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Overview

Jeff is a trial lawyer in the litigation group at Ellis & Winters. His national litigation practice includes medical malpractice defense, product liability defense, and the defense of educational and religious institutions. Jeff also has extensive experience representing public officials in 42 U.S.C § 1983 litigation, and regularly advises law enforcement officers throughout North Carolina on matters arising under the United States and North Carolina constitutions. In addition to appearing in court, Jeff represents licensed professionals in the course of investigations by their occupational licensing authorities.

Jeff prides himself on his ability to tailor litigation strategies to fit a client’s goals and limitations. Over the years, Jeff has resolved cases in a variety of ways, ranging from ranging from negotiated pre-trial settlements through aggressive trial litigation. Fundamentally, Jeff’s approach is about empowering the client to make decisions. He does not push a client towards a particular solution if it is not aligned with their goals and preferences. If a client wants to fight a case, Jeff will diligently advocate on their behalf and provide the tools to help clients make an informed decision.

Representing a wide array of clients across a variety of fields, Jeff is known for his willingness to immerse himself into a subject and quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved. Using this skill, Jeff has developed a national reputation as an authority on unique and understudied areas of constitutional law, and he has successfully litigated multiple issues of first impression arising under the North Carolina Constitution. Jeff’s research has been cited by practitioners of constitutional litigation in multiple jurisdictions, and Jeff has given lectures to attorneys across the Southeast.  Jeff’s cases have often been covered by the media, and he has been quoted in front-page articles published by the Raleigh News and Observer.  As part of his constitutional litigation practice, Jeff has deposed elected officials, chiefs of police, agency heads, and town and city managers.

In addition to his litigation practice, Jeff assists clients in preparing legislation and achieving their objectives in state government. Jeff is relied upon by his clients to meet with legislators and explain nuanced issues of law to them and their committees, and Bills authored by Jeff have been introduced and passed in the North Carolina General Assembly with bipartisan support. Jeff also helps clients conduct political candidate screening to assist them in electing candidates that align with their legislative goals.  

Prior to joining Ellis & Winters, Jeff was a litigator with a national law firm and his practice included high-end premises liability and catastrophic loss in addition to his current practice mix. Before beginning private practice, Jeff served as a Judicial Extern for Judge Lucy Inman at the North Carolina Court of Appeals and for Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

A graduate of Rhodes College, Jeff received his B.A. in History, cum laude, and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Rhodes Historical Review. Jeff earned his J.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was the Sarah Graham Kenan Scholarship recipient and inducted into the Order of the Barristers for outstanding performance in appellate advocacy. At both universities, Jeff was president of his graduating class.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, 2018
    • Order of the Barristers
    • President, Class of 2018
  • B.A., Rhodes College, 2014
    • cum laude 

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina

Court Admissions

  • Western District of North Carolina
  • Middle District of North Carolina
  • Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • 10th Judicial District Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Division, Pro Bono Co-Chair
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section
    • Litigation Section
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Medical Malpractice Practice Group
    • General Liability Practice Group
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
    • Civil Rights Section
    • Federal Litigation Section

Publications/Presentations

Awards/Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Medical Malpractice Law (2023, 2024)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, Professional Liability, Rising Stars, (2022-2024)