For 24 years, I’ve been fighting to defend individuals accused of crimes in the State and Federal courts of North Carolina. I love the job.
For example, at the moment I am defending clients in investigations involving diverse subjects such as EBITDA accounting fraud, government contracting and bidding fraud, tax evasion, opioid prescription fraud, and old-fashioned marijuana drug conspiracy with money laundering. In the process of defending these clients, I find it fascinating to learn in detail about different types of businesses, how they work and how they are regulated.
Most of my cases are in the Federal court in the Western District of North Carolina, but I also work in the Federal Middle and Eastern Districts. Over the years I have worked on State court cases in more than 30 counties in North Carolina, in addition to my home base of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County.
In the past year, I have defended several clients -- male and female -- in college sexual misconduct cases, also know as Title IX cases. Although these are not technically criminal cases, the same skills are necessary.
In the last five years, I successfully won an acquittal for a police officer in a federal criminal trial alleging excessive force; gained exoneration for a client who had been wrongfully convicted of murder and had been imprisoned for 11 years; won dismissal for a fellow lawyer at a State Bar discipline hearing; and gained dismissal of a shooting charge due to self-defense. I thrive in both White Collar and Blue Collar criminal cases.
Nowadays, I limit the number of cases I take in order to be able to spend more time on each. I have found that learning the facts and details in depth, and meeting often with each client helps in formulating pre-trial motions, discovery motions and defense strategies.
In 2002 I earned from the North Carolina State Bar the honor of being a Board Certified Specialist in both State and Federal Criminal Law, and was recertified in 2008 and 2013. In 2011 I was appointed to serve on the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory commission, as a representative criminal defense lawyers statewide. I also currently serve on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, which is the association of trial lawyers. I served as Chair of NCAJ’s Criminal Section in 2010-11.
I am proud to have authored an Amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit case of United States v. Simmons.