Service and Excellence Awards
Each year we are proud to present the specialization awards based on nominations that we receive from board certified specialists. Your input is very important in this process and we hope that you will take a moment to nominate a colleague. The awards are defined below along with links to the nomination forms.
Annual Specialists Luncheon - Mark Your Calendar
The 2020 Annual Specialists Luncheon was cancelled due to public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Any award nominations that were submitted will be carried over for consideration in 2021. Thank you for your understanding and stay safe.
The Sara H. Davis Excellence Award
Nominations for this award are accepted from North Carolina certified specialists. The award is presented to a certified specialist who exemplifies excellence in his/her daily work as an attorney and serves as a model for other lawyers. Special consideration is given for a long and consistent record of handling challenging matters successfully, for sharing knowledge and experience with other lawyers, for earning the respect and admiration of all others with whom the lawyer comes into contact in his/her daily work, and for high ethical standards.
The James E. Cross Jr. Leadership Award
Nominations for this award are accepted from members of the North Carolina State Bar who have worked closely with the nominee. The award is presented to a certified specialist who has taken an active leadership role in his/her practice area through presentations at CLE seminars, scholarly writings, participation in groundbreaking cases, or service to an established professional organization.
The Howard L. Gum Service Award
This award is given to a specialty committee member who consistently excels in completing committee tasks. The recipient is highly dedicated to legal specialization, donates his/her time to committee responsibilities, and responds to the needs of the staff and the Board, in exemplary fashion. Nominations can only be accepted from committee members.
Past Award Recipients
2019 – Angela Doughty, trademark law
2018 – Rose Stout, family law
2017 - James B. Angell, business bankruptcy law
2016 - Albert F. Durham, business bankruptcy law
2015 - Ken A. Shanklin, real property law
2014 - Henry N. Patterson, Jr., workers’ compensation law
2013 - John W. Narron, family law
2012 - Nancy S. Ferguson, real property law
2011 - Marcia H. Armstrong, family law
2010 - W. Timothy Haithcock, workers’ compensation law
2009 - Lana Starnes Warlick, family law
2008 - J. Kirk Osborn, criminal law
2007 - Mason T. Hogan, social security law
2006 - Maria M. Lynch, estate planning/probate law
2019 – Matt Cordell, privacy and information security law
2018 – Leonard “Lennie” Jernigan, workers' compensation law
2017 - Steven H. Garfinkel, immigration law
2016 - Ann Robertson, immigration law
2015 - James Wade Harrison, family law
2014 - Margaret S. Burhnam, real property law
2013 - Judge John M. Tyson, real property law
2012 - Justice Robert H. Edmunds, criminal and appellate law
2011 - Vernon R. Sumwalt, workers’ compensation law
2010 - Charles T. Hall, social security law
2009 - R. Woody Harrison, real property law
2008 - Terri L. Gardner, bankruptcy law
2007 - Robin J. Stinson, family law
2006 - Joseph B. Cheshire V., criminal law
2019 – Tom Fulghum, immigration law
2018 – Robert “Bert” Kemp, criminal law
2017 - Henry C. Campen, utilities law
2016 - Julie C. Boyer, juvenile delinquency law
2015 - John J. Korzen, appellate practice
2014 - Matthew J. Ladenheim, trademark law
2013 - Robert A. Ponton, family law
2012 - Elizabeth B. Scherer, appellate law
2011 - Charles W. Coltrane, family law
2010 - Kate A. Mewhinney, elder law
2009 - William “Ned” Manning, real property law
2008 - Jaye P. Meyer, family law
2007 - Thomas C. Manning, criminal law
2006 - Christine L. Myatt, bankruptcy law
The Sara H. Davis Excellence Award was named for Sara Davis, who was in the first class of applicants to become board certified in both business and consumer bankruptcy law in 1987. She joined the Board of Legal Specialization the following year and served two full terms until 1994, including a three year term as chair.
The James E. Cross Jr. Leadership Award was named for Jim Cross, who was among the first to become board certified in real property law. Soon after, he was appointed to the Board of Legal Specialization. He served on the board for six years, assuming a leadership role as chair for his last three years of service.
The Howard L. Gum Service Award was named for Howard Gum, who served on the Family Law Specialty Committee for six years then on the Board of Legal Specialization for an additional six years, and chaired the board for most of his second term.