LE 2017 Winner: Tax & Estate Planning
Debra L. Foster
Foster Royal PA | Charlotte
“I am a great fan of the James Bond movies and the Die Hard series. There are many excellent classic and independent films, and I enjoy their generally more nuanced presentation. But for pure entertainment, little beats a good action movie. I love rooting for the heroes.”
Vita: 60; born in Brooklyn, N.Y.; bachelor’s from UNC Greensboro and law degree from UNC Chapel Hill; married with two children and two rescue dogs, Sabrina and Sarah. (Son, Brooks Jaffa, is Legal Elite-Young Guns.)
Why she chose to specialize in this field: I began my career splitting my time at Parker Poe between the disparate areas of appellate litigation and estate planning. While I enjoyed the nimble mind challenges presented by appellate work, I was and continue to be drawn to estate planning and fiduciary law, which I have practiced full time for almost 28 years. Done well, estate planning is a melding of technical expertise and client counseling.
What she’d be if not a lawyer: Possibly the director of a charitable organization, because I find joy in the chance to leave the world a better place. Or a children’s librarian, for the same reason, because literature transports and inspires, presenting possibilities to those lacking resources to fathom opportunities.
Favorite book (and recent reread): Beowulf. Its language is carefully sparse and elegant, and its tale of the warrior Beowulf’s triumph over the evil beast Grendel provides an inspiring lesson in faith, duty, courage, heroism and legacy.
Netflix obsession: The West Wing. How I long for the statesman or stateswoman and not the politician.
Passions: My family, my friends, my work and my profession; I enjoy and cherish them all. Also, I love theater, chamber music, art, museums and baking. I am currently training for my second mini-triathlon, which is quite a challenge because I am not at all athletic.
Don’t ask her to: Compromise my ethics or the best interests of my clients.
2017 Tax & Estate Planning winners:
Debra L. Foster, Foster Royal PA, Charlotte; Kristy S. Andraos, Andraos Law PLLC, Greensboro; Elizabeth K. “Liz” Arias, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Raleigh; Gwendolyn C. Brooks, Kennon Craver PLLC, Durham; Joshua D. Bryant, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Madison E. Bullard Jr., Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Stephen T. Byrd, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; John J. “Jody” Carpenter, Culp Elliott & Carpenter PLLC, Charlotte; Jean Gordon Carter, McGuireWoods LLP, Raleigh; Christian P. Cherry, Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; Thomas H. Cook Jr., Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; C. Michael Crisp, Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; David D. Dahl, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Andrew F. Dana, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte; Stephanie C. Daniel, Kirk Palmer & Thigpen PA, Charlotte; Justin R. Ervin III, Johnson, Peddrick & McDonald PLLC, Greensboro; Christopher D. Foster, Hutchens Law Firm, Fayetteville; Elinor J. “Elie” Foy, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; I. Allan From, Howard, Stallings, From, Hutson, Atkins, Angell & Davis PA, Raleigh; Christopher E. Hannum, Culp Elliott & Carpenter PLLC, Charlotte; Jessica Mering Hardin, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; John “Jay” Hemphill, Hemphill, Gelder & Monroe PC, Raleigh; Tanya D. Hervey, Hervey & Hervey PA, Cary; Deborah L. Hildebran-Bachofen, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Ronald P. Johnson, Johnson, Peddrick & McDonald PLLC, Greensboro; Timothy W. Jones, Jones Branz & Tarsitano LLP, Raleigh; Joseph D. “Jody” Joyner Jr., Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Research Triangle Park; Warren P. Kean, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP, Charlotte; Amy H. Kincaid, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; Carl L. King, Culp Elliott & Carpenter PLLC, Charlotte; Jennifer L.J. Koenig, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; Stacy F. Kroustalis, Benson, Brown & Faucher PLLC, Greensboro; Erik C. Lincoln, Paragon Law, Charlotte; Harris M. Livingstain, McGuire, Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville; Paul H. Livingston Jr., Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; W. Thomas “Tom” McCuiston, McCuiston Law Offices PLLC, Cary; Chadwick I. McCullen, Young Moore and Henderson PA, Raleigh; Sherri L. McGirt, McNair Law Firm PA, Charlotte; Jared D. Mobley, K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte; Ryan Monk, Monk Law Firm PLLC, Charlotte; Christopher S. Morden, Monroe Wallace Law Group, Raleigh; John R. Morgan, Connors Morgan PLLC , Greensboro; Brian G. Morrison, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Wilmington; Marcus L. Moxley, Edwards Craver Veach PLLC, Winston-Salem; Charles B. “Chuck” Neely Jr., Williams Mullen, Raleigh; Andrew L. Nesbitt, Nesbitt Law PLLC, Charlotte; Holly B. Norvell, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Tanya N. Oesterreich, Oesterreich Law PLLC, Concord; Rudy L. Ogburn, Young Moore and Henderson PA, Raleigh; Christian L. Perrin, Hickmon & Perrin PC, Charlotte; Deni C. Pifer, The Law Office of Deni C. Pifer PC, Charlotte; Robert G. Ray, Ray Law Firm PLLC, Fayetteville; Larry H. Rocamora, McPherson, Rocamora, Nicholson & Nordgren PLLC, Durham; Heidi E. Royal, Foster Royal PA, Charlotte; Maria Satterfield, Satterfield Legal PLLC, Charlotte; Mary Thompson Skinner, Dunn, Pittman, Skinner & Cushman PLLC, New Bern; Adam B. Snyder, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Sue A. Sprunger, Sprunger Law PLLC, Raleigh; Neal E. Tackabery, Blanco Tackabery, Winston-Salem; Adam P.M. Tarleton, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Sarah Sparboe Thornburg, McGuire, Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville; Amalie L. Tuffin, Hutchison PLLC, Raleigh; Bradley T. “Brad” Van Hoy, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Robert H. Wall, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, Winston-Salem; C. Mark Wiley, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem; Karen Wilson, Wall Babcock LLP, Winston-Salem; Keith A. Wood, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro; Bradley S. Wooldridge, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Louis E. Wooten III, The Wooten Law Firm, Raleigh; Paul Yokabitus, StephensonLaw LLP, Cary