That's my specialty: top Tar Heel lawyers share what drove them to their field of practice.

Position:LEGAL ELITE
 
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The leading vote-getters in the 14th class of Business North Carolina's Legal Elite chose their areas of practice for reasons as varied as escaping physical labor on the family farm and helping fellow immigrants navigate the complex process of moving to the United States. We asked each of the lawyers who received the most votes in their respective categories how they wound up in their specialty. The selection process started by contacting 22,000 active members of the North Carolina State Bar, seeking their votes online at BusinessNC.com. Lawyers were not allowed to vote for themselves and could only vote for an associate or partner if they also chose an active lawyer from outside their firm in the same category. Previous top winners are ineligible, and more weight was given to votes from peers at other law firms. Though a record number of ballots were submitted, fewer than 3% of the state's lawyers--641--made this year's list.

ANTITRUST

Press Millen, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Raleigh; Heather Adams, Alston & Bird LLP, Durham; Daniel G. Clodfelter, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Charlotte; James L.S. Cobb, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; W. Andrew Copenhaver, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP Winston-Salem; Deborah L. Edney, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Charlotte; E. Bradley Evans, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Jason D. Evans, McGuireWoods LLP, Charlotte; Richard B. Fennell, James McElroy & Diehl PA, Charlotte; Lisa F. Garrison, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; M. Keith Kapp, Williams Mullen, Raleigh; Robert R. Marcus, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Charlotte; Michael T. Medford, Manning Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Lawrence C. Moore III, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Jeffrey E. Oleynik, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; James K. Phillips, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem; Rebecca M. Rich, Duke University School of Law, Durham; William L. Rikard Jr., Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte.

BANKRUPTCY

James S. "Charlie" Livermon III, Poyner Spruill LLP, Rocky Mount; Shelley K. Abel, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; Rayford K. Adams III, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, Winston Salem; Lou M. Agosto, Wells Fargo & Co., Charlotte; Brian R. Anderson, Nexsen Pruet PLLC, Greensboro; James B. Angell, Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson PA, Raleigh; David R. Badger, David R. Badger PA, Charlotte; Paul R. Baynard, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; John C. Bircher III, White & Allen PA, New Bern; William E. Brewer Jr., The Brewer Law Firm, Raleigh; William E. Burton III, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Algernon L. Butler III, Butler & Butler LLP, Wilmington James O. Carter Jr., Carter & Carter PA, Wilmington; Heather W. Culp, Essex Richards PA Charlotte; Damon Duncan, Duncan Law LLP Greensboro; David L. Eades, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Paul A. Fanning, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Michael P. Flanagan, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Adam Mark Gottsegen, Nicholls & Crampton PA, Raleigh; Joseph W. Grier III, Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; Jason L. Hendren, Hendren & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; David R. Hillier, Gum, Hillier & McCroskey PA, Asheville; A. Lee Hogewood III, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; Charles M. Ivey III, Ivey, McClellan, Gatton & Talcott LLP, Greensboro; William P. Janvier, Janvier Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; J. Trevor Johnston, McGuireWoods LLP, Charlotte Rod Right, Right Law Office PC, Asheville Joseph B.C. Kluttz, K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte; Kenny Lautenschlager, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; John R, Miller Jr., Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA Charlotte Kristin D. Ogbum, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA, Charlotte; Jeffrey E. Oleynik, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; George M. Oliver, Oliver Friesen Cheek PLLC, New Bern: Mark A. Pinkston, The Van Winkle Law Firm, Asheville; Walter W. Pitt Jr., Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; Alan W. Pope, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; J. William Porter, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte; Amos U. Priester IV, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Rebecca F. Redwine, Hendren & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; George F. Sanderson III, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; David M. Schilli, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; John H. Small, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; William C. Smith Jr., Manning Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Richard D. Sparkman, Richard D. Sparkman & Associates PA, Angier; Lisa P. Sumner, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; Douglas J. Tate, McGuire, Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville; Glenn Thompson Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC, Charlotte; Scott P. Vaughn, McGuireWoods LLP, Charlotte; Thomas Waldrep Jr., Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem, Margaret R. Westbrook, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; James C. White, Law Office of James C. White PC, Durham; Jason D. Witt, Witt Law Firm PA, Monroe; A. Cotten Wright, Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; Richard S. Wright, Moon Wright and Houston PLLC, Charlotte.

BUSINESS

Charles S. Baldwin IV, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Wilmington; Michael R. Abel, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; Michael G. Adams, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte, Beth Ferebee Atkins, Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson PA, New Bern; Evan Kent Auberry, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; John Babcock, Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP, Winston-Salem, Jonathan A. Berkelhammer, Ellis & Winters LLP Greensboro; Marc Bishop, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro, Galen Boerema, Schneider Boerema PLLC, Raleigh; Martin H. Brinkley, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Patrick S. Bryant, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Kenneth G. Carroll, Momingstar Law Group, Morrisville, James H. Clarke, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Morrisville; Matthew A. "Matt" Cordell, Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; D. Scott Coward, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; John Cross Jr., Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Fred B. Davenport Jr., Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmington G. Stephen Diab, Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmington T. Greg Doucette, The Law Offices of T, Greg Doucette PLLC, Durham; James R. Forrest, Forrest Firm PC, Durham, Kerry A Friedman, Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore PA, Asheville; Robert E. Futrell Jr., Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh ; Gregory H. Gach, Gach Law Firm PLLC, Charlotte; James B. Gatehouse, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; Kenneth M. Greene, Carruthers & Roth PA Greensboro; William B. Gwyn Jr., Manning Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Jeffrey C. Hart, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Chapel Hill; 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; Gregory D. Hutchins, Roberts & Stevens PA, Asheville; Philip R. Isley, Blanchard, Miller, Lewis & Isley PA.Raleigh; Cyrus Johnson Jr., Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Charlotte, Gene Jones, Morningstar Law Group, Morrisville; G. William Joyner III, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem; Jeffrey P. Keefer, Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed LLP, Wilmington; Robert D. Kidwell, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Stephen F. Later, Robbins May & Rich LLP, Southern Pines, David K. Liggett, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, Raleigh: E. Lynwood Mallard, McGuire Woods LLP, Charlotte: Henry B. Mangum Jr., Hagan Davis Mangum Barrett & Langley PLLC, Greensboro; Carolyn P. Meade, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Daniel Merlin, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Douglas L. Miller, Cogentrix Energy Power Management LLC, Charlotte; John Mortice, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Stephen H. Morris, Essex Richards PA, Charlotte; Edward P. O'Keefe, Bank of America Corp., Charlotte; William G. Pappas, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh; Lonnie M. Player Jr., The Law Offices of Lonnie M. Player Jr. PLLC, Fayetteville; Larry E. Robbins, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh: Caroline Wannamaker Sink. Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; J. Troy Smith Jr., Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; Joseph H. Stallings, Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson PA Raleigh: Thomas M. Ward, Harris Creech Ward & Blackerby PA, New Bern, Thomas C. Watkins, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; Michael Weisel, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh; Michael G. Winters, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; Robert B. Womble, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; James R. Wyche, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte.

CONSTRUCTION

Bob Meynardie, Meynardie & Nanney PLLC, Raleigh; Greg Ahlum, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Bruce Ashley, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro: Christopher K. Behm, Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed LLP Wilmington: Steven Allen Bimbo, Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick LLP, Charlotte, H. Arthur Bolick H Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Matthew C. Bouchard, Lewis & Roberts PLLC, Raleigh; Daniel K. Bryson, Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP, Raleigh; Robert L. Burchette, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Chris Chleborowicz, Chleborowicz Law Firm PLLC, Wilmington David Coats, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh: Keith E. Coltrain, Wall Templeton & Haldrup PKRaleigh Auley M. Crouch HI, Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed LLP, Wilmington Fred W. DeVore III, DeVore, Acton & Stafford PA, Charlotte; A. Holt Gwyn, Conner Gwyn Schenck PLLC, Greensboro; David Hamilton, Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC, Charlotte; H. Mark Hamlet, Hamlet & Associates PLLC, Wilmington Nan E. Hannah, Hannah Sheridan Loughridge & Cochran LLP, Raleigh: J. Patrick Haywood, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro: Harper Heckman, Nexsen Pruet PLLC, Greensboro: R. Jason Herndon, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh: Michael Hoefling, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte: Stephen Horne, Horne & Horne PLLC, Greenville; Jason B. James...

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