Kearns Davis - Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Kearns Davis

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010
Phone: 336-271-3174

 

Kearns Davis leads the firm's practice in the areas of white-collar criminal defense, felony trials and appeals, grand jury proceedings, and government investigations, and handles a broad range of federal and business litigation. Among other honors and awards, he is listed in "The Best Lawyers in America" in White-Collar Criminal Defense, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Commercial Litigation (Woodward/White publishing, 2010-2014), "North Carolina Super Lawyers Top 100" (Law & Politics 2012-2013), "Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations (Band 1) (Chambers & Partners, 2012-13), and Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” (2008-14). In addition, in 2013, "Best Lawyers" named him as the first recipient of its "Lawyer of the Year" award for Greensboro in the area of White-Collar Criminal Defense. Kearns has tried jury cases at all levels of federal and North Carolina trial courts, regularly represents clients in other states pro hac vice, and has handled dozens of criminal and civil appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits.

Kearns regularly represents businesses, executives, doctors, lawyers, financial professionals, and others involved in government and criminal investigations including real estate, health care, environmental, bank fraud, public corruption, tax evasion, insider trading and securities, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, false statements, federal benefits, computer crimes, embezzlement, false pretenses, identity theft, conspiracy, professional licensing, and other types of cases. A former federal prosecutor, in his years with the government Kearns served as the United States' lead counsel in felony trials for a broad spectrum of crimes including fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, crimes against financial institutions, drug trafficking, bank robbery, and firearms offenses. 

In business and civil litigation, Kearns has represented publicly traded corporations, privately held companies, financial institutions, small businesses, municipalities, individuals, and the United States in a wide range of matters including fraud, unfair trade practices, antitrust, shareholder disputes, breach of contract, environmental, real estate, construction, labor and employment, tax, intellectual property, transportation, and consumer protection.

Teaching
  • Adjunct Law Professor, Trial Advocacy, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2008-14
  • Adjunct Law Professor, Trial Advocacy, Elon University School of Law, Spring 2008
  • Trial Advocacy Instructor, U.S. Department of Justice, National Advocacy Center, 2007
  • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy Southeast Regional, 2006 & 2007
Honors & Awards
  • "The Best Lawyers in America" in White-Collar Criminal Defense, Bet-the-Company Litigation (Greensboro Lawyer of the Year 2015), and Commercial Litigation
  • Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2010-2015); "Top 100," 2012-2015
  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations, 2012-2016
  • Business North Carolina magazine, "Legal Elite" in Criminal Law, 2008-2015
  • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star" for North Carolina in White-Collar Crime, 2014
  • "North Carolina's Top Rated Lawyers" in Criminal Law, Litigation, and Appellate Law (Martindale-Hubbell 2012)
  • "Robinson O. Everett Professionalism Award" (North Carolina Bar Association, 2010)
Professional & Community Activities
  • President-Elect, 2015-2016, and Board of Governors, 2011-2014, North Carolina Bar Association 
  • Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, a Commission of the North Carolina Supreme Court, 2014-present
  • Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 2011
  • President, Federal Bar Association, Middle District of North Carolina Chapter, 2010-11
  • Criminal Justice Act Appellate Panel Committee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2008-present
  • Chair, N.C. Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, 2007-08
  • Chair, N.C. Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2004-05
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Greensboro Sports Council
  • Co-Director, Rotary Youth Leadership Program, 2007
  • Board of Directors, University of North Carolina School of Law Alumni Association, 2000-06
  • Board of Directors, Davidson College Alumni Association, 2007-2010
  • Board of Directors, National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, 2006-07
  • Chair, Greensboro Bar Association Pro Bono Committee, 2000-01
  • Founding Chair, Greensboro Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section Domestic Violence Project, 1999-2001
  • Advisory Board, Court Watch of North Carolina
  • Secretary, Rest Haven Summer Sunday School, Pamlico River, Beaufort County, NC
  • Finance Board & Deacon, Grace Community Church, 2004-06
Articles & Presentations
  • "Criminal Intellectual Property: Responding to Investigations and Defending Against Indictments," UNC Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 2014
  • "Internal Corporate Investigations," Elon University Law School, March 2013
  • "Federal Criminal Health Care Fraud: Responding to Investigations, Defending Against Indictments, and Handling Related Civil Claims," UNC Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 2013
  • "Federal Criminal Case Law Update," North Carolina Bar Foundation, 2006-13
  • "Internal Corporate Investigations and Disclosure to Law Enforcement," North Carolina Bankers Association Security Summit, 2012
  • White Collar Crime Panel, 2011 Criminal Justice Section Annual Meeting, North Carolina Bar Foundation
  • "When Insiders Pose a Hidden Danger: Conducting Internal Corporate Investigations," N.C. Bankers Association Security Summit, September 2011
  • "2010 White-Collar Crime Update - Fourth Circuit and Supreme Court," North Carolina Bar Foundation, April 2010
  • "Environmental Criminal Investigations & Enforcement," UNC Law School Festival of Legal Learning, February 2010
  • "Corporate Investigations: Government, Criminal, and Internal," UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2009
  • "Appellate Process." U.S. Department of Justice, National Advocacy Center, 2005
  • "Environmental Citizen Suits." Real Estate Section Annual Meeting, North Carolina Bar Foundation, 2000
  • "Sigurjonsson v. Iceland: The European Court of Human Rights Expands the Negative Right of Association," 27 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. (1995), reprinted in 5 Irish Student L. Rev. (1995)
  • Note, "Crawford v. Air Line Pilots Association: The Fourth Circuit Determines What Expenses a Union May Charge to Nonunion Workers," 72 N.C. L. REV. 1732 (1994)
News Seminars & Speaking Engagements

 

Davidson CollegeBA Duke UniversityMA University of North Carolina School of LawJ.D.
Fourth Circuit Judicial ConferenceNorth Carolina Equal Access to Justice CommissionGreensboro Police FoundationGreensboro Sports Council

Client Comments

"Kearns Davis is the ultimate professional. His vast experience combined with his ability to dissect even the most complicated situations into understandable real world language is invaluable. "

-Kent Matthews
Chief Financial Officer
Johnston Ambulance Service

Office Location

Renaissance Plaza, Suite 2000
230 North Elm Street
P.O. Box 26000
Greensboro, NC 27420
United States


Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Criminal Defense: White-Collar of the Greensboro Metro Area2015 Lawyer of the Year in Bet-the-Company Litigation of the Greensboro Metro Area2013 Lawyer of the Year in Criminal Defense: White-Collar of the Greensboro Metro Area
Kearns Davis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Kearns Davis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!Kearns Davis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Criminal Defense: White-Collar