July 2017 – Former NC Court of Appeals Judge Linda Stephens has joined Hedrick Gardner, where she’ll serve as of counsel in the firm’s appellate practice.

The former jurist brings nearly four decades of experience, including 11 years as a NC Court of Appeals Judge, to her new post where she will serve a client base ranging from small and medium size businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Stephens begins her position on August 1st practicing out of Hedrick Gardner’s Raleigh office.

Stephens maintained 150 active cases per year in private practice. Her clients have included national retailers, national transportation companies, financial institutions, healthcare companies, insurance companies, and professional services companies.

Stephens has reviewed hundreds of lower court rulings since she was named an appellate judge in 2006, authoring approximately 125 opinions per year. “Her time on the bench plus time as a deputy commissioner and experience as a defense attorney provides a range of experience that is nearly unmatched in the North Carolina legal profession,” commented Hedrick Gardner’s managing partner Paul Lawrence.

A graduate from University of South Carolina and University of North Carolina School of Law, Stephens began her legal career in 1979 as a law clerk for the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In 1980, she joined the North Carolina Industrial Commission as a deputy commissioner. She left that position in 1984 to work as the first female associate with a mid-size defense law firm in Raleigh. She became that firm’s first woman partner in 1989 and held that position until her appointment to the court of appeals by Governor Michael Easley in 2006.

While in private practice Stephens served as the first female President of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys. She was named one of the top 50 women lawyers in North Carolina by Super Lawyers magazine, and was listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America for 11 consecutive years before being appointed to the court of appeals.

“My time serving as a Court of Appeals Judge has heightened my understanding of the law in North Carolina, and I am eager to bring that knowledge to Hedrick Gardner’s appellate practice,” said Stephens. “The firm’s long-standing reputation as one of the region’s leading law firms prompted my decision to join its team of distinguished attorneys.”


About Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP

With nearly 90 attorneys located in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP is among the Carolinas’ leading law firms for conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution. Hedrick Gardner has built a strong reputation of representing clients ranging from small and medium size businesses to Fortune 500 companies including national retailers, transportation companies, financial institutions, health care organizations, insurance companies, and professional services firms.  For more information please visit www.hedrickgardner.com.


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