NOTEWORTHY CASES

2011 |
United States v. S.L.

Missy Owen represented S.L., a defendant in a 50-million-dollar Ponzi scheme. After aggressive negotiations with the government that successfully limited the client’s exposure to prison, Owen was able to secure a six-month term of imprisonment.

 
2011 |
US Airways, Inc. v. US Airline Pilots Association

John Gresham represented the US Airline Pilots Association in a federal court dispute between the airline and the pilots union. Gresham continues to serve as North Carolina counsel for the U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) in federal and state court proceedings.

 
2011 |
United States v. J.W.

Matthew Pruden and Noell Tin represented a doctor during a multi-year investigation by the federal government into potential charges of Medicaid fraud. After the firm demonstrated that its client lacked criminal intent with respect to any unauthorized charges made by his office staff, the government declined to criminally prosecute.

 
2011 |
State v. Kagonyera

Noell Tin represented Kenneth Kagonyera in a successful effort to prove that Kagonyera was innocent of a murder for which he had been imprisoned for over a decade. The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which investigates and evaluates post-conviction claims of factual innocence, had recommended a hearing for Kagonyera and his co-defendant Robert Wilcoxson after both men had served close to 11 years for the murder. The matter was tried before a 3-judge-panel in Buncombe County Superior Court. Evidence included testimony that DNA evidence, which had been withheld from prior defense counsel, implicated another individual in the murder. The panel also heard testimony that another man had confessed to the murder and that this confession had not been disclosed by the State. On September 22, 2011, the 3-judge-panel found Kagonyera and Wilcoxson, who was represented by Chris Fialko of Rudolf Widenhouse & Fialko, innocent of the murder and ordered that they be set free. The case received extensive media attention and was featured in USA Today, The News & Observer, and the Asheville-Citizen Times

 
2011 |
Joyner v. Forsyth County Board of Commissioners

As Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, Katy Parker represented two Forsyth County residents who challenged their County Board of Commissioners’ practice of opening meetings with sectarian prayer as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Katy won an injunction in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina, blocking the County from continuing this practice. The injunction was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, thereby ensuring that religious minorities in Forsyth County can attend county board meetings without hearing a county-sponsored prayer that is specific to the majority religion.

 
2011 |
State v. B.D

Jake Sussman represented a public school teacher charged in Mecklenburg County with criminal assault against a student. Aggressive pre-trial investigation aided a successful not guilty verdict at trial. The charge was later expunged from the client’s record.

 
2011 |
Estate of Boone v. City of Gastonia

Jake Sussman represented the estate of a man in the Western District of North Carolina who was shot and killed by a Gastonia Police Officer. After the plaintiff successfully fended off the City’s motion for summary judgment, the case was successfully resolved prior to arguments before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.