Norris A. Adams, II

How I Can Help

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Claims
Appellate Advocacy
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Class Actions
Construction Law
Employee Benefits
ERISA Litigation
Medical Benefit/Health Insurance Claims
Labor & Employment
Life Insurance Claims
Short and Long-Term Disability Claims
Retirement/Pension Claims

Biography

Norris is a civil litigator with a practice emphasis on ERISA litigation. He regularly represents clients in ERISA matters at both the administrative level and in federal court, including short- and long-term disability benefit claims, retirement and pension benefit claims, all levels of health benefit coverage denial claims, life insurance claims, accidental death and dismemberment claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and other employee benefit matters. Norris is a frequent speaker and lecturer on ERISA and related issues at continuing legal education conferences all across the country. He has also written numerous articles and book chapters for a wide range of professional publications on various ERISA topics.

Norris’ practice also focuses on appellate advocacy, class actions, construction litigation, catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death, labor and employment, and general business litigation. He has successfully tried numerous bench and jury trials, and regularly appears in all state and federal courts, both at the trial court and appellate levels.

Norris also serves as General Counsel to the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police (NCFOP).  The NCFOP is comprised of over 6,000 law enforcement officers and 57 lodges from across the state, and is the largest law enforcement organization in the State of North Carolina.

Prior to joining Essex Richards more than a decade ago, Norris served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Stephen C. St. John, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, Virginia. Before that, he received his juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was a member of the Moot Court Executive Board and received the Order of the Barristers upon graduation. Norris received his Bachelor of Arts from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where he double majored in Political Science and History and received the Sarah Virginia Hackney Award of Excellence upon graduation.

Norris is a native Carolinian but grew up all over the east coast and in England. He is an avid sports fan and long-suffering Redskins and Demon Deacons fan. His wife, Julie, is also a practicing attorney in Charlotte. Norris and Julie are members of Myers Park United Methodist Church.

Education

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, Juris Doctorate
    • Moot Court (2002-04)
    • Moot Court Executive Council (2003-04)
    • Student Trial Bar (2001-04)
    • Legal Research & Writing Teaching Assistant (2002-03)
    • Appellate Advocacy Teaching Assistant (2003-04)
  • Campbell University, Bachelor of Arts
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Sarah Virginia Hackney Award of Excellence (Top graduating student in Government & History majors)
    • Trans America Athletic Conference (“TAAC”) All-Conference Academic Team (men’s tennis) (1997-2000)
    • Honor Societies: Phi Kappa Phi; Epsilon Pi Eta; Alpha Phi Sigma; Pi Gamma Mu; Alpha Iota Alpha chapter of Phi Alpha Theta; Presidential Scholars

Thought Leadership

Recent and Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Conference: Managing Client Expectations, My Greatest Successes, Sunset Beach, North Carolina (June 19, 2017).
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Appellate Advocacy: Winning Your Case through Persuasive Writing, Charlotte, North Carolina (March 15, 2016).
  • American Conference Institute’s 18th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims (Contractual Limitations Periods in the Post-Heimeshoff Era), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (January 21-22, 2016).
  • American Conference Institute’s 17th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims (Vocational Issues in Disability Claims), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (January 22-23, 2015).
  • American Conference Institute’s 7th National Forum on ERISA Litigation (Selected Issues in Benefit Claims Litigation), Chicago, Illinois (April 28-29, 2014).
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Continuing Legal Education, Disbursements 2014: Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just the Messenger (ERISA Liens), Greensboro, North Carolina (February 28, 2014).
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Continuing Legal Education, Disbursements 2014: Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just the Messenger (ERISA Liens), Raleigh, North Carolina (January 24, 2014).
  • American Conference Institute’s 6th National Forum on ERISA Litigation (Accidental Death & Dismemberment Claims), New York, New York (October 25-26, 2013).
  • American Conference Institute’s 5th National Forum on ERISA Litigation (Plaintiff’s Perspective on Selected ERISA Benefit Claim Issues), New York, New York (October 29-30, 2012).

Recent Publications

  • Contractual Limitations Periods in the Post-Heimeshoff Era: Case Law Update 2014-2016, ACI 18th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims (January 21, 2016).
  • Inside the Minds: Protecting Retirees Health Care Benefits: Leading Lawyers on Negotiating Costs, Preventing Discrimination, and Ensuring Quality Medical Coverage, Thomson Reuters Aspatore Books (published August 2015).
  • Vocational Issues in Disability Claims: Case Law Update 2014-2015, ACI 17th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims (January 22, 2015).
  • Supreme Court Ruling Limits Lawsuits Over Benefits, Charlotte Business Journal (May 23, 2014).
  • New Supreme Court Ruling Affects Statute of Limitations in ERISA Employee Benefit Claims, Lawyers Mutual Risk Perspective (January 22, 2014).
  • New Supreme Court Ruling Affects Statute of Limitations in ERISA Employee Benefit Claims, NCAJ Practice Alert (December 19, 2013).
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Policies: Case Law update 2012-2013, American Conference Institute’s 6th National Forum on ERISA Litigation (October 25, 2013).
  • Challenging the Reliability and Import of Independent Medical Reviews in the Wake of Glenn v. MetLife, ABA Tort & Trial Insurance Practice (Fall 2009 Issue).
  • Hang Up And Drive, Or Pay the Price, Charlotte Observer (February 19, 2009).

Representative Work

Fourth Circuit ERISA decisions

  • Carroll v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., No. 16-1152, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7119 (4th Cir. Apr. 24, 2017).
  • Wilkinson v. Sun Life Health and Ins. Co., No. 15-2105, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 201 (4th Cir. Jan. 5, 2017).
  • Cosey v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., et al., No. 12-2360, 735 F.3d 161 (4th Cir. Nov. 12, 2013). 
  • Vincent v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 11-1048, 440 Fed. Appx. 227 (4th Cir. July 26, 2011), pet. reh’g denied Aug. 23, 2011.

U.S. District Court ERISA decisions

  • E.W., et al. v. IBM Medical and Dental Benefit Plans for Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Employees, No. 5:16-cv-504, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46377 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 29, 2017).
  • E.W., et al. v. IBM Medical and Dental Benefit Plans for Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Employees, No. 5:16-cv-504, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51946 (E.D.N.C. Feb. 15, 2017).
  • West, et al. v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-502, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152000 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 11, 2016).
  • Carroll v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-693, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10214 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 28, 2016).
  • Wilkinson v. Sun Life Health and Ins. Co., 5:13-cv-87, 127 F.Supp.3d 545 (W.D.N.C. Sept. 1, 2015).
  • Carroll v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., 3:13-cv-693, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175565 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 31, 2015).
  • Patterson v. BB&T Corp. Health Care Plan, et al., No. 1:14-cv-641, ECF Doc. No. 20 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 13, 2014).
  • Sizer v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., No. 3:10-cv-496, ECF Doc. No. 41 (W.D.N.C. Feb. 4, 2013).
  • Cosey v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., et al., No. 1:11-cv-121, 900 F.Supp.2d 640 (M.D.N.C. Sept. 30, 2012).
  • Vincent v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 3:07-cv-240, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123780 (W.D.N.C. Oct. 25, 2011).
  • Vincent v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 3:07-cv-240, 733 F.Supp.2d 729 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 24, 2010).
  • Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc., et al. v. Brooks Food Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:07-cv-14, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5030 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 18, 2008).

ERISA Class Actions

  • West, et al. v. Continental Automotive, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-502, ECF Doc. No. 45, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS —- (W.D.N.C June 7, 2017).
  • Edwards v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. et al, No. 1:15-cv-75ECF Doc. No. 34 (M.D. Ga. Aug. 31, 2016). 
  • Cecil, et al. v. Hinshaw, et al., No. 1:15-cv-409, ECF Doc. No. 26 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 25, 2015).

Other Sorted Federal and Appellate Decisions

  • Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rex Venture Group, LLC, et al., No. 3:12-cv-519, ECF Doc. No. 462 (W.D.N.C. Dec. 16, 2015) (representing third party NxSystems, Inc.).
  • Hatley v. City of Charlotte, No. 3:10-cv-423, ECF Doc. No. 46 (W.D.N.C. July 30, 2012).
  • Hatley v. City of Charlotte, No. 3:10-cv-423, 826 F.Supp.2d 890 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 28, 2011).
  • Ross, et al. v. Flo Foods, Inc., et al., No. 3:10-cv-356, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86382 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 4, 2011).
  • Premier Plastic Surgery Center, et al., v. Bd. of Adjust. for the Town of Matthews, et al., No. COA 10-863, 213 N.C. App. 364, 713 S.E.2d 511 (N.C. Ct. App. July 19, 2011).
  • Eckstein v. Lowe’s Companies, Inc., et al., No. 5:09-cv-95, ECF Doc. No. 128 (W.D.N.C. Dec. 15, 2010).
  • Marsh v. CBS Media Corp., et al., No. 09-2159, 397 Fed. Appx. 904 (4th Cir. Oct. 7, 2010) (representing third party University Psychological Associates).
  • Sloop, et al. v. City of Charlotte, No. 3:10-cv-144, ECF Doc. No. 13 (W.D.N.C. June 10, 2010).
  • Kaiser-Flores v. Lowe’s Companies, Inc., et al., No. 5:08-cv-45, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28300 (W.D.N.C. Dec. 2, 2009).

Amicus

  • Tully v. City of Wilmington, No. 348A16 (N.C. Sup. Ct. Jan. 17, 2017).
  • N.C. Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Ledford, 794 S.E.2d 527 (N.C. Sup. Ct. Dec. 22, 2016).
  • Brewington v. N.C. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, et al., No. COA 16-913 (N.C. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2016).

Professional Recognition

Associations & Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina (2004)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Fourth Circuit (2008)
  • U.S. District Court
    • Western District of North Carolina (2004)
    • Middle District of North Carolina (2006)
    • Eastern District of North Carolina (2006)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court
    • Western District of North Carolina (2006)
    • Middle District of North Carolina (2006)
    • Eastern District of North Carolina (2006)

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • Mecklenburg County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Justice Bobbitt Inn of Court

What Norris' Clients Say...

I know that calling Norris changed my son’s life – we had reached the end of what we knew how to do, and Norris took care of the rest.

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