North Carolina – December 29, 2017. Hedrick Gardner is pleased to announce the most recent milestone in Judge Linda Stephens distinguished career, acceptance into The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.

With her induction into the College, Linda joins a select group of workers’ compensation lawyers who have been nominated as a result of their outstanding contributions to workers’ compensation law during their career of 20 years or longer. Upon induction, fellows take an oath that includes a commitment to life-long dedication to maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct, scholarly pursuits, integrity, and excellence in the practice of law.

Linda’s formal induction will occur during a ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, March third. She will be 1 of just 23 fellows from North Carolina accepted into the College.

Judge Stephens currently serves as Of Counsel in Hedrick Gardner’s Raleigh office. Prior to joining the firm, she served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2006-2016. During her time as a judge, she earned a reputation for applying the law fairly to everyone. Judge Stephens’ impressive legal experience also includes four years as a Deputy Commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission, and over 20 years of private practice.

Linda’s distinguished career has included many firsts. She was the first person in her family to graduate high school and became the first female law clerk to Court of Appeals Judge Fred Hedrick, brother of Hedrick Gardner’s founder, Phil Hedrick. After serving four years as a Deputy Commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission, she became the first female associate at a Raleigh law firm and five years later she became its first female partner. She served as the first female president of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and remains the first person to ever receive the highest awards from both the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.


About The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers has been established to honor those attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practice in the field of workers’ compensation. Members have been nominated for the outstanding traits they have developed in their practice of twenty years, or longer, representing plaintiffs, defendants, serving as judges, or acting for the benefit of all in education, overseeing agencies and developing legislation. These individuals have convinced their peers, the bar, bench and public that they possess the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards, character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership. They have a commitment to fostering and furthering the objectives of the College and have shown significant evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing, and/or distinguished published writings on Workers’ Compensation or related fields of law. For more information please visit:


About Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP

Hedrick Gardner is one of the region’s premier law firms serving the needs of the business community. With nearly 100 attorneys located in four offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina, Hedrick Gardner has become the leading law firm for conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution. The firm’s unmatched litigation experience informs and guides the ability to provide efficient yet comprehensive representation that clients deserve. With more than 50 years representing businesses in a wide variety of industries, Hedrick Gardner attorneys take pride in their ability to be immediately responsive to a broad spectrum of legal needs for clients ranging from small and medium size businesses to Fortune 500 companies. For more information please visit:

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