11.2014 | Katy Parker Recognized by NC Lawyers Weekly as “Woman of Justice”

Katy Parker was among the 2014 Women of Justice recipients for her demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.

For the full list of award recipients, click here.

10.2014 | Katy Parker Honored by National Law Journal

Katy Parker was honored by the National Law Journal in a special report exploring the work of Carolina women in the law. In its feature called “Two Steps Forward,” the National Law Journal looked at people who have strived to advance the careers of women in corporate law and the legal profession in general — a persistent, formidable challenge. Based on interviews with attorneys, scholars and business professionals in the Carolinas, Katy was identified as someone who consistently has led efforts to help women move ahead in the law. Others honored included Linda McGee, Chief Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and Jean Hoefer Toal, Chief Justice, South Carolina Supreme Court. Click here to read Katy’s profile in the National Law Journal.

10.2014 | Jake Sussman Presents at NACDL’s “Making a Case for Life”

Jake Sussman presented at NACDL‘s national death penalty conference — “Making a Case for Life” — that took place in Charlotte in October 2014.

10.2014 | Firm’s Lawsuit Leads to Amendment One Being Declared Unconstitutional

In a landmark civil rights ruling, U.S. District Judge Max G. Cogburn, Jr. ruled in favor of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and co-counsel at Arnold & Porter and struck down Amendment One, the ban against same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Judge Cogburn ruled that North Carolina’s ban on marriage equality violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Cogburn’s order was entered at 5:30 p.m. on October 10, 2014. In Raleigh, the Wake County Register of Deeds issued her first same-sex marriage license at 5:44 p.m. and a ceremony quickly followed.

Click here to read Judge Cogburn’s order.

See below for media coverage of this historic ruling:

The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 10, 2014
Federal Judge Overturns North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The News & Observer, Oct. 10, 2014
Gay Marriage Now Legal in North Carolina

The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 11, 2014
Charlotte Attorney For Same-Sex Couples Celebrates Anniversary — And Legal Win

8.2014 | Six Firm Members Recognized as 2015 Best Lawyers in America

Noell Tin, John Gresham, Luke Largess, Adam Stein, Jake Sussman, and Margaret Errington were all listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015.

Noell Tin was recognized in the practice areas of Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Non-White-Collar. John Gresham was recognized in the practice areas of First Amendment and Labor & Employment. Luke Largess was recognized in the practice area of Labor & Employment. Adam Stein was recognized in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice Law (Plaintiffs) and Personal Injury Litigation (Plaintiffs). Jake Sussman was recognized in the practice area of Criminal Defense: White-Collar. Margaret Errington was recognized in the practice area of Employment Law.

To view Tin Fulton Walker & Owen’s profile on Best Lawyers, click here:

8.2014 | City “Dancehall” Ordinance Struck Down

Noell Tin successfully challenged the City of Charlotte’s “dancehall” ordinance as being unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. Noell’s client was arrested and charged with operating a dancehall without a permit after he hosted a Sweet 16 birthday party. Under the city ordinance, every establishment that (1) has music; (2) has space available for dancing or permits dancing to occur (whether dancing actually takes place or not); and (3) allows admission by payment of a direct or indirect charge, would need a permit. At trial, Noell showed that the city ordinance’s definition of “dancehall” was too vague, and broad enough to include museums, exercise facilities, movie theaters, yoga studios and indoor playgrounds. Noell also established that the ordinance was being enforced in a discriminatory manner — such that nearly 87% of those persons charged with operating a “dancehall” without a permit by the arresting officer involved were African-American, and that 93% of those charged were a racial minority. The court ruled that the ordinance’s definition of “dancehall” was unconstitutional.

7.2014 | Adam Stein Discusses Legal Challenge to State’s New Voting Restrictions

Adam Stein discusses the lawsuit challenging new voting restrictions imposed by the North Carolina legislature. With respect to the new voting law, Adam states: “The Supreme Court acted, the North Carolina legislature followed it with really discriminatory voting laws, and so we took up the challenge and went to court.” For more about the case, click here.

6.2014 | Marriage Equality Lawsuit Amended to Add More Plaintiffs

On June 3, 2014, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen amended its marriage equality lawsuit to add more plaintiffs. The lawsuit — General Synod of the UCC v. Cooper — challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations. In the wake of filing the initial complaint in April, numerous other faith organizations and leaders offered up their support and desire to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs. The amended complaint adds the Alliance of Baptists, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, as well as more faith leaders from a growing cross-section of religious denominations. For more about the legal challenge please visit:

5.2014 | Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Diocese Come Before Judge

Sam McGee was in court arguing against the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte’s motion to dismiss lawsuits claiming that the Diocese and its bishops failed to follow up on earlier reports of alleged child sex abuse. Sam’s client was sexually abused in 1977 and 1978 in Albemarle, when he was 14 years old. The defendants are asking that the court dismiss the lawsuit — and related cases — because too much time has passed.

As reported in the Charlotte Observer, Sam remarked in court: “They have to figure out how to put one foot after the other and stay alive. You say to my client: ‘You did nothing (for years).’ My client says to (the diocese): ‘What did you do but turn a willful blind eye?’”

4.2014 | Tin Fulton Walker & Owen Files Historic Challenge to NC’s Amendment One

On April 28, 2014, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s Amendment One on behalf of clergy from across faith traditions, same-sex couples and the United Church of Christ. The case challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations. The lawsuit opens a new front in marriage equality litigation: it is the only case to bring 1st Amendment religious freedom claims among the various marriage equality cases pending in courts nationally. Arnold & Porter LLP is co-counsel in the litigation. For more about the legal challenge please visit:

4.2014 | Mark Kleinschmidt Files Amicus Brief in Fourth Circuit Marriage Equality Case

Mark Kleinschmidt filed an amicus brief on behalf of Equality NC and South Carolina Equality Coalition in Bostic v. Schaefer in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Bostic is the case challenging Virginia’s statutory and constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

To read the amicus brief, click here.

2.2014 | Luke Largess Speaks About Teachers’ Rights

Luke Largess discussed Teachers’ Rights at the NC Advocates for Justice’s Employment Law CLE in Raleigh.

For more about the NC Advocates for Justice, click here.

1.2014 | Eight Firm Members Named as 2014 Super Lawyers

Eight members of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen were recognized as 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers:

John Gresham (2006-2014)
Luke Largess (2011-2014)
Sam McGee (2012-2014)
Missy Owen (2013-2014)
Matt Pruden (Rising Stars: 2014)
Adam Stein (2013-2014)
Jake Sussman (2014)
Noell Tin (2008-2014)

Shirley Fulton has been named a Super Lawyer in previous years (2006, 2008-2009).

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

The lists are published in the latest issue of North Carolina Super Lawyers and will be featured in a special section in Charlotte magazine and also in The New York Times (North Carolina distribution).

To view this year’s lists (and past years’ lists), click here.

1.2014 | Noell Tin, Missy Owen & Luke Largess Recognized as “Legal Elite”

Noell Tin, Missy Owen, and Luke Largess were recognized as members of the “Legal Elite” by Business North Carolina. Noell and Missy were listed for their work in Criminal Defense, while Luke was recognized for his work in Employment Law.

For more about Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, click here.