawchak

    Matthew W. "Matt" Sawchak is an Antitrust and appellate lawyer at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Raleigh. He focuses his practice on complex litigation, antitrust and appeals. He has argued at all levels of the federal and North Carolina court systems, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Clients often retain Matt as new or additional counsel on appeal. He has handled a number of cases with stakes greater than a billion dollars.

    Matt uses strategic approaches to handle complex cases efficiently. Many cases turn on the resolution of one central issue. Matt works to identify that issue early and get it decided in the client's favor.

    Before joining Robinson Bradshaw, Matt served as solicitor general of North Carolina from 2017 to 2020. He acted as lead counsel in the state's highest-stakes civil appeals. In private practice as well, Matt has handled many cases involving government agencies — both as opponents and as clients.

    Matt graduated with honors from Harvard College and Duke Law School. He was the editor-in-chief of the Duke Law Journal. After law school, he clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas during Justice Thomas's tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Justice (Ret.) Patricia Timmons-Goodson

    Justice (Ret.) Patricia Timmons-Goodson is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina in Fayetteville. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina by Governor Michael Easley in January 2006, Justice Timmons-Goodson will always receive special notice as the fourth woman and the first African American woman to sit on North Carolina's highest court. President Barack Obama appointed Patricia Timmons-Goodson to the United States Commission on Civil Rights in July 2014.

    Patricia Timmons-Goodson was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2006 to 2012.  She served as an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1997 to 2005 and a District Court Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District of North Carolina from 1984 to 1997. The judicial selection system employed by North Carolina required her to stand before the voters in two statewide elections and three district elections during her judicial career. The twenty-eight year tenure on the bench was marked by distinguished work on each of the three courts. Her years of judicial service to the people of North Carolina have been recognized with awards such as the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Liberty Bell, Appellate Judge of the Year, three honorary degrees, and induction into the North Carolina Women's Hall of Fame.

    Justice Timmons-Goodson began her career as a District Manager of the United States Census Bureau in the Department of Commerce from 1979 to 1980. Her professional quest for justice began as an assistant prosecutor and continued as a legal services lawyer in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

    Justice Timmons-Goodson is an active member of the American Bar Association, where she serves on the Editorial Board of the ABA Journal and the ABA Law School Accreditation Committee. She continues to invest her energies in North Carolina by serving on the Guilford College Board of Trustees, The Fayetteville Chapter of Links, Incorporated and the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Civil War Center.

    Justice Timmons-Goodson received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an L.L.M. from Duke University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Justice Timmons-Goodson.

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April 27, 2022
Wed 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 45M

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