News | civil rights and constitutional law

4.2018 | Jury Awards $100,000 Judgment in Police Shooting Case

A Mecklenburg County jury awarded a $100,000 judgment to the family of Spencer Mims, III, who was fatally shot by a CMPD officer in 2013. The family was represented by lead attorney, Luke Largess, and attorney Cheyenne Chambers.

During his opening statement to jurors, Largess explained that Mims’ death was the result of a series of small but significant errors. “The errors weren’t abusive. But they were mistakes,” Largess told the Charlotte Observer. “Those mistakes took a life, a life that was part of a family that loved someone.”

Additional media coverage of the trial can be accessed via the Charlotte Observer and here.

 
3.2018 | Cheyenne Chambers Featured in Ohio State Law Alumna Profile

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ran a feature profile about alumna Cheyenne N. Chambers, discussing her prior experience as a law student, her scholarship for Moritz BLSA students, and her work at Tin, Fulton, Walker & Owen. The profile can be accessed here.

 
3.2018 | Largess and Chambers Obtain Victory Before Supreme Court of North Carolina

In March 2018, S. Luke Largess and Cheyenne N. Chambers obtained a significant victory before the Supreme Court of North Carolina on behalf of Kevin Tully, a Wilmington police officer. The landmark case created a new cause of action for government employees under Article I, Section 1 of the North Carolina Constitution.

In December 2014, represented by former Tin Fulton attorney, Katy Parker, Mr. Tully sued the City, asserting that he was never given the opportunity to grieve his denial of a promotion—a violation of his state constitutional right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of [his] own labor.”

The Supreme Court of North Carolina’s opinion can be accessed here.

Video of the oral argument before the Supreme Court of North Carolina can be accessed here.

Local media coverage can be accessed here.

 
1.2018 | Eight Firm Members Named as 2018 Super Lawyers

Eight members of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen were recognized as 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers. In addition, Luke Largess was listed among the Top 25 Lawyers in Charlotte and the Top 100 Lawyers in North Carolina, and Missy Owen was listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in North Carolina. Firm members listed for 2018 include:

Cheyenne N. Chambers (2018-present) (Rising Star)
John Gresham (2006-present)
Luke Largess (2011-present) (Top 100, Top 25 Charlotte)
Sam McGee (2012-present)
Missy Owen (2013-present) (Top 50 Women)
Matt Pruden (2014-2015, 2018-present)
Courtney H. Smith (2018-present) (Rising Star)
Adam Stein (2013-present)
Noell Tin (2008-present)

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.

 
6.2017 | Appalachian State University Student Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault

John Gresham represents an Appalachian State University Student who was suspended based on accusations of sexual assault. As the Charlotte Observer reports, Gresham “sued the school and his client’s accuser only after his investigation showed that the allegations were false and that the university blatantly mishandled the case.” For more details, click here.

 
6.2017 | Cheyenne Chambers Co-Authors American Bar Association Article

Cheyenne Chambers, who serves as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Subcommittee on Young Lawyers, Membership, and Diversity, co-authored an article published in the Spring 2017 edition of the ABA’s Appellate Practice newsletter. The article entitled, “10 Tips for Developing an Appellate Practice as a Young Lawyer,” can be found here.

 
1.2017 | Eight Firm Members Named as 2017 Super Lawyers

Eight members of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen were recognized as 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers. In addition, Missy Owen was listed among the Top 50 Women lawyers and Mike Klinkosum and Luke Largess was listed among the Top 100 lawyers in North Carolina. Firm members listed for 2017 include:

John Gresham (2006-present)
Mike Klinkosum (2012-present) (Top 100)
Luke Largess (2011-present) (Top 100)
Sam McGee (2012-present)
Missy Owen (2013-present) (Top 50 Women)
Adam Stein (2013-present)
Jake Sussman (2014-present)
Noell Tin (2008-present)

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.

 
1.2017 | Cheyenne Chambers Presents to Moritz College of Law

Cheyenne Chambers was invited back to her alma mater, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, to present to the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Cheyenne’s presentation discussed the art of perseverance, as well as her experience clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Cheyenne also had an opportunity to connect with past recipients of the Chambers Scholarship, which Cheyenne created during law school. The Chambers Scholarship seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding law students and advance the diversity pipeline to the legal profession.

For more about BLSA at the Moritz College of Law, click here.

 
8.2016 | Eight Firm Members Recognized as 2017 Best Lawyers in America

Eight members of the firm were listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 2017:

Margaret Errington: Employment Law (Individuals) (first listed in 2008)
John Gresham: First Amendment, Labor & Employment (first listed in 1995)
Mike Klinkosum: Criminal Defense (General Practice) (first listed in 2016)
Luke Largess: Employment Law (Individuals), Labor & Employment (first listed in 2014)
Adam Stein: Appellate Practice, Civil Rights, Medical Malpractice (Plaintiffs), Personal Injury (Plaintiffs) (first listed in 1995)
Jake Sussman: Criminal Defense (White-Collar) (first listed in 2013)
Noell Tin: Criminal Defense (General Practice), Criminal Defense (White-Collar) (first listed in 2010)
Lane Williamson: Commercial Litigation (first listed in 2016)

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

 
8.2016 | Cheyenne Chambers Joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen

In August 2016, Cheyenne Chambers joined the Charlotte office of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen. Cheyenne joined the firm after her judicial clerkship with the Honorable Paul J. Watford of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her practice focuses on trial and appellate litigation in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and employment law.

 
2.2016 | Luke Largess and Jake Sussman Recognized by ACLU of Charlotte

Luke Largess and Jake Sussman were presented with the Richard L. Hester Civil Liberties Award by the ACLU of Charlotte. The award was “in recognition of their work to advance the civil liberties of all persons in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Their efforts resulted in the recognition of the rights of all individuals, regardless of gender and sexual orientation, to marry in the State of North Carolina.”

 
2.2016 | Sam McGee Elected to Board of Directors of STLA

Sam McGee was elected to the Board of Directors of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association during the association’s 27th Annual Mardi Gras Conference in New Orleans.

 
1.2016 | Katy Parker Featured in NC Super Lawyers Magazine

NC Super Lawyers Magazine ran a feature article about Katy Parker, her prior experience at the NC-ACLU, and her work at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen.

 
1.2016 | Nine Firm Members Named as 2016 Super Lawyers

Nine members of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen were recognized as 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyers. In addition, Missy Owen and Katy Parker were listed among the Top 50 Women lawyers and Luke Largess was listed among the Top 100 lawyers in North Carolina. Firm members listed for 2016 include:

John Gresham (2006-present)
Mike Klinkosum (2012-present) (Rising Stars: 2009)
Luke Largess (2011-present) (Top 100)
Sam McGee (2014-present) (Rising Stars: 2012-2013)
Missy Owen (2013-present) (Top 50 Women)
Katy Parker (2015-present) (Top 50 Women)
Adam Stein (2013-present)
Jake Sussman (2014-present)
Noell Tin (2008-present)

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).

 
12.2015 | Tin Fulton Walker & Owen Files Challenge to NC’s Senate Bill 2

On December 9, 2014, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of six plaintiffs challenging Senate Bill 2, the state law passed in defiance of federal court orders that struck down Amendment One and declared that marriage is a fundamental right for gay and lesbian citizens. Senate Bill 2 allows magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to renounce their judicial oath to uphold and evenly apply the United States Constitution. The lawsuit alleges that Senate Bill 2 violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Meghann Burke of Brazil & Burke in Asheville is co-counsel in the litigation. For media coverage of the lawsuit, please see these links: N&O Reuters

 
11.2015 | Firm Recognized by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in 2016 “Best Law Firms”

The firm was recognized by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in 2016 “Best Law Firms.” The firm received “Metropolitan Tier 1” recognition in Charlotte for Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Employment Law: Individuals, and Litigation: Labor & Employment, and in Raleigh for Medical Malpractice Law: Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation: Plaintiffs. The firm received “Metropolitan Tier 2” recognition in Charlotte for Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar and Litigation: First Amendment.

To view Tin Fulton Walker & Owen’s profile on U.S. News, click here.

 
9.2015 | Katy Parker & Jake Sussman Recognized as 2015 Leaders in the Law

Katy Parker and Jake Sussman were both recognized by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as “Leaders in the Law” for 2015. The recognition goes to attorneys “who go above and beyond in their profession and their community” and “represent the most influential individuals within our state’s legal community.”

 
8.2015 | Eight Firm Members Recognized as 2016 Best Lawyers in America

Eight members of the firm were listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 2016:

Margaret Errington: Employment Law (Individuals) (first listed in 2008)
John Gresham: First Amendment, Labor & Employment (first listed in 1995)
Mike Klinkosum: Criminal Defense (Non-White-Collar) (first listed in 2016)
Luke Largess: Employment Law (Individuals), Labor & Employment (first listed in 2014)
Adam Stein: Appellate Practice, Civil Rights, Medical Malpractice (Plaintiffs), Personal Injury (Plaintiffs) (first listed in 1995)
Jake Sussman: Criminal Defense (White-Collar) (first listed in 2013)
Noell Tin: Criminal Defense (White-Collar), Criminal Defense (Non-White-Collar) (first listed in 2010)
Lane Williamson: Commercial Litigation (first listed in 2016)

In addition, Luke Largess was named Lawyer of the Year in the area of Employment Law (Individuals). According to Best Lawyers, only one lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as Lawyer of the Year.

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

 
6.2015 | Coverage of Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Kenneth Kagonyera

Following the exoneration of Kenneth Kagonyera by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, the law firm filed suit against Buncombe County and various current and former members of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office for their respective roles in the wrongful prosecution of Mr. Kagonyera. The lawsuit was ultimately resolved when the civil defendants agreed to pay Mr. Kagonyera $515,000. Click here for coverage of the civil lawsuit.

 
4.2015 | Sussman Op-Ed in The Charlotte Observer

Jake Sussman’s op-ed about the criminal justice system ran in The Charlotte Observer on April 26, 2015.

 
4.2015 | Luke Largess and Jake Sussman Present at LGBT* in the South Conference

Luke Largess and Jake Sussman presented a CLE at the LGBT* in the South Conference in Asheville on their litigation efforts to overturn Amendment One and secure marriage equality in North Carolina. The presentation was called: Day One in North Carolina: How General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger Brought Marriage Equality to North Carolina.

 
1.2015 | Ten Firm Members Named as 2015 Super Lawyers

Ten members of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen were recognized as 2015 North Carolina Super Lawyers:

John Gresham (2006-2015)
Mike Klinkosum (2012-2015) (Rising Stars: 2009)
Luke Largess (2011-2015)
Sam McGee (2014-2015) (Rising Stars: 2012-2013)
Missy Owen (2013-2015)
Katy Parker (2015)
Matt Pruden (Rising Stars: 2014-2015)
Adam Stein (2013-2015)
Jake Sussman (2014-2015)
Noell Tin (2008-2015)

Mike Klinkosum was also selected among the Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers.

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).

 
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 | 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: www.amendmentonelawsuit.com

 
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: www.amendmentonelawsuit.com

 
12.2013 | Katy Parker Secures Release of Dash Cam Video

Representing the Wilmington Star-News and the N.C Press Association, Katy Parker successfully persuaded Superior Court Judge Jack Jenkins in New Hanover County to order the release of a dash cam video showing a Wilmington Police Department canine officer releasing his dog on a suspect following a police chase on Halloween night. The police department had previously refused to release the video to the public.

 
12.2013 | Katy Parker Pushes for Release of SBI Report in Shooting Case

Katy Parker represents the family of Brandon Smith, who was killed by law enforcement on October 13, 2013 in New Hanover County after two deputies and a federal agent fired 24 rounds at Smith. It was later confirmed that Smith had no gun and was reaching for his cell phone before he was shot and killed. As reported by the Wilmington Star News, Parker is seeking access to the SBI’s investigation. In her request for the report, Parker wrote: “Members of Mr. Smith’s family, and other members of the community, are interested in obtaining as much information as possible about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Smith’s death … the release of this information is essential to maintaining public confidence in the administration of public services.” Parker added: “If the government officials are serious about transparency and building and improving a relationship with the community, they should release as much of the SBI report and other hard evidence as possible.”

 
10.2013 | Luke Largess and Jake Sussman Speak on Law Enforcement Misconduct Issues

Luke Largess and Jake Sussman were both invited faculty speakers at the NC Advocates for Justice seminar in Raleigh: “Police Liabilty Claims: Real Cases, Real Issues.” Luke discussed issues concerning public officer immunity, excessive force claims under the NC Constitution, and 1st Amendment retaliation claims. Jake focused his discussion on common federal liability issues under Section 1983, qualified immunity, and key discovery issues.

 
2.2013 | Katy Parker Receives Norman Smith Award

Katy Parker received the Norman Smith Award at the ACLU of North Carolina‘s 44th annual Frank Porter Graham Awards Ceremony in Chapel Hill. The Norman Smith Award is presented by the ACLU-NC Board of Directors to someone who has volunteered extraordinary time and effort in service to the ACLU-NC and its Legal Foundation. As noted by the ACLU-NC:

During her six-year tenure as Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, Katy Parker poured her heart and soul into protecting the rights of countless North Carolinians on issues ranging from free speech and religious liberty to racial justice, reproductive rights, and due process under the law. Parker helped to fight for third-party ballot access, to combat state laws restricting reproductive rights, to overturn the state’s unconstitutional anti-profanity law, and much more. She won a landmark case reaffirming that invocations delivered at government meetings must be nonsectarian. Parker built the ACLU-NC’s legal program into a powerful force for liberty and currently serves on its Legal Committee.

Other 2013 honorees include Deborah Weissman (Frank Porter Graham Award), Rev. Dr. William Barber, II (ACLU of North Carolina Award), James E. Ferguson, II (Paul Green Award), and Jen Jones (Sharon Thompson Award).

 
1.2013 | Adam Stein Presents at UNC Center for Civil Rights’ Race and the Law Series

Adam Stein was hosted by the UNC Center for Civil Rights to discuss his work fighting discrimination across the state. Click here to see Adam’s presentation.

 
10.2012 | Katherine Lewis Parker Joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and Opens Wilmington Office

Katherine Lewis Parker, former Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC), has joined Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in opening its Wilmington office. Katy’s practice will focus on civil rights matters, with an emphasis on police misconduct cases. The Wilmington office, located at 228 North Front Street, Suite 201, will also focus on criminal defense and employment discrimination cases.

 
9.2012 | Adam Stein Joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in its Chapel Hill Office

Adam Stein joins the firm’s Chapel Hill office as Of Counsel, where he will primarily focus on medical malpractice and civil rights matters. One of the founding partners of the nationally acclaimed law firm Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter, Adam was a principal architect of that firm’s litigation strategy as it helped define and strengthen civil rights jurisprudence in North Carolina and across the country starting in the late 1960s. Adam has also played a critical role in developing North Carolina’s criminal indigent defense system. In 1980, Adam was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt to establish the Office of Appellate Defender and thereafter served as North Carolina’s first Appellate Defender. Adam was also the first chair of North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services Commission and was a founding member of the Board of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.

 
8.2012 | Noell Tin, John Gresham, and Jake Sussman Listed by Best Lawyers in America for 2013

Noell Tin, John Gresham, and Jake Sussman were listed by Best Lawyers in America for 2013. Noell Tin has been recognized since 2010 by Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar and Criminal Defense: White-Collar. John Gresham has been listed by Best Lawyers in Litigation – First Amendment and Litigation – Labor & Employment every year since 1995. This year marks the first time that Jake Sussman was listed by Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White-Collar.

For 30 years, Best Lawyers has come to be regarded by both the legal profession and the public as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. The new 2013 Best Lawyers in America list is based on a rigorous national survey involving more than 4 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

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

 
8.2012 | William G. Simpson Joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in its Chapel Hill Office

William Simpson brings over 25 years of litigation experience in the areas of medical negligence, criminal defense, and civil and constitutional rights. Prior to joining Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, William was a staff attorney and legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (1986–1993), assistant public defender for the Defender Association of Philadelphia (1993–2000), and partner with Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter (2000–2012). A native of Columbia, North Carolina, William attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for both undergraduate and law school. William received the Norman B. Smith Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina in 1994.

 
3.2012 | Jon Wallas Joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen

Jon Wallas joins Tin Fulton Walker & Owen as Of Counsel in the firm’s Charlote office, where he will handle general civil litigation with a focus on employment and labor matters. Prior to joining the firm, Jon practiced with Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter for nearly four decades, litigating some of the most important civil rights cases across the state and country. Jon has tried numerous employment discrimination cases, and has handled class action lawsuits, death penalty cases, First Amendment matters, medical malpractice actions, bankruptcy litigation, and business and contract disputes. He also previously represented the Resolution Trust Corporation in numerous matters, including professional liability litigation.

 
2.2012 | Luke Largess Prevails in Federal Court with $1.1M Verdict

Luke Largess successfully represented Jeff Leardini, a former middle school teacher, in a lawsuit against the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Leardini had previously been charged with improperly touching students in 2006 and was terminated by Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Noell Tin represented Leardini on criminal charges and secured acquittals on all charges in Mecklenburg County Superior Court in June 2007.

In a subsequent civil lawsuit, Leardini alleged that the school system violated his right to due process when they terminated him. On February 24, 2012, a Federal District Court jury ruled in Leardini’s favor and awarded him over $1.1 million. Leardini said he never thought about giving up and putting the episode behind him, telling the Charlotte Observer: “My good name is worth it, even if it takes five years to get there.” Largess observed that the jury’s verdict should help “the school system to appreciate the personal pressure that people are under when they’re accused,” stressing that teachers “should be supported and not just treated as the enemy.”

The school system appealed the jury’s verdict and the case was later settled for $680,000.

 
8.2011 | Noell Tin and John Gresham Listed by Best Lawyers in America for 2012

Noell Tin and John Gresham were listed by Best Lawyers in America for 2012. Noell Tin has been recognized since 2010 by Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar and Criminal Defense: White-Collar. John Gresham has been listed by Best Lawyers in Litigation – First Amendment and Litigation – Labor & Employment every year since 1995.

For 30 years, Best Lawyers has come to be regarded by both the legal profession and the public as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.

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

 
1.2011 | John Gresham and Jake Sussman Join Tin Fulton Walker & Owen