Joel is a partner in the firm’s Raleigh office.  His practice focuses in the area of workers’ compensation defense.  Joel is a Board Certified Specialist in workers’ compensation law and has handled workers’ compensation matters for employers and workers’ compensation carriers at Hedrick Gardner since 2003.  He has handled matters at all levels of workers’ compensation litigation including administrative motion filings, mediated settlement conferences, hearings at the Deputy Commissioner and Full Commission levels, and appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Joel’s clients include manufacturers, retail stores, construction companies, temporary agencies, and their workers’ compensation carriers.  Joel has experience handling claims in all areas of workers’ compensation including claims involving asbestos exposure, chemical exposure, repetitive motion disorders, alleged permanent and total disability claims, and traumatic injuries.

He was selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list, published nationwide in Super Lawyers® Magazines, in 2013, 2015, and 2017, and is an active member of the North Carolina State Bar, North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, and the Wake County Bar Association.  Joel maintains an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell, the most prestigious peer review rating that recognizes attorneys who have reached the highest levels of skill and integrity. He served on the NC State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Specialization Committee from 2014 – 2020.  He has also served as a member of the NC Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section Council from 2021 to present.

While in college, Joel majored in Psychology and was on the Dean’s List.  He was also a member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. While in law school at Chapel Hill, Joel was a member of the Holderness Moot Court Negotiation Team.  Joel is the proud father of three children.  When he is not practicing law, he enjoys playing guitar, hiking, and camping.

Experience and Involvement


  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar
    • Workers’ Compensation Specialization Committee Member (2014-present)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute