2017 legal elite: character evidence.

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Movies can make us laugh, offer an escape or provide a vicarious outlet for passions and dreams. When Business North Carolina asked this year's class of Legal Elite winners about their favorite movies, we half-expected a smattering of courtroom dramas such as A Few Good Men or Presumed Innocent. Instead, responses from this year's star attorneys were wideranging, from mysteries (page 86) to Cohen brothers comedies (page 83) to classic James Bond films (page 85).

And there were heroes--lots of heroes--from the everyday to the "super" variety. Rooting for heroes (and heroines), especially those who defend the weak and powerless, is a natural instinct for legal professionals, according to Nan Hannah, a Raleigh attorney who is this year's winner in the construction law category. The young wizard Harry Potter "is a pretty good role model for a lawyer," Hannah says. "We will on occasion demonstrate that we are fallible but, hopefully, continuously strive to protect our clients and the public--always seeking justice."

Since 2002, Business North Carolina has reached out to members of the N.C. State Bar (numbering more than 23,000), asking them to select colleagues who are distinguished in their fields. Lawyers could not vote for themselves and could vote for a member of their own firm only if they also picked an attorney from an outside firm in the same category Through an online balloting system, 669 attorneys were selected to this year's list, representing less than 3% of the state's lawyers. Also this year, a record seven of the top vote-getters are women--half of all winners. Overall winners will be elevated to the Legal Elite Hall of Fame and can't win again in the same category.

Lights, camera ...


Stephen Feldman, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; E. Bradley Evans, Ward and Smith PA Greenville; Jason D. Evans, McGulre-Woods LLP, Charlotte; E. Beauregarde "Beau" Fisher m Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Henry L "Hal" Kitchin Jr., McGuireWoodsLLP, Wilmingon Lawrence C. Moore m Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA Charlotte; John D. Noor, Roberts & Stevens PA Asheville; Omari K Sealy, Moore & Van Men PLLC, Charlotte; Nathan Standley, Allen & Pinnix PA .Raleigh


Heather W. Culp, Essex Richards PA, Charlotte; Shelley Koon Abel, Raybum Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; Rayford K "Trip" Adams m, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, Winston-Salem; Lou Agosto, Wells Fargo & Co., Charlotte: Brian R Anderson Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro; James B. Angell, Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis PA, Raleigh; David R Badger, David R. Badger PA, Charlotte; June L. Basden, Carruthers & Roth PA Greensboro; William E. Brewer Jr, The Brewer Law Firm, Raleigh; Nicholas C Brown, Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis PA, Raleigh; Algernon L. Butler, Butler & Butler LLP, Wilmington; James Oliver "Jimmy" Carter, Carter and Carter PA, Wilmington Robert A. Cox Jr., Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Charlotte; Damon Duncan, Duncan Law LLP, Greensboro; Paul A. Fanning, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Adam Mark Gottsegen, Nicholls & Crampton PA, Raleigh; Joseph W. Grier ID, Grler Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte. David W. Hands, Hands Law Office PLLC, Charlotte; James H. Henderson, The Henderson Law Firm, Charlotte; Jason L. Hendren, Hendren, Redwine & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; A Lee Hogewood m, K&L Gates LLP Raleigh; Andrew T. Houston Moon Wright & Houston PLLC, Charlotte; Charles M. Ivey III, Ivey, McClellan, Gatton & Siegmund LLP Greensboro; William P. Janvier, Janvier Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; R Keith Johnson R Keith Johnson PA Stanley; J. Trevor Johnston McGuireWoods LLP Charlotte; Rod Kight, Kight Law, Asheville; Jennifer Adams Ledford, Higgins Benjamin PLLC, Greensboro; R Bradford "Brad" Leggett, Allman Spry, Winston-Salem; Jack Miller, Raybum Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; Kristen Price Miller, Poyner Spruill LLP, Rocky Mount; Kristin Decker Ogbum, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA, Charlotte; Jeffrey E. Oleynik, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP Greensboro; George Mason Oliver, Oliver & Cheek PLLC, New Bern; Jeanne Ann Pennebaker, RTS Law Group, Charlotte, Walter W. "Wrennie" Pitt Jr, BeH, Davis & Pitt PA Winston-Salem Robert M Pitts, Pitts, Hay & Hugenschmidt PA Asheville; Rebecca F. Redwine, Hendren, Redwine & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; Ashley S. Rusher, Blanco Tackabery Winston-Salem; George F. Sanderson ID, Ellis & Winters LLP,Raleigh, Travis Sasser,SasserLaw Firm, Cary; Caroline Wannamaker Sink, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA Charlotte; John H Small, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP Greensboro; Richard D. Sparkman, Richard D. Sparkman and Associates PA Anger-. Lisa P. Sumner, Poyner Spruill LLP Raleigh; Andrew WJ. Tarr, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Glenn Thompson Hamilton Stephens Steele+Martin PLLC, Charlotte; Jill C. Walters, Poyner Spruill LLP Raleigh; Margaret R Westbrook, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh


Gregory S. Connor, The Connor Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; J. Mitchell Aberman, James, McElroy and Diehl PA Charlotte; W. Sidney Aldridge, Nicholls & Crampton PA, Raleigh; Alexander R Atchison Young Moore and Henderson PA Raleigh; Beth Ferebee Atkins, Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis PA New Bern; Kent E. Auberry, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Greensboro; John Babcock, Wall Babcock LLP Winston-Salem; Trey Baker, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP, Charlotte; Abbie Baynes, Gardner Skelton PLLC, Charlotte; William P. Bray, Bray & Long PLLC, Charlotte; Patrick S. Bryant Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Kenneth G. Carroll, Morningstar Law Group, Research Triangle Park; Matthew A Cordell, Ward and Smith PA, Raleigh; Galen G. Craun m, Bell, Davis & Pitt PA Winston-Salem; John M Cross Jr, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP Greensboro; Fred B. Davenport Jr, Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmingon; G. Stephen Diab, Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmingon Amber R Duncan, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Charlotte/Greensboro; W. Curtis Elliott Jr, Culp Elliott & Carpenter PLLC, Charlotte; Caren D. Enloe, Smith Debnam Nanon Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP Raleigh; Don T. Evans Jr, Clark, Newton & Evans PA Wilmingon James R Faucher, Benson, Brown & Faucher PLLC, Greensboro; Kerry A Friedman, Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore PA, Asheville; Gregory Gach, Gach & Nolen PLLC, Charlotte; M. Heath Gilbert Jr, Baucom, Claytor, Benton, Morgan & Wood PA, Charlotte; Arey W. Grady m, Sumrell, Sugg, Carmichael Hicks & Hart PA New Bern; William B. Gwyn Jr, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Christopher E. Hannum, Culp Elliott & Carpenter PLLC, Charlotte Jimmie B. Hicks Jr, Sumrell, Sugg, Carmichael Hicks & Hart PA, New Bern; Daniel E. Hitchcock, Adams Hendon Carson Crow & Saenger PA Asheville; Steven A Hockfield, Erdman and Hockfield LLP Charlotte; Philip R Isley, Blanchard, Miller, Lewis & Isley PA, Raleigh; Gene Jones, Morningstar Law Group, Research Triangle Park; Jesse H Jones, Fonest Firm PC,Raleigh; Robert D. Kidwell, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Charlotte/ Greensboro; Stephen F. Later, Robbins May & Rich LLP Pinehurst; David K Liggett, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, Raleigh; Ashe Lockhart, Lockhart PLLC, Charlotte; Harrison A Lord, Bernhardt and Strawser PA, Charlotte; E. Lynwood Mallard, McGuireWoods LLP Charlotte; Hank Mangum, Davis Mangum PLLC, Greensboro; J. Mam Martin, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Chapel Hill; Carolyn P. Meade, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte Brandy Milazzo, Milazzo Schaffer Webb Law PLLC, Charlotte Doug Miller, Cogentrix Energy Power Management LLC, Charlotte; Anna S. Mills, Womble Carlyle Sandrtdge & Rice LLP Charlotte; Stephen R Morris, Essex Richards PA Charlotte William G. "Bill" Pappas, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLR Raleigh, Amanda R. Pickens, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte-Lonnie M Player Jr. Law Offices of Lonnie M. Player Jr. PLLC, Fayetteville-Kevin A. Prakke, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; R Vaughan Ramsey, Tuggle Duggins PA Greensboro; Larry E. Robbins, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Marvin L Rogers, McGuireWoods LLP Charlotte; Wade B. Sample Jr. Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Joseph J. Santaniello, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLR Charlotte; Carol K Silverstein, Silverstein & Cook PA Raleigh; James R Slaughter, Black, Slaughter & Black PA, Greensboro; Bettie Kelley Sousa, Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP, Raleigh; Joseph R "Joe" Stallings, Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis PA Raleigh; Nathan Standley, Allen & Pinnix PA,Raleigh: Brian T. Sullivan, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLR Raleigh; Franklin Scott Templeton, Robinson & Lawing LLP, Winston-Salem; William M. Wilcox IV, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro; Robert B. Womble, K&L Gates LLR Raleigh; Keith A. Wood, Canutes & Roth PA, Greensboro


Nan E. Hannah, Hannah Sheridan Loughridge & Cochran LLP, Raleigh; Greg C. Ahlum, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Christopher K Behm Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed LLP, Wilmington; Eric R Biesecker, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro; Steven Allen Bimbo, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP, Charlotte; R Arthur Bolick n, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP Greensboro; Matthew Q Bouchard Lewis & Roberts PLLC, Raleigh; Thomas M Buckley, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, Raleigh; Robert L. Burchette, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA Charlotte; B. David Carson, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Keith E Coltrain, Wall Templeton & Haldrup PA Raleigh; Paul E. Davis, Conner Gwyn Schenck PLLC, Raleigh; A. Holt Gwyn, Conner Gwyn Schenck PLLC, Greensboro; R Mark Hamlet, Hamlet & Associates PLLC, Wilmington, Scott C. Harris, Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP, Raleigh; J. Patrick Haywood, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro; Jason B. James, Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Charlotte; Tracy Thompson James, Hamilton Stephens Steele+Martin PLLC, Charlotte; E Wyles Johnson Jr., White & Allen PAKinston Neale T. Johnson, Smith Moore Leatherwood...

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