New Officers and Directors Take Office At NCADA Annual Meeting

New officers and board of directors take office at the close of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys 34th Annual Meeting. This news release recognizes new, continuing and retiring officers and board of directors.

The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) held its 34th Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina during the weekend of June 16-19, 2011. Officers and board of directors for the 2011-2012 year took office at the close of the Annual Meeting on June 19, 2011.

Patricia P. Shields is the 34th President of the Association. Shields is a partner in the Raleigh office of Troutman Sanders, LLP practicing primarily in the areas of civil litigation and administrative law, with emphasis on the defense of attorney malpractice claims, products liability and personal injury actions, and insurance coverage disputes. Shields received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1985.

Christopher G. Smith is President-elect. Smith is a partner with the Raleigh law firm of Smith Anderson Blount Mitchell Dorsett & Jernigan, LLP. Smith has significant experience in business disputes, trade secrets, environmental and toxic tort litigation, pharmaceutical development litigation, products liability litigation, preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders, and with matters designated exceptional and complex, and assigned to the North Carolina Business Court. Smith received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992.

Bonnie J. Refinski-Knight, a partner with Harris Creech Ward & Blackerby, P.A. in New Bern, is Immediate Past President. Refinski-Knight's practice concentration is in the defense of liability claims against physicians, nurses and hospitals. Refinski-Knight received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1990.

Jonathan A. Berkelhammer has been elected Executive Vice President. Berkelhammer is a partner in the Greensboro office of Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP. Berkelhammer regularly appears in the state and federal trial and appellate courts in North Carolina, as well as the North Carolina Business Courts defending catastrophic personal injury and product liability matters, as well as trade secret and intellectual property matters, and a variety of commercial matters. Berkelhammer received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1982.

Edward F. Hennessey, IV will fulfill a second year as Treasurer. Hennessey is a shareholder with the Charlotte law firm of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. Hennessey's litigation practice includes the representation of claimants and defendants in construction, corporate and other business-related litigation. Hennessey received his J.D. from Cornell University in 1988.

A. Todd Brown has been elected to serve a two-year term as Secretary. Brown is a partner with Hunton & Williams practicing in the firm's Charlotte office. Brown handles a broad variety of complex litigation in federal and state courts with an emphasis on commercial disputes, business torts, catastrophic personal injuries, consumer lending, unfair competition, and trade secrets litigation. Brown received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1986.

Elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors are: John H. Beyer, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, Charlotte; Andrew S. Chamberlin, Ellis & Winters LLP, Greensboro; Steven B. Epstein, Poyner & Spruill, LLP, Raleigh; Roberta B. King, Bennett & Guthrie, PLLC, Winston-Salem; Jeffrey A. Misenheimer, Lewis & Roberts, PLLC, Raleigh.

Elected to serve a one-year ex-officio term on the Board of Directors are: James W. Williams, Roberts & Stevens, PA, Asheville, as past president representative; JT Mlinarcik, Walker Allen Grice Ammons & Foy, LLP, Goldsboro as chair of the NCADA's Young Lawyers Committee; and, N. Kennail Humphrey, Harris Creech Ward & Blackerby, PA, as chair of the Paralegal Division.

Currently serving terms on the NCADA's Board of Directors are: Tricia Morven Derr, LincolnDerr, PLLC, Charlotte; Phillip T. Jackson, Dameron Burgin Parker & Jackson, PA, Marion; John T. Jeffries, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, Charlotte; Tracy E. Tomlin, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, Charlotte; Heather R. Wilson, McGuireWoods, LLP, Raleigh; Susan H. Briggs, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, PC, Charlotte; David W. Hood, Patrick Harper & Dixon, LLP, Hickory; Jeffrey A. Kadis, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP, Charlotte; Dayatra T. Matthews, Bailey & Dixon, LLP, Raleigh; and, Robert D. Walker, Jr., Walker Allen Grice Ammons & Foy, LLP, Goldsboro.

Retiring from the Board of Directors after serving a three-year term are: Mark E. Anderson, McGuireWoods, LLP, Raleigh; Jonathan A. Berkelhammer, Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, Greensboro; Mary M. Dillon, Ellis & Winters, LLP, Cary; Terry D. Horne, Stiles Byrum & Horne, LLP, Charlotte; Donna R. Rutala, Young Moore & Henderson, PA, Raleigh; Shelli Simontacchi, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Gardner, LLP , Charlotte, as chair of the NCADA's Paralegal Division.

Mark C. Kurdys, Roberts & Stevens, PA, Asheville, completes a two-year term as Secretary; and J. Douglas Grimes, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP, completes a term as chair of the NCADA's Young Lawyers Committee.

The NCADA sincerely thanks each of these members for their dedication and service to the Association and its' members.

The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys brings together civil trial attorneys to promote the exchange of information, ideas, and litigation techniques, and to strengthen the practice, improve the skills, and enhance the knowledge of lawyers defending individuals and businesses in North Carolina. The NCADA represents over 1000 civil litigation attorneys and paralegals in North Carolina. For more information about the N.C. Association of Defense Attorney, please contact the Association office at (919) 239-4463 or visit


Categories: Corporate Law, Business

Tags: Association, attorneys, Civil, law firm, Litigators

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The NC Association of Defense Attorneys is a professional association for civil defense trial attorneys and certified paralegals. Our members represent the interests of business, industry and insurance companies in defense of litigation.

Lynette Pitt
Press Contact, NC Association of Defense Attorneys
NC Association of Defense Attorneys
3700 National Drive, Ste 212, Raleigh, NC
Raleigh, NC 27612
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