Saturday, August 13, 2022

Legal Elite – Employment 2015


""Legal Elite 2015

Nicole Gardner
Gardner Skelton PLLC, Charlotte

I started my practice doing mainly insurance coverage and insurance bad-faith litigation in San Francisco. There was a very small subset of lawyers in the office doing employment work. They were a fun bunch of people, and I was fascinated by their cases, so I slowly migrated in that direction. I remember one of the partners letting me tag along when she did anti-harassment training at a young, hip software company in Palo Alto. (Trying to convince tattooed twenty-somethings with rainbow-colored hair that they shouldn’t tell off-color jokes made for a hysterically funny afternoon.) When I moved to Charlotte in 2001 and joined Moore & Van Allen, I was offered a position either in commercial litigation or employment, and I took the position in employment without hesitation. I’ve practiced in this area ever since, and I love it.

Vita: 42; born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; bachelor’s from Pennsylvania State University and law degree from University of California at Berkeley; husband and three children.

Memorable case: I think everyone always remembers their first big case out of law school. Mine was a commercial-litigation case that I worked on with a senior associate and a partner, both of whom were female. We won most of the case on a summary-judgment motion and settled it for a very modest sum. Once we finally reached accord on all the settlement agreement language, the plaintiff’s counsel groused that we should rename our firm the Amazon law firm. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but I sure took it as one.

What she’d be if not a lawyer: I’d be a college professor. I was a world literature and history major and wrestled with whether to get my Ph.D. or go to law school. My very wonderful undergraduate adviser told me I’d regret not getting my Ph.D. Sometimes I do.

Favorite place: Locally, Asheville. Globally, I love the Philippines, Thailand and South Africa.



WINNER: Nicole Gardner, Gardner Skelton PLLC, Charlotte; G. Bryan Adams III, Van Hoy, Reutlinger, Adams & Dunn, Charlotte; Dene’ V. Alexander, The Law Office of Dene’ V. Alexander PLLC, Durham; Albert R. Bell Jr., Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; Kevin M. Ceglowski, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; Denise Smith Cline, Law Offices of Denise Smith Cline PLLC, Raleigh; Seth R. Cohen, Smith, James, Rowlett & Cohen LLP, Greensboro; Edward G. “Woody” Connette, Essex Richards PA, Charlotte; Elizabeth R. Dangel, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, Charlotte; John J. Doyle Jr., Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP, Winston-Salem; Stephen J. Dunn, Van Hoy, Reutlinger, Adams & Dunn, Charlotte; Gretchen W. Ewalt, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, Raleigh; Stewart W. Fisher, Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney PA, Durham; Lynn Fontana, Lynn Fontana, Attorney at Law, Durham; Susanna Knutson Gibbons, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; S. McKinley Gray III, Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; Marc E. Gustafson, Essex Richards PA, Charlotte; Cecil W. Harrison Jr., Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; Craig Hensel, Hensel Law PLLC, Greensboro; Tamara L. Huckert, Maloney Law & Associates PLLC, Charlotte; John C. Hunter, Adams Hendon Carson Crow & Saenger PA, Asheville; Charles E. Johnson, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Kenneth R. Keller, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro; Patrick Kelly, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Harvey L. Kennedy, Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy and Kennedy LLP, Winston-Salem; Joshua M. Krasner, Jackson Lewis PC, Raleigh; D. Beth Langley, Hagan Davis Mangum Barrett & Langley PLLC, Greensboro; S. Luke Largess, Tin, Fulton, Walker & Owen PLLC, Charlotte; Gwendolyn W. Lewis, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro; David C. Lindsay, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; Michael C. Lord, Williams Mullen, Raleigh; Margaret B. Maloney, Maloney Law & Associates PLLC, Charlotte; Alexander L. Maultsby, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Christine F. Mayhew, Anderson Jones PLLC, Raleigh; J. Michael McGuinness, The McGuinness Law Firm, Elizabethtown; Jacob Modla, Littler Mendelson PC, Charlotte; Michael Murchison, Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmington; Laura Noble, The Noble Law Firm PLLC, Chapel Hill; Michael G. Okun, Patterson Harkavy LLP, Chapel Hill; Daniel J. Palmieri, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Katherine Lewis Parker, Tin, Fulton, Walker & Owen PLLC, Wilmington; Heydt Philbeck, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh; John Pueschel, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem; Patti West Ramseur, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Sabrina P. Rockoff, McGuire, Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville; Robert A. Sar, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, Raleigh; Kerry A. Shad, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Molly M. Shah, Littler Mendelson PC, Charlotte; Russell F. Sizemore, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Mimi E. Soule, Soule Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; James B. Stephenson II, StephensonLaw LLP, Cary; Kyle R. Still, Ward and Smith PA, Raleigh; Jill S. Stricklin, Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP, Winston-Salem; Todd Sullivan, Graebe Hanna & Sullivan PLLC, Raleigh; Geraldine Sumter, Ferguson Chambers & Sumter PA, Charlotte; L. Diane Tindall, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Benton L. Toups, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, Wilmington; Josh Van Kampen, Van Kampen Law PC, Charlotte; Michael L. Wade Jr., Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, Charlotte; Jonathan Wall, Higgins Benjamin PLLC, Greensboro; J. Kellam Warren, Mainsail Lawyers, Chapel Hill; Laura J. Wetsch, Winslow Wetsch PLLC, Raleigh; Charlot F. Wood, Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; Stacy K. Wood, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte; Kathleen N. Worm, The Worm Law Firm PC, Raleigh; Jonathan W. Yarbrough, Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP, Asheville; John A. Zaloom, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Research Triangle Park.

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