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Threading the Needle (2023 Litigation Section Program)

9:25        Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:55        Welcome and Introductions

10:00      Deposing Expert Witnesses

Mary Frances Parker, Benoit Law Firm PLLC, Charlotte
J. David Stradley, White & Stradley PLLC, Raleigh

Topics include deciding whether to depose an expert, how to prepare your own expert for deposition, the dos and don'ts of expert testimony, the "experience" expert versus the "scientific" expert and how to craft your deposition to aid a motion to exclude defense expert, and getting the most out of the expert deposition.

11:00      Break

11:10      How to Prepare for and Defend Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions

Nicole R. Scallon, Henson Talley Scallon LLP, Greensboro
Karen S. Talley, Henson Talley Scallon LLP, Greensboro

This session provides practice tips on how to prepare for and defend Rule 30(b)(6) depositions.

12:10      Presentation of the Advocate's Award

12:30      Lunch Break

1:10        Ethical Obligations and the Use of Artificial Intelligence*

Lauren E. Snyder, HWG LLP, Raleigh
Grace H. Wynn, HWG LLP, Raleigh

This session focuses on practical advice related to the most common forms of AI used in legal practice and the ethical obligations involved.

2:10        Break

2:20        A View From the Bench*

Judge W. Carleton Metcalf, U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville
Chief Business Court Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III, North Carolina Business Court, Charlotte
Judge Vince M. Rozier Jr., Wake County Superior Court, Raleigh
W. Ellis Boyle, Ward and Smith PA, Raleigh (Moderator)

Featuring a panel of North Carolina judges from three different courts, this session focuses on the importance of professionalism in the practice of law, compliance with local rules, and insights to enhance professionalism and the efficacy of your advocacy.

3:20        Break

3:30        Appellate Considerations for Litigators

Christopher S. "Chris" Edwards, Ward and Smith PA, Wilmington

This session provides practice tips for trial court litigators facing the prospect of an appeal. Learn about preservation of issues for appeal, determining when an order is appealable and when the notice of appeal must be filed, and enforcing or staying orders while on appeal.

4:30        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit


This program focuses on a variety of topics applicable to the litigator, including the effective use of experts and how to depose them, preparing for and defending Rule 30(b)(6) depositions, and appellate considerations for the trial lawyer.


  • 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.

    Click here for more information about Judge Bledsoe.

  • W. Ellis Boyle

    W. Ellis Boyle is a litigation attorney with Ward and Smith PA in Raleigh. He is an accomplished litigator with a proven track record of success in handling highly complex legal disputes in courtrooms across North Carolina. His experience encompasses an impressive range of areas, including business disputes, personal injury and wrongful death claims, and other general litigation matters.

    With a career spanning both public service and private practice, Ellis brings a unique background to his litigation practice. Drawing on the powerful combination of experience in roles such as General Counsel and Deputy Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ellis manages high-stakes legal disputes with precision and efficiency. His background as an Army officer guides his practice and sense of focus on accomplishing the mission, whatever may come up.

    Ellis represents businesses, government entities, and individuals in both state and federal courts. Clients rely on Ellis' deep knowledge of the law through all phases of the litigation process, including discovery, motion, and trial.

    While Ellis is a strong advocate in the courtroom, he also emphasizes outside-the-box solutions to resolve legal matters as quickly as possible, including through mediation and informal negotiations. He strives to reach a fair resolution without risking the interests of his clients or diminishing their goals.

    Ellis brings considerable experience to the table when it comes to serving as local counsel for law firms based in other states.

    Ellis earned his B.A. from Davidson College and J.D. from Wake Forest School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Ellis.

  • Christopher S. "Chris" Edwards

    Christopher S. "Chris" Edwards is an appellate attorney with Ward and Smith PA in Wilmington. He focuses his practice on complex legal issues in both federal and state courts of appeals.

    A North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice, Chris has handled both civil and criminal appeals raising a wide variety of legal issues. To take a few examples, he has handled appeals in constitutional litigation, child custody litigation, employment litigation, equitable distribution litigation, estate litigation, municipal litigation, patent litigation, personal injury litigation, tax litigation, trade secrets litigation, and unfair competition litigation. All told, since joining the firm in 2018, Chris has presented more than a dozen oral arguments in state and federal courts, and he has been the primary author of more than 30 appellate briefs.

    As an appellate attorney, Chris also works with trial counsel before a final judgment has been entered. In this capacity, he drafts and argues significant motions, consults on legal strategy, and works to set the case up for a successful appeal.

    Before joining Ward and Smith, Chris was a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge G. Steven Agee of the Fourth Circuit and U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

    Outside of the firm, Chris is an active member of the appellate bar, administering the N.C. Bar Association's Appellate Pro Bono Program and serving on its Appellate Rules Committee.

    Chris earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Chris.

  • Magistrate Judge W. Carleton Metcalf

    Magistrate Judge W. Carleton Metcalf is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of North Carolina, with chambers in Asheville. Prior to taking the bench in 2018, he practiced law for over two decades with a firm headquartered in Asheville.

    Judge Metcalf is the chair of the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the Western District of North Carolina, a member of the district's Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee, and a member of the Federal Magistrate Judges' Association.

    Over the course of his career, Judge Metcalf has been active in numerous groups, including the Western District's Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Harry C. Martin American Inn of Court, and has been a frequent speaker and presenter at continuing legal education programs and other similar events.

    Born in Waynesville, Judge Metcalf holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the 2015 recipient of the Professionalism Award given by the 28th Judicial District Bar.

    Click here for more information about Judge Metcalf.

  • Mary Frances Parker

    Mary Frances Parker is a civil litigation attorney with Benoit Law Firm PLLC in Charlotte. She focuses on personal injury, sexual assault and sexual victims' rights and medical malpractice. She has successfully litigated or settled several personal injury cases in excess of $1,000,000.00.

    Following a clerkship with the Honorable Judge Royce Taylor, Mary Frances joined the firm of Shuttleworth Williams. There she met her long-time mentor, Attorney Christopher "Kim" Thompson. She opened her own firm in Nashville, TN but was relocated to Charlotte in 2013. She is known for her personal and intimate attention to her clients and her work in the courtroom.

    Mary Frances earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and her J.D. from Nashville School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Mary Frances.

  • Judge Vince M. Rozier Jr.

    Judge Vince M. Rozier Jr. is a Wake County Superior Court Judge for District 10B in Raleigh. In this role, he has presided over cases ranging from first degree murder to civil cases that impact the entire state. He first became a judge in 2006 at the age of 29, becoming the youngest District Court judge ever in Wake County. He was appointed to serve on an international delegation to the country of Jordan through the U. S. State Department for young political leaders.

    Judge Rozier began his legal career as Wake County prosecutor, where he tried nearly 70 jury trials ranging from murder to sex offenses to drug trafficking.

    In addition to authoring two books:"101 Days: Reveal The Fruit in You" and "The Best Time to Eat and Exercise Guide", he is involved in many community service projects.

    In his community Judge Rozier has worked to establish a diversion program for students charged with criminal offenses in school. As the co-founder of Wake County's Youth Law Day Saturday program, he regularly hosts community youth at the county courthouse for an understanding of their future opportunities.

    Judge Rozier attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Judge Rozier.

  • Nicole R. Scallon

    Nicole R. Scallon is a partner at Henson Talley & Scallon LLP in Greensboro. Her areas of practice include civil litigation, personal injury, wrongful death, commercial litigation, insurance defense, trucking law, employment law, legal malpractice defence and insurance coverage law.

    Nicole is a member of the Greensboro and North Carolina Bar Associations, Northern Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys and the Defense Research Institute.

    Nicole earned her B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Nicole.

  • Audrey Z. Snyder

    Audrey Z. Snyder is an member of Ward Black Law in Greensboro. She supports the firm in the areas of injury claims, including defective products, occupational diseases, and workers' compensation. She began working with Ward Black Law late in 2017 as a contract attorney and formally joined the team in the spring of 2018. She engages her passion for helping the defenseless and has a desire to "stand up for the little guy."

    Audrey began her undergraduate studies at Campbell University, earning a B.S. in Psychology, summa cum laude. She went on to pursue law at the Campbell University School of Law, obtaining a J.D. and graduating cum laude. Audrey was a very active member of the Mock Trial team and competed in national competitions including the National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC) and American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mock Trial Competition. Her mock trial endeavors earned her the Order of Old Kivett Award, an award given for exemplary representation in advocacy competitions while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

    Audrey is a member of the Greensboro Bar Association, American Association for Justice, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys.

    Click here for more information about Audrey.

  • Lauren E. Snyder

    Lauren E. Snyder is a partner at HWG LLP in Raleigh, where she is Vice Chair of the firm’s Legal Ethics and Malpractice group. She focuses her practice on legal ethics and malpractice, complex civil litigation, and government enforcement actions. She practices in Washington D.C. and Raleigh.

    Lauren has represented various individuals and corporations in a wide range of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions, including investigations and prosecutions related to price-fixing cartels, mail and wire fraud, "off label" use of medical devices, and financial crimes. She has served as both defense and plaintiff's counsel and has been involved in all aspects of litigation, from initial case assessments to trials and appeals.

    Prior to joining HWG, Lauren was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where her practice focused on litigation and regulatory antitrust matters.

    Lauren currently serves on the Board of Wake Women Attorneys. She also serves as the Nominating and Public Service Awards Committee Chair on the Board of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, the Membership Chair for the North Carolina Bar Association's Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes Law Section.

    Lauren has previously taught Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School.

    Lauren earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and her J.D., with high honors, from the George Washington University Law School. While in law school, she was a member of The George Washington Law Review and a Dean's Fellow for the Legal Research and Writing Program. She served as a legal intern for the Victim Witness Assistance Unit for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

    Prior to entering law school, she taught at-risk middle school students through Teach for America, where she helped implement a gang prevention program.

    Click here for more information about Lauren.

  • J. David Stradley

    J. David Stradley is owner of White & Stradley PLLC in Raleigh. His practice concentrates on representing individuals and families in medical malpractice cases, tractor-trailer crashes, and other catastrophic personal injury litigation. He also represents individuals in a variety of insurance matters.

    David lectures frequently on a variety of topics, including trial practice and insurance issues. He is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. He serves as editor of The Litigator, the newsletter of the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

    David earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University and J.D., with high honors, from Duke University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Karen S. Talley

    Karen S. Talley is a partner at Henson Talley Scallon LLP in Greensboro. Her principal areas of practice include civil litigation, commercial litigation, personal injury, wrongful death, trucking law, workers' compensation and insurance defense.

    Karen is a member of the American, Greensboro and North Carolina Bar Associations. She is also a NCDRC Certified Superior Court mediator.

    Karen earned her B.A., cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Karen.

  • Hayley R. Wells

    Hayley R. Wells is a Alcoholic Beverage and Employment Attorney with Ward and Smith PA in Asheville. Her practice primarily focuses on alcoholic beverage law, labor and employment law, and civil litigation. As head of the firm's Alcoholic Beverage law Practice Group, she regularly advises brewery and other craft alcoholic beverage clients in various aspects of the law, including permitting, negotiation, preparation and termination of distribution agreements, defense of ALE enforcement actions, labeling compliance, interpretative guidance, music licensing, liability waivers, festival questions and personnel matters.

    Hayley also regularly advises individual and corporate clients in matters of covenants not to compete, employment discrimination, discipline and termination, harassment, wrongful discharge, wage and hour matters, personnel policies and procedures, and preparation of employee handbooks and employment agreements. Additionally, she represents both corporate and individual clients in all aspects related to litigation including hearings, depositions, discovery, mediation, arbitration, and trial. Her experience ranges from commercial litigation to personal injury matters.

    Hayley is a member of the Asheville Brewers Alliance, Buncombe County Bar, Colorado and North Carolina Bar Associations and the Western North Carolina Human Resources Association.

    Hayley earned her B.A., cum laude, in International Business and M.B.A. from The University of Georgia and her J.D., cum laude, from The University of Georgia School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Hayley.

  • Kelly Wilburn

    Kelly Wilburn is an attorney with Cape Fear Family Law in Jacksonville. Her legal skills are matched only by her fierce determination and love for the law, making her a powerful advocate for her clients. This Jacksonville, North Carolina native grew up in the community and is thrilled to be practicing law in her hometown. As the youngest of her siblings, Kelly was influenced by her Marine parents who instilled in her a strong work ethic and a desire to serve her community.

    After graduating from North Carolina State University in 2008, Kelly took a gap year to serve as an intern at the Onslow County District Attorney's Office, where she found her calling to become a lawyer. During the internship, she researched case law, wrote memos, and primarily worked on researching murder cases. A local attorney there who graduated from Western Michigan University's Thomas M. Cooley Law School recognized her potential and encouraged her to apply to the institution. In 2012, Kelly graduated from Cooley and began her legal career as a Legal Administrative Assistant in Maryland.

    Kelly passed the North Carolina bar exam in 2021 and joined Cape Fear Family Law in October 2022. Kelly's background is in criminal law, but she is eager to expand her knowledge and experience in the field of family law. She is particularly interested in learning more about family law mediation and guardianship cases. But it's not just Kelly's legal skills that set her apart, while she considers herself an introvert in her personal life, her vocal side shines in the courtroom, advocating for her clients with a fierce determination and love for the law.

    Click here for more information about Kelly.

  • Grace H. Wynn

    Grace H. Wynn is an associate at HWG LLP in Raleigh. She represents lawyers and firms in disciplinary investigations, prosecutions, and malpractice matters. She also helps lawyers and law firms understand and comply with their legal ethics obligations.

    Grace is a Lecturing Fellow at Duke University Law School where she teaches "Ethics and the Law of Lawyering." She is a frequent speaker and writer on evolving issues in legal ethics.

    Grace also represents individuals and companies in all stages of civil and criminal litigation. She also conducts internal investigations in response to government enforcement actions.

    Prior to entering private practice, Grace clerked for the Honorable Donald Middlebrooks of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

    Grace earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Law & Contemporary Problems. At William & Mary, she was a Division I scholarship athlete in cross country and track, and received the Provost Award for outstanding academic achievement by a student athlete all three of her collegiate years.

    Prior to entering law school, Grace worked as a Teach for America educator in rural Mississippi.

    Click here for more information about Grace.

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November 30, 2023
Thu 9:25 AM EST
North Carolina Bar Center 8000 Weston Parkway Cary, NC 27511 919.677.0561

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Duration 7H 5M

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