Overview
Effective appellate advocacy begins long before a jury renders its verdict or an administrative law judge issues a decision. That’s why choosing attorneys with extensive experience and skill in all aspects of litigation is so crucial. Hedrick Gardner’s Appellate Team provides the experience, advice, and technical precision clients want and need whether they desire to avoid litigation or seek a better outcome following a disappointing result.

Experience is our edge.  Hedrick Gardner’s Appellate attorneys have broad experience arguing appeals before state and federal appellate courts as well as in other administrative forums.  Members of our Appellate Team draw on insight obtained in clerkships at the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court and utilize instinct sharpened from years of personal courtroom practice.  We undertake a comprehensive analysis of each case and realistically advise clients on the legal issues and challenges they face when the case moves into the appellate arena.  Our Team provides persuasive representation through use of convincing arguments, exceptional writing and artful oral advocacy.  Let our experience be your key to success.

Through collaboration, we aid you in making choices that not only impact your immediate outcome but also impact your options on appeal.  Because of our considerable familiarity with all aspects of litigation, our Team provides strategic counsel from the outset of your case.  We identify appellate issues, devise strategies for framing the arguments, recommend a course of action when you are faced with the decision whether to appeal, and we will assume the reins when your case has gone awry.  Our attorneys keep abreast of new decisions of relevance and routinely assess how they may impact your case and your business. At every step, we partner with you to strive to achieve the outcome you desire.

The devil is in the details – and in the Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The Rules governing your appeal are precise.  So are we.  Hedrick Gardner’s Team possesses the thorough understanding of appellate procedure and practice necessary to safely navigate the appellate waters.  Over the years, we have built strong working relationships with knowledgeable personnel at the Industrial Commission and the appellate courts.  We have a voice on the North Carolina Appellate Rules Committee.  It’s our goal to have your case decided on the merits, not dismissed on a technicality.

The time to think about your appeal shouldn’t start after the unfavorable decision. Let Hedrick Gardner’s Appellate Team keep you up to date on changes in the law as they occur, counsel you when litigation is the only course, and advocate for you after the verdict.

Representative Matters

Cases or matters referenced are for illustrative purposes only, and do not represent the lawyer’s or law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicted based upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Gregory v. W.A. Brown & Sons, 363 N.C. 750, 688 S.E.2d 431 (2010): Successfully persuaded the North Carolina Supreme Court to hold that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-22 requires that if employee fails to provide written notice of accident within 30 days, the employee must show both a reasonable excuse and employer must not be prejudiced as a result of the delay in notice; otherwise the claim will be dismissed as untimely filed.

Chambers v. Transit Management, 360 N.C. 609, 636 S.E.2d 553 (2006): Successfully argued that for an employee to prevail in an occupational disease claim, the employee must prove that the employment placed the employee at a greater risk of contracting the occupational disease, as opposed to merely placing the employee at a greater risk of aggravating the occupational disease.

Bryson v. Coastal Plain League, et al., __ N.C. App. __, 729 S.E.2d 107 (2012): Successfully defended the granting of summary judgment as the Court of Appeals affirmed the long standing precedent in North Carolina that patrons of baseball games are not entitled to protection from batted or thrown balls in every part of a baseball stadium, provided the stadium has provided adequate protection in certain areas of the stadium.

Diaz v. Smith, __ N.C. App. __, 724 S.E.2d 141 (2012): Successfully defended workers’ compensation insurance carrier involving a policy written for an insured which financed payment with a financing company, and then failed to make payments. Finance company cancelled the policy, and Carrier denied coverage based upon the cancellation. The Court held the cancellation notice from a finance company pursuant to a power of attorney clause constitutes written notice from the insured, cancelling the workers’ compensation policy upon receipt.

Gray v. United Parcel Services, Inc., __ N.C. App. __, 713 S.E.2d 126 (2011): Successfully defended employer on issue of the presumption of compensability when an employee dies at work. Where there is evidence that the employee died within his employment and there is no evidence that the death was caused by an injury by accident, the Decedent is entitled to a presumption that the death is compensable. Defendants rebutted the presumption by producing credible expert evidence that the death did not arise out of the employment. Because the presumption was rebutted, the Commission erred in failing to shift the burden of proof back to plaintiff.

Norman v. Food Lion, LLC., __ N.C. App. __, 713 S.E.2d 507 (2011): successfully argued that pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-18 and § 97-86, payment of benefits under an award does not become due until all appeals are exhausted or a party waives the right to appeal, thereby quashing a routine practice by the plaintiffs’ bar over several years demanding a 10% penalty on nearly every matter appealed from a Deputy Commissioner to the Full Commission.

Bell v. Hype Manufacturing, __ N.C. App. __, 705 S.E.2d 926 (2011): Successfully defended workers’ compensation insurance carrier involving cancellation or workers’ compensation policy. Insured made an initial premium deposit of 50% of the estimated annual premium at the effective date of the policy as required, but failed to make remaining payments. The Court of Appeals held that Insured’s policy was subject to cancellation due to the non-payment of premium in accordance with the terms of the policy.

Andresen v. Progress Energy, Inc., 204 N.C. App. 182, 696 S.E.2d 159 (2010): Successfully defended granting of summary judgment in alleged negligence matter. Court of Appeals affirmed that electricity provider did not owe a duty to homeowners to periodically inspect their underground lines; applicable utilities rules suggested that only accessible lines were subject to inspection by the responsible party.

Gray v. RDU Airport Authority, 203 N.C. App. 521, 692 S.E.2d 170 (2010): Successfully defended employer in workers compensation claim where employee stepped backward and felt a popping sensation in his left leg while directing traffic in a crosswalk. The Court of Appeals concluded that there was no unusual or unforeseen circumstance that interrupted the employee’s work routine. The Court reasoned that if the accidental character of an injury is only to be assessed from the subjective perspective of an employee, there would “practically never be a non-compensable injury so long as it arose out of and in the course of employment” because no employee expects to get injured on the job.

Nale v. Ethan Allen, 199 N.C. App. 511, 682 S.E.2d 231 (2009): Successfully reversed Industial Commission’s award of compensability by arguing the expert medical evidence amounted to speculation and conjecture. The Court of Appeals rejected the Full Commission’s attempt to tie the causation based upon the employee’s own self diagnosis of the cause of her right knee injury. The Court of Appeals also indicated that the Industrial Commission was not “to render its own expert medical opinion.”