Chris Jackson is a versatile litigator and trial attorney whose practice is focused on complex commercial disputes and tort matters, including the defense of product liability, medical malpractice, and general liability claims. Chris has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts, and in various other forums, having obtained favorable results in cases decided on written submissions alone, jury trials and arbitrations, and even small-claims disputes.
Chris has gained substantial insight into the litigation process, and how to optimize client outcomes, based in large part on the diversity of claims that he has handled. In his products liability practice, Chris has advocated on behalf of manufacturers and distributors of a wide range of products, including household appliances, medical devices, prescription drugs, construction equipment, and building supplies. His work in medical malpractice defense and insurance-defense afforded him significant opportunities early in his legal career to manage cases as a first- and second-chair lawyer, develop meaningful client relationships, depose critical witnesses, and argue motions in state and federal courts.
Representing doctors and other healthcare providers is also personal to Chris. Both of his parents were career healthcare providers, which showed him the dedication required and the challenges presented by this work.
Chris received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and was admitted into the Order of the Coif. While in law school, he was an Executive Editor on the Wake Forest Law Review, a member of the moot court board, and a research assistant. Chris also volunteered his time while in law school by serving as a guardian ad litem through the Forsyth County court system.
Before attending law school, Chris worked as a paralegal outside of Boston, assisting in the representation of banks through foreclosure proceedings during the height of the mortgage crisis. Through that experience, he observed that the job of advancing a client’s interests must always be done through civility and integrity. This is a lesson that he seeks to apply to his legal practice every day.
In his free time, Chris is a competitive distance runner. He has completed numerous marathons and twice finished in the top one percent of the field at the Boston Marathon, including a personal best of 2:43:23 in 2017. He brings that same competitive drive and energy to the workplace.
- J.D., Wake Forest University, 2011
- Honors: magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Dean’s Scholarship Recipient
- Wake Forest Law Review, Executive Editor; Law Review Award for Outstanding Student Publication
- Moot Court: Board Member; Participant in August A. Rendigs, Jr. National Products Liability Competition
- B.A., Boston College, 2005
- Honors: cum laude
- Varsity Crew Team
- North Carolina
- Eastern District of North Carolina
- Middle District of North Carolina
- Western District of North Carolina
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Rose Council, Wake Forest University School of Law (Young Alumni Board)
- Chair (2016—2017)
- Vice-Chair (2015—2016)
- Board Member / Executive Committee Member (2012—2016)
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Litigation Section Council (2016—2018)
- Liaison – Young Lawyer Division & Litigation Section (2016—2017)
- Defense Research Institute
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- Defended physicians through jury and bench trials that resulted in a defense verdicts and awards.
- Obtained summary judgment for product manufacturer in wrongful-death suit alleging negligent design, successor liability, and fraud.
- Obtained summary judgment for educational institution on claims of Title IX violations, negligence, and unfair trade practices.
- Drafted briefs used to exclude expert testimony in complex business dispute resulting in eight-figure reduction in potential damages against client.
- Obtained complete defense award with order for payment of fees in arbitration proceeding on behalf of custom homebuilder.
- Managed various aspects of client’s response following claims of product failures, including internal investigation, reporting to CPSC, and oversight of expert testing.
- Advised healthcare providers through investigations by the North Carolina Medical Board and, North Carolina Board of Nursing, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Defended manufacturers of medical devices in national litigation.
- “What’s New and What’s Next in Opioid Painkiller Litigation,” DRI – Rx for the Defense, Jan. 2017 (republished in DRI Health Law Update, July 2017)
- “When Less is More: Drafting Enforceable Arbitration Provisions,” Notes Bearing Interest, February 2014
- “The Courts Remain Open for Business in Trying Times – Lessons from Sequestration and Shutdown,” The Middle Ground, October 2013
- “Taking Duty Home,” Wake Forest Law Review (2011)
Awards and Honors
- Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (2020 – 2021)
- Business North Carolina, Legal Elite – Young Guns (2015—2017, 2019-2021); Litigation (2020)
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Civil Litigation (2017—2020)
- International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy Graduate (2015)
- Ellis & Winters Named to 2021 “Best Lawyers in America” List
- Ellis & Winters Attorneys Recognized As 2020 North Carolina Super Lawyers®
- Eight Ellis & Winters Attorneys Named to 2019 Legal Elite
- Ellis & Winters Attorneys Play Major Role in Obtaining Summary Judgment in a Wrongful Death Product Liability and Successor Liability Case in Federal Court in North Carolina
- Twenty-Two Ellis & Winters Lawyers Named to 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers