Vernon Sumwalt

North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice and Workers’ Compensation Law

vernon@sumwaltgrp.com (704) 565-0771

Vernon Sumwalt has handled approximately 250 workers’ compensation hearings, 100 appeals—mostly from cases he has tried—and many other cases before juries and our courts of general jurisdiction in both North Carolina and South Carolina.  He is the current President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers) and has taught almost 140 state and national classes for lawyers and other professionals.  He has also written over 45 books, chapters, and other articles on different aspects of workers’ compensation and trial law.       

Since 2005, Vernon has been a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law. To research some of the workers’ compensation cases he has tried to a decision from the North Carolina Industrial Commission, please follow this link to the Industrial Commission’s website. Put “public” as both the “user name” and “password” to sign in.  Once there, search for “Vernon Sumwalt” in the Full Text search to pull up decisions in his cases.

Since 2014, Vernon has also been a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Law.  To research some of his experience in appeals, please follow this link to Google Scholar, select “case law” for “North Carolina courts” and then search for “vernon sumwalt” (in all lowercase).  

About Vernon

Professional Groups

North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers) 
  • President (2019-2020)
  • President-Elect (2018-2019)
  • Fundraising and Development Officer (2016-2018)
  • Membership Vice President (2015-2016)
  • Legislative Vice President (2014-2015)
  • At Large Executive Committee member (2013-2014)
  • Executive Committee (2013-present)
  • Board of Governors (2010-present)
  • Workers’ Compensation Section (1998-present)
    • Chair (2012-2013)
    • Vice Chair (2011-2012)
    • Secretary (2010-2011)
    • Executive Committee (2006-present)
    • Amicus Committee (2003-present)
  • Small Office Practice Section
    • Chair (2010-2012)
  • Political Action Committee (2014-present)
  • County Captain (2009)
  • Legal Affairs Committee (2008-present)
  • Regional Captain (2007-2009)
  • Member (1998-present)
North Carolina Bar Association
  • Workers’ Compensation Section (1998-present)
    • Chair (2008-2009)
    • Vice Chair (2007-2008)
    • Section Council Member (2006-2009)
    • Editor, The Course and Scope section newsletter (2003-2004)
  • Appellate Rules Committee (2010-2019)
  • Trial Practice Curriculum Committee (2006-2009)
  • Member (1998-present)
North Carolina Industrial Commission
  • Informal Advisory Council (starting 2013)
Board of Law Examiners of the State of North Carolina
  • Chair of the Uniform Bar Exam Drafting Subcommittee for Workers’ Compensation (2017-2019) 
North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
  • Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Specialization Subcommittee (2014-2017)
  • Vice Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Specialization Subcommittee (2012-2014)
  • Member of the Workers’ Compensation Specialization Subcommittee (2010-2017)
South Carolina Association for Justice (formerly the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Member (1998-present)
American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Member (1998-present)
Kids Chance of North Carolina, Inc.
  • Board of Directors (2009-2012)
Workplace Injury Litigation Group
  • State Captain for North Carolina (2011)
  • State Legislative Committee (2010-2012)
South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates
  • Executive Committee (2016-2018, 2019-present)

Honors

LEXIS-NEXIS® Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board (2007-present) Best Lawyers in America®
  • Best Lawyers’ Workers’ Compensation Law—Claimants’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte (2013)
  • Best Lawyers’ Workers’ Compensation Law—Claimants’ “Lawyer of the Year in North Carolina” (2016)
  • Best Lawyers’ Workers’ Compensation Law—Claimants’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte (2018)
  • Member (2009-present)
North Carolina Super Lawyers and Top Attorneys in North Carolina (published in Charlotte Magazine)
  • Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers (2019, 2017, 2016, 2015)
  • Top 25 Charlotte Super Lawyers (2016, 2015)
  • For Workers’ Compensation (2010-present)
  • As a “Rising Star” in Workers’ Compensation (2009)
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated—AV Preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0) National College of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys 
  • Fellow (2019-present)
National Academy of Social Insurance (2012-present) North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers)
  • Ebbie Award (2012)
  • 12 Order of Service Awards (2009-2020)
  • Honorary New Lawyer Award (2011)

Publications

  1. Vernon Sumwalt, “President’s Column: Music Lessons (and the Legend of Ben Folds),” Trial Briefs (N.C. Advocates for Justice, upcoming 2019).
  2. Vernon Sumwalt, “President’s Column: Our Time to Take Back the Courtroom,” North Carolina Advocates for Justice blog (www.ncadvocatesforjustice.wordpress.com published September 29, 2019).
  3. Vernon Sumwalt, “President’s Column,” Trial Briefs (N.C. Advocates for Justice, July 2019).
  4. Contributing Author, Negligence Policy, Elements, and Evidence: The Role of Foreseeability in the Law of Fifty States (Balloon Press © 2018).
  5. Vernon Sumwalt, editor and author, Lexis-Nexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Workers’ Compensation (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2017-2019 eds.)
  6. Vernon Sumwalt, “Workers’ Compensation and Its Secondary Payers: Medicare and Medicaid,” LexisNexis e-Newsletter Feb. 17, 2015, at http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/workers-compensation/b/recent-cases-news-trends-developments/archive/2015/02/13/workers-compensation-and-its-secondary-payers-medicare-and-medicaid.aspx.
  7. T. Robinson and R. Kobayashi (editors-in-chief), “Commentary on 2013 North Carolina Workers’ Comp Related Legislation,” Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2013 ed.).
  8. Vernon Sumwalt, “Workers’ Comp Bills Filed in 2013,” Trial Briefs (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, August 2013).
  9. Cammarano and V. Johnson (editors), North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: A Practical Guide to Success at Every Stage of a Claim (LEXIS-NEXIS® 1st ed. 2012, 2nd ed. 2014, 3rd ed. 2016) (contributing author of Chapter 13, “Credits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act”)
  10. Vernon Sumwalt, “WCRI's Baseline for Evaluating the Impact of North Carolina's 2011 Reforms: A Measuring Stick That Falls Short,” LEXIS-NEXIS® Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter National Edition vol. 3, issue 9 (February 27, 2012) (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2012).
  11. Vernon Sumwalt, “It’s Still the Economy, Stupid: Considering the NCCI Research Brief ‘Workers’ Compensation Claims Frequency,’” LEXIS-NEXIS® Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter National Edition vol. 2, issue 41 (October 10, 2011) (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2011).
  12. Jennifer C. Jordan (editor-in-chief), The Complete Guide to Medicare Secondary Payor Compliance (LEXIS-NEXIS® Matthew Bender Elite Products © 2011 and annual updates) (wrote the North Carolina sub-chapter § 6.11 for “State Specific WCMSA Requirements”)
  13. Vernon Sumwalt (guest editor and contributor), “Off-Label Uses of Medical Products and Services,” LEXIS-NEXIS® Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter National Edition, vol. 2, issue 24 (June 13, 2011) (LEXIS-NEXIS ® © 2011).
  14. Vernon Sumwalt, “Vernon Sumwalt on ‘A Tale of Two Cases’ (Stare Decisis Only Matters Sometimes): Gregory v. W.A. Brown & Sons, 2010 N.C. LEXIS 35,” 2010 Emerging Issues 4912 (March 2010, LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2010).
  15. Vernon Sumwalt, “Vernon Sumwalt on Preapproval and Awards of Retroactive Attendant Care Services: Boylan v. Verizon Wireless, 685 S.E.2d 155 (2009),” 2010 Emerging Issues 4876 (February 2010, LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2010).
  16. Vernon Sumwalt, “A North Carolina Perspective: Mediation Pros and Cons,” Chronicles (South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Education Association, Winter 2009-2010).
  17. Vernon Sumwalt, “’Bye Bye Brewington,” Workers’ Compensation Law Community Powered by Larson’s, August 19, 2009 (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2009).
  18. Vernon Sumwalt, “’Scenes We’d Like to See’ from WCRI’s Medical Benchmark Studies,” Workers’ Compensation Law Center Powered by Larson’s, July 27, 2009 (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2009).
  19. Vernon Sumwalt, “The Chair’s Comments: Is There a Bailout in Our Future?” The Course & Scope Vol. 22, No. 2 (N.C. Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section, February 2009).
  20. J. Ward and E. Westbrook (editors), South Carolina Damages, “Chapter 39: Workers’ Compensation” (S.C. Bar, 2nd ed. 2009) (contributing author of the chapter on workers’ compensation)
  21. Vernon Sumwalt, “The Chair’s Comments” The Course and Scope Vol. 22, No. 1 (N.C. Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section, November 2008).
  22. Vernon Sumwalt, “Misrepresentation in Contract of Employment: Did North Carolina Decision in Freeman v. Rothrock Go Too Far?” Workers’ Compensation Law Community Powered by Larson’s and Expert Commentary, July 14, 2008 (LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2008).
  23. Vernon Sumwalt, “LexisNexis® Expert Commentaries: Larson Series, Vernon Sumwalt on North Carolina Evaluation of Fringe Benefits in an Employee’s ‘Average Weekly Wage’: Shaw v. U.S. Airways, Inc., ___ N.C. App. ___, 652 S.E.2d 22, 2007 N.C. App. LEXIS 2320 (2007), (February 2008, LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2007).
  24. Vernon Sumwalt, “LexisNexis® Expert Commentaries: Larson Series, Vernon Sumwalt on the Physician-Patient Privilege in Workers’ Compensation Cases Since the Enactment of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-25.6, 2005 N.C. Sess. Law 448, 2005 N.C. H.B. 99, 2005 N.C. ALS 448, at *6,” (November 2007, LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2007).
  25. Vernon Sumwalt, “LexisNexis® Expert Commentaries, Vernon Sumwalt on Proving Causation of Work-Related Medical Conditions, Legette v. Scotland Memorial Hospital, ___ N.C. App. ___, 640 S.E.2d 744, 2007 N.C. App. 361 (Feb. 6, 2007),” (October 2007, LEXIS-NEXIS® © 2007).
  26. Vernon Sumwalt, “Proving Causation in Injury Cases,” Trial Briefs (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, April 2006).
  27. Beard, S. Poteat, Vernon Sumwalt, et al., THE LAW OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA (South Carolina Bar, 3rd edition 2003, 4th edition 2005, 5th edition 2008, 6th edition 2012, 7th edition 2019), chapter on “Medicare” republished as modified by “A Continuation of the Medicare Forum and Its Impact on The Workers’ Compensation System,” Workers’ Compensation Committee Program (American Bar Association, San Francisco, California, August 11, 2003). 
  28. Vernon Sumwalt, Ten Things Every Workers’ Compensation Attorney Should Know about Medicare, SOUTH CAROLINA TRIAL LAWYER BULLETIN (South Carolina Trial Lawyers, Fall 2004)
  29. T. Richardson and D. Haltiwanger (editors), Workers’ Compensation (Chapter 27), SOUTH CAROLINA DAMAGES Vol. 2 (South Carolina Bar, 1st edition 2004)) (contributing author of chapter on workers’ compensation).
  30. Vernon Sumwalt, Revisiting the Workers’ Compensation/Social Security Offset, THE COURSE & SCOPE Vol. 17, No. 1 (North Carolina Bar Association, Nov. 2003).
  31. W. Barnes, A. Cox, G. Fuller, E.S. Moise, V. Sumwalt, and C. Wilson, THE LAW OF AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA (South Carolina Bar, 4th edition 2000, 5th edition 2002, 6th edition 2009, 7th edition 2015).
  32. B. Maybank, D. Kelly, G. Beard, S. Poteat, and D. Smalls, THE LAW OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA (South Carolina Bar, 2nd edition 1998) (contributing author of the chapters on Social Security/Workers’ Compensation Offset, the State Fund, and Occupational Diseases).
  33. Vernon Sumwalt, Book Review: Foundations of Environmental Law & Policy, 5 S.C. Envtl. L. J. 207 (Spring 1997).
  34. P. Stewart and Vernon Sumwalt, A Step-by-Step Approach to the Breast Implant Client’s Social Security Case, SOUTH CAROLINA TRIAL LAWYER BULLETIN (South Carolina Trial Lawyers, Spring 1997), republished in THE ADVOCATE (Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, March/April 1998).
  35. V. Sumwalt, ‘President’s Column: Best Lawyers v. Best Lawyering,’ Trial Briefs (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Winter 2020).
  36. V. Sumwalt, ‘President’s Column: The Extra Mile—The World is Changing, and So Are We,’ Trial Briefs (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Spring 2020).

Teaching Experience

  1. “Everyone Has to Stand in Line Once in a While—Statutory Liens,” It Takes More Than a Threatening Letter to Settle the Claim (South Carolina Bar, October 27, 2000).
  2. Practical Legal Ethics in North Carolina: Issues and Answers (National Business Institute, February 21, 2001).
  3. “The In’s and Out’s of Workers’ Comp Practice (Overview of Statutory Benefits),” Practical Skills for New (and Not-So-New) Attorneys (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, August 23-24, 2001).
  4. Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, May 3, 2002).
  5. “The In’s and Out’s of a Workers’ Comp Practice (Overview of Statutory Benefits),” You’ve Passed the Bar... Now What?—Practical Trial Skills (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, September 5-6, 2002).
  6. “Statutory Liens,” 2002 South Carolina Automobile Insurance Update (South Carolina Bar, October 25, 2002).
  7. Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, November 19, 2002).
  8. “Medicare, Medicare, and More Medicare (Or, Things that Go ‘Bump’ in Your Workers’ Compensation Case),” Workers’ Compensation: Unraveling the Mystery/ 8th Annual Workers’ Compensation Section Annual Meeting (North Carolina Bar Association, February 21-22, 2003) (paper only).
  9. “Ethical Issues Related to Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability, and Personal Injury Litigation,” Legal Ethics in North Carolina (Lorman Educational Services, February 21, 2003).
  10. Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, May 16, 2003).
  11. “Legal Ethics for Legal Assistants,” Basics of Legal Assisting in North Carolina (Half-Moon Seminars, April 25, 2003).
  12. “Where Am I and Where Do I File the Claim? Comparing Other Jurisdictions—North Carolina,” South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: Take It From the Top (South Carolina Bar, May 30, 2003).
  13. Knight, Willey, Arp, and More: How Should We Change our Practices?” North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Convention 2003 (June 17, 2003).
  14. “A Continuation of the Medicare Forum and Its Impact on the Workers’ Compensation System,” Workers’ Compensation Committee Program (American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law, August 11, 2003) (paper only).
  15. “The In’s and Out’s of a Workers’ Comp Practice (Overview of Statutory Benefits),” Practical Trial Skills for New (and Not-So-New) Attorneys (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, September 12, 2003).
  16. Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, November 3, 2003).
  17. “Current Status of Credits under G.S. § 97-47,” 10th Annual Workplace Torts & Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, December 5, 2003).
  18. “Medicare, HIPAA, and Other Things You Don’t Find in Chapter 97,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation: Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Workplace / 9th Annual Workers’ Compensation Meeting (North Carolina Bar Association, February 20-21, 2004) (paper only).
  19. “Defending Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina: A View from Both the Claimants’ and Defense Attorneys (Claimants’ Perspective),” North Carolina Workers’ Comp Update 2004 (Council on Education and Management, May 4, 2004).
  20. Handling a Social Security Case in  North Carolina (National Business Institute, July 19, 2004).
  21. Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, August 31, 2004).
  22. Woody: Where to Go From Here? (The Plaintiff’s Perspective),” Workers’ Compensation 2005: Navigating the Workplace Maze—10th Annual Workers’ Compensation Section Meeting (North Carolina Bar Association, February 18, 2005).
  23. “CMS and Medicare Set-Asides and Allocations: Where Do We Stand Now?” 10th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, March 4, 2005).
  24. “What Every Workers’ Compensation Paralegal Should Know About Medicare and Social Security Disability,” Claimant and Defense Attorneys—Paralegal/Legal Assistant Seminar (South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association and the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, May 20, 2005).
  25. “Medicare Set-Asides for Personal Injury Cases, “ NCATL Convention 2005 (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, June 21, 2005).
  26. Getting Maximum Benefits for Your Social Security Disability Clients in North Carolina (National Business Institute, July 13, 2005).
  27. “The In’s and Out’s of a Workers’ Comp Practice,” Practical Skills for New (and Not-So-New) Attorneys (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, September 15, 2005).
  28. “Interplay Between Benefits—Workers’ Comp, Social Security Disability, Medicare, Long-Term Disability, Unemployment Compensation, and Average Weekly Wage,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (Sterling Education Service, November 15, 2005).
  29. “Workers’ Comp Liens—N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-10.2 Update,” 12th Annual Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, December 2, 2005).
  30. Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (National Business Institute, December 12, 2005).
  31. “Medicare Set-Asides in Personal Injury Litigation,” Disbursements 2006 (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, January 20, 2006).
  32. “Medicare Set-Asides in Personal Injury Litigation,” Disbursements 2006 (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, February 24, 2006).
  33. “Proving Causation in Injury Cases,” Workers’ Compensation Roundtable (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, March 3, 2006).
  34. North Carolina Workers’ Comp Update 2006 (Council on Education and Management, August 16, 2006).
  35. “Concurrent Receipt of Workers’ Compensation, Social Security, and Medicare Benefits,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation (Sterling Education Services, September 26, 2006).
  36. “(1) Preparing for the Pre-Hearing Conference and (2) Calculation of Compensation Ratings and Settlements,” Workers’ Compensation Hearings: Techniques and Strategies for Success (National Business Institute, October 19, 2006).
  37. “Medicare Panel with Q&A,” 13th Annual Workplace Torts  and Workers’ Comp (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, December 1, 2006).
  38. Moderator and Program Planner, The Devil is in the Details: Hot Topics in Workers’ Compensation Law (North Carolina Bar Association, February 16-17, 2007).
  39. “Drafting Opinions and Awards that Will Survive on Appeal,” Workers’ Comp Roundtable 2007 (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, March 16, 2007).
  40. Workers’ Compensation Law Update (National Business Institute, October 4, 2007).
  41. “Getting the Math Right: Handling Liens and Set-Asides,” A is for Accident: A Workers’ Compensation Primer (North Carolina Bar Association, October 5, 2007).
  42. “Ethical Contacts with Treating Physicians and Other Parties in Workers’ Compensation Claims,” 12th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (North Carolina Industrial Commission, October 10, 2007).
  43. Handling a Social Security Disability Case (National Business Institute, October 11, 2007).
  44. “The Workers’ Compensation Claim” and “Interplay Between Benefits—Workers’ Comp, Social Security Disability, UC, Medicare, Long-Term Disability,” Fundamentals of Workers’ Compensation (Sterling Education Services, Inc., October 16, 2007).
  45. “Medicare Panel and Questions” and “Workers’ Compensation Liens—97-10.2 Update,” 14th Annual Workplace Torts and Workers’ Comp (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, December 7, 2007).
  46. Advanced Workers’ Compensation (National Business Institute, December 12, 2007).
  47. Moderator and Program Planner, Getting Ahead of the “Comp”etition: Key Issues in Workers’ Compensation Law (North Carolina Bar Association, February 15-16, 2008).
  48. “Calculating Compensatory Earnings and the Interplay Between Benefits: Coordination of Workers’ Compensation with Other Benefits,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation (Sterling Education Services, Inc., March 4, 2008).
  49. “Settlement Demands, Future Medicals, and Attendant Care,” 13th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable (North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, March 7, 2008).
  50. “Reimbursement Claims in Workers’ Compensation Cases,” Liens, Liens, and More Liens: Resolving Claims of Subrogation and Reimbursement 2008 (South Carolina Bar, May 2, 2008).
  51. “Social Security/Medicare Issues,” Dissecting a Workers’ Compensation Case (South Carolina Bar, September 5, 2008).
  52. Workers’ Compensation Update (National Business Institute, October 1, 2008).
  53. “Getting the Math Right: Handling Liens and Set Asides,” Basics of Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Bar Association, October 17, 2008).
  54. “Exclusive Remedy is Not the Only Game in Town: How to Maximize Recoveries in Workers’ Compensation Cases,” Injured Workers’ Advocates 26th Annual Convention (South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, November 6-8, 2008).
  55. Advanced Workers’ Compensation (National Business Institute, December 10, 2008).
  56. “Sources of Coverage (Workers’ Compensation),” Sources of Coverage: Exploring the “Maze” of Insurance Law (North Carolina  Advocates for Justice, January 15, 2009).
  57. “Evidence-Based Medicine,” 14th Annual Workers’ Compensation Roundtable (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, March 6, 2009).
  58. “Coordination of Workers’ Compensation with (1) Social Security Disability, (2) Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, (3) Unemployment, and (4) Medicare,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina (Sterling Education Services, Inc., June 16, 2009).
  59. Coordination of Workers’ Compensation with (1) Social Security Disability, (2) Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, (3) Unemployment, and (4) Medicare (National Business Institute, September 11, 2009).
  60. “Workers’ Compensation,” Beyond the Elements II: South Carolina Damages from A to Z (South Carolina Bar, September 25, 2009).
  61. “Getting the Math Right: Handling Liens & Set Asides,” 2009 Basics of Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Bar Association, October 2, 2009).
  62. “Let’s Talk Rehab (Plaintiff’s Perspective),” 14th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (North Carolina Industrial Commission, October 8, 2009).
  63. Workers’ Compensation Law Update (National Business Institute, October 13, 2009).
  64. “Medicare Set-Asides and the Motor Vehicle Case—What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You,” The 2009 South Carolina Automobile Update (South Carolina Bar, October 23, 2009).
  65. “Handling Family Law Issues under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act—Alimony, Child Support, and Equitable Distribution,” 16th Annual Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, December 4, 2009).
  66. Program Planner and Presenter, “Is There any Law Regarding Occupational Disease?” and “”Medicare/Social Security: Do I Really Have to Deal with Them in My Workers’ Compensation Case?”  Occupational Disease Before the North Carolina Industrial Commission (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, January 29, 2010).
  67. Breakout Moderator, 15th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable (North  Carolina Advocates for Justice, March 5, 2010).
  68. “Workers’ Compensation Belli Nuggets—Ten ‘Do and Don’t’ Tips for Trying Attendant Care Cases,” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 22, 2010).
  1. “Coordination of Workers’ Compensation With Social Security Disability,” Handling a Social Security Disability Case (National Business Institute, July 22, 2010).
  2. “Coordination of Workers’ Compensation Benefits with Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, Social Security Disability, Unemployment Compensation, and Medicare,” Advanced Workers’ Compensation (National Business Institute, September 14, 2010).
  3. “Allocation of Third Party Proceeds,” “Tips for Successfully Negotiating a Settlement (for Both Sides),” “ERISA and  Medicare Interplay with Workers’ Compensation—Who Pays Medical Claims?” Workers’ Compensation Subrogation (National Business Institute, September 16, 2010).
  4. “Getting the Math Right: Handling Liens & Set Asides,” Accidents Happen—2010 Basics of Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Bar Association, October 1, 2010) (Seminar Planner).
  5. “The Language of Mediate Settlement Agreements and Clinchers: Protecting Your Clients (Belli Nugget Presentation),” Mountain Magic (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, October 16, 2010).
  6. “Client Intake in Workers’ Compensation Cases,” 2010 Convention (South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, November 6, 2010).
  7. Medicare Panel, Workplace Torts & Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, December 3, 2010).
  8. “Effective Methods for Claim Resolution,” “Overcoming Common Ethical Hurdles Faced by Workers’ Compensation Attorneys,” and “Overcoming Post-Resolution Challenges,” Workers’ Comp Law Update (National Business Institute, December 13, 2010).
  9. Program Planner, Moderator, and Presenter, Occupational Diseases (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, January 28, 2011).
  10. “The Dangers of Confidentiality Agreements” and “Properly Drafting Social Security Disability Offset Language (panel member),” Workers’ Compensation Roundtable (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, March 4, 2011),
  11. Convention 2011 (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 18-22, 2011) (Convention Co-Chair) (moderated “Greatest Wins” and “Greatest Losses” presentations and introduced Keynote Speaker Erin Brockovich).
  12. “Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation,” 16th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (North Carolina Industrial Commission, October 19, 2011).
  13. “Practice Tips for Dealing with the New Law in Existing Cases” and “Evaluating Claims Arising on or after 6-24-2011,” Roundtable on 2011 Changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, October 28, 2011).
  14. “Getting the Math Right: Handling Liens and Medicare Set Asides,” Workplace Injuries and Conditions: 2011 Basics of Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Bar Association, November 10, 2011).
  15. “Ramifications of the Year’s Most Important Appellate Court Decisions (panel discussion),” 18th Annual Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, December 2, 2011).
  16. 17th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, March 2, 2012) (Program Chair).
  17. “Workers’ Comp: Legislative Update and How this New Legislation Affects Paralegals,” Spring Seminar for Paralegals (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, March 14, 2012).
  18. Convention Co-Chair, NCAJ Convention 2012 (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 16-20, 2012) (also presented “Attendant Care” section of workers’ compensation case law review on June 19, 2012).
  19. “What’s New in Social Security Disability and Medicare,” The Law of Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina—2012 Update (South Carolina Bar, September 21, 2012).
  20. “Introduction to Workers’ Compensation Law” and “Evaluating a Claim for Representation,” Learning the Ropes—Workers’ Compensation Basics (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, October 5, 2012).
  21. Case Law Update, 17th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (N.C. Industrial Commission, October 12, 2012) (presented with Bruce Hamilton).
  22. Panel Discussion: Ramifications of the Year’s Most Important Appellant Court Decisions, Workplace Torts & Workers’ Comp (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, December 7, 2012).
  23. New Workers’ Comp Rules, 18th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, April 12, 2013).
  24. “Update on the Industrial Commission’s Rulemaking Under the Administrative Procedures Act” and “Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update,” NCAJ Convention, including the Summer Conference for Paralegals (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 15 and 16, 2013).
  25. “North Carolina Case Law Update,” 18th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (North Carolina Industrial Commission, October 11, 2013) (presented with Bruce Hamilton).
  26. “Proving Your Workers’ Comp Case: Tips on Disability,” Mountain Magic (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, October 19, 2013) (discussed Medlin case in presentation).
  27. “Workers’ Compensation (Concurrent Law Update),” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 15, 2014) (with Jay Gervasi, Stewart Poisson, and Richard Harper).
  28. “Case Law Update,” 2014 North Carolina Educational Conference (N.C. Industrial Commission, October 10, 2014) (presented with Bruce Hamilton).
  29. “Workers’ Compensation and Its Secondary Payers: Medicare and Medicaid,” 22nd Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo (Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 20, 2014) (presented with Jennifer Jordan and Tim Nay).
  30. “Establishing Disability Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act in 2015: The Spectrum of Earning Capacity Issues from Impairment to Restoration,” 2015 Workers’ Compensation Annual Meeting and CLE, North Carolina Bar Association (Greensboro, North Carolina, February 5 and 6, 2015) (panel discussion with Henry Byrum, Bruce Hamilton, Larry Baker, Rick Harper, and Stewart Poisson, and moderated by Neill Fuleihan).
  31. New Industrial Commission Rules and Their Impact on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Cases, Mecklenburg County Bar (Charlotte, North Carolina, February 24, 2015).
  32. “So You Filed Your Notice of Appeal… Now What?”  20th Annual Workers’ Compensation Roundtable (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Raleigh, North Carolina, March 6, 2015).
  33. “Workers’ Compensation (Concurrent Law Update),” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 14, 2015) (with Jay Gervasi, Richard Harper, and Stewart Poisson).
  34. “Case Law Update,” North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Educational Conference (October 16, 2015) (Raleigh, North Carolina) (with Bruce Hamilton).
  35. Program Planner, Moderator, and Presenter, “Appellate Case Law Update,” Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Torts (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, December 4, 2015).
  36. “Personal Injury Protection” and “Statutory Liens,” 2015 South Carolina Automobile Insurance Law Update (South Carolina Bar, Columbia, South Carolina, December 18, 2015).
  37. “Workers’ Compensation (Concurrent Law Update),” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 21, 2016) (with Jay Gervasi, Richard Harper, and Stewart Poisson).
  38. “Attorney Sparring (Plaintiff’s Perspective),” 2016 Southeastern RIMS Conference (Asheville, North Carolina, September 27, 2016).
  39. "Case Law Update,” North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Educational Conference (October 7, 2016) (Raleigh, North Carolina) (with Bruce Hamilton)
  40. “Fall Conference for Paralegals,” Mountain Magic (North Carolina Advocates for Justice (Asheville, North Carolina, October 14, 2016).
  41. “Differences between Workers’ Compensation in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina,” South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates Convention (Asheville, North Carolina, November 5, 2016).
  42. Program Planner, Moderator, and Presenter, “Appellate Case Law Update,” Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Torts (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, scheduled for December 2, 2016)
  43. “Workers’ Compensation (Concurrent Law Update),” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, 2017) (with Jay Gervasi, Richard Harper, and Stewart Poisson).
  1. “North Carolina Case Law Update,” North Carolina Industrial Commission Educational Conference (October 6, 2017) (Raleigh, North Carolina) (with Bruce Hamilton).
  2. Moderator, “Spotting a Class Action and Taking Action,” North Carolina Advocates for Justice (October 25, 2017) (Raleigh, North Carolina).
  3. Program Planner,  Moderator, and Presenter, “Appellate Case Law Update,” Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Torts (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, December 1, 2017).
  4. “Workers’ Compensation (Concurrent Law Update),” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (with Jay Gervasi, Annemarie Pantazis, and Stewart Poisson).
  5. “Case Law Update,” 23rd Annual North Carolina Industrial Commission Educational Conference (Raleigh, North Carolina, October 12, 2018) (with Bruce Hamilton).
  6. Program Planner, Moderator, and Presenter, “Appellate Case Law Update,” Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, December 7, 2018).
  7. With Professor Lee Peoples (Okla. City Univ. Sch. of Law), “Overview of Changes Proposed by the Restatement 3rd and Introduction to Negligence: Purpose, Elements & Evidence,” Civil Masters in Advocacy (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Greensboro, North Carolina, April 5, 2019).
  8. “Workers’ Compensation Appellate Case Update,” NCAJ Convention (North Carolina Advocates for Justice, June 20, 2019, Wilmington, North Carolina) (with Jay Gervasi and Stewart Poisson).
  9. “Top 10 Issues Between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security,” South Carolina Advocates for Justice Convention 2019 (South Carolina Advocates for Justice, August 1-3, 3019).
  10. With Jon Moore.  Trial Skills: Focus Groups. North Carolina Advocates for Justice (Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 26, 2019) (substituted for William Goldfarb).
  11. Panel discussion with Grady Beard, Marti Bluestein, Shannon Till Poteat, Allison Sullivan, Derrick Williams, “The One Thing I Wish I Knew,” Workers’ Comp Practice Tips from the Pros, South Carolina Bar (Columbia, South Carolina, October 3, 2019)
  12. With Bruce Hamilton.  “Case Law Update,” 24th Annual North Carolina Industrial Commission Educational Conference (Raleigh, North Carolina, October 4, 2019).
  13. Workers’ Compensation Breakout Sessions (North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law), Atlantic Coast Labor Management Conference (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 17, 2019).
  14. Panel discussion, “Preparing and Taking Doctors’ Depositions,” South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates Annual Convention (Asheville, North Carolina, November 9, 2019).
  15. “Workers’ Compensation,” Blue Ridge Safety Council (Shelby, North Carolina, December 5, 2019).
  16. Program Planner, Moderator, and Presenter, “Appellate Case Law Update”, Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation (North Carolina Advocates for Justice) (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, December 6, 2019).
  17. With Richard Harper, Jerri Simmons, and Jeff Kadis.  “Panel Discussion: Extended Compensation under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-29(c).”  Let’s Just All Agree to Disagree: 2019 Workers’ Compensation Annual Mtg. (North Carolina Bar Association) (Greensboro, North Carolina, February 7, 2020).
  18. “Uncompromising the Great Compromise of Workers’ Compensation—New Routes Around the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine,” Southern Trial Lawyers Association Convention (New Orleans, Louisiana, February 24, 2020)
  19. UPCOMING: Appellate Case Law Review, North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Educational Conference (October 2020)

Work Experience

  • The Sumwalt Group Lawyer (2020-present) Charlotte, North Carolina
  • The Sumwalt Law Firm Lawyer (2000-2020) Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Suggs & Kelly, PA Lawyer (1998-2000) Law Clerk (1996-1998) Columbia, South Carolina

Education

  • J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law (1998)
  • B.A. Philosophy and Music, University of Miami (1994)

License & Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina (1998)
  • South Carolina (1998)
  • United States Supreme Court (2017)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (2017)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1999)
  • United States Court of Federal Claims (2017)
  • United States District Court, District of South Carolina (1998)
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina (1998)
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (2005)
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina (2015)