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


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 matters, 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. He also regularly handles individual disability income claims and other insurance coverage matters.

Norris is a frequent speaker and lecturer on ERISA and related issues at continuing legal education conferences all over the country. He has also written numerous articles and book chapters for a wide range of professional publications on various ERISA topics. Norris has been recognized as one of Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Thomson Reuters' North Carolina Super Lawyers and Business Super Lawyers, and U.S. News and World Report's Best Lawyers in America. 

Norris’ practice also focuses on appellate advocacy, class actions, 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.

Prior to joining Essex Richards almost fifteen years 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.  He likes to think he is Judge St. John's all-time favorite law clerk, but that claim is not only unsubstantiated, but highly doubtful. Before that, he received his juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was a teaching assistant, a member of the Moot Court Executive Board, and received the Order of the Barristers from the faculty upon graduation. Norris received his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Campbell University, 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 for three years. He is an avid sports fan and long-suffering Washington Redskins and Wake Forest Demon Deacons fan. He enjoys playing tennis, basketball, and yelling at TV. His wife, Julie, is also a practicing attorney in Charlotte. Norris and Julie are members of Myers Park United Methodist Church.

    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.

      What Norris' Clients Say......

      My husband and I have had the pleasure of working with Norris Adams a number of times. He assisted us with several legal issues over the last number of years. Norris is a very professional lawyer who shows compassion for his clients. He is trustworthy, hardworking and always fights for what is right. We highly recommend Norris Adams! He's a great lawyer and a great person, as more
      Mary Kingston Bishop
      22:08 02 Feb 18
      If we ever have a legal problem, we want attorney Norris Adams from the firm of Essex Richards in Charlotte and his winning legal team by our side and you should want them too! My wife suffers from mental disorders. The company she worked for began covering her disability benefits then stopped. I had no idea what to do. I tried to get help from one attorney but it did not work out. I began to panic because I was running out of time to get help. Then through a miracle I was referred to attorney Norris Adams. As a mental health care giver, I am on a roller coaster that is constantly moving so fast. Anyone who knows a family member suffering with mental disorders understands just how difficult the roller coaster can be. So I was relieved when in a heartbeat Mr. Adams came to us. He met us at a doctor’s office in a safe space where my wife was comfortable meeting a new face. In record time, Mr. Adams and his team went above and beyond to get my wife’s disability benefits reinstated. Through Mr. Adams and his legal team’s diligence, excellence, and hard work putting together a lot of medical documents in a very short time, we won! She now affectionately calls Mr. Adams “A Protector.” Our family is so grateful that we can now provide for her with the care and dignity she deserves. Win or lose, attorney Norris Adams and the Essex Richards’ legal team are exceptional! Thank you a million times. Dennis Tintoread more
      Dennis Tinto
      22:12 28 Jan 18
      Stop looking. Today is your lucky day. If you are in need for the best, you have succeeded! Norris Adams and team took on my case and won after a long battle, appeal after appeal all the way to the 4th circuit court. It took years but I did not have to do a thing except not worry and leave it all in their capable hands. I cannot say enough about Mr. Adams’s knowledge of law and the court system, exceptional litigating skills and kind personality. He not only attained a financial victory for us but stopped my insurance company from committing another injustice. Insurance companies, watch out. With Norris Adams on your side you will have the best and will bless the day he accepted your more
      Stephen Wilkinson
      23:17 27 Jan 18
      My wife and I were caught is a very strange financial situation which required professional help. Our son was to go through a very extensive jaw surgery from a growth disorder, and our insurance carrier was being difficult in agreeing to cover that major procedure. We were not able to get prior approval in time and had to pay out of pocket for the surgery which should have been covered by our health insurance carrier from the beginning under our plan. With no place to turn, we contacted our local legal firm to seek advice on what to do, as we were not able to cover this bill and felt our health coverage should have. Our local attorneys, Sugg, Summrell, Carmichael, Hicks & Hart looked into the matter. They thought it be best to refer this case to a firm that specializes in this type of litigation. They referred us to Norris Adams, Essex Richards PA in Charlotte. We quickly made contact with Norris and his team in Charlotte, N.C. who reviewed and accepted our case. Their team worked diligently for us over several months and kept us fully informed after each communication with the carrier. With much determination, in the end, he was successful and won the case against our carrier through mediation and the claim was eventually paid by our health insurance carrier. What a relief it was to my family from a financial standpoint, and also a moral standpoint in knowing that our health care company could not just choose not honor our paid plan by creating an overflow of red tape and duplication of records from various doctors. Without providing the detail in dollars, we were happy with the full settlement from the carrier which was 6 to 7 times the fee for legal service from Norris Adams. We all felt that the legal services were VERY reasonable and fair for the amount work they provided to us. We have recommended Norris Adams to several people in our area since that time and will use him again if need more
      Jim Hoffman
      00:18 27 Jan 18
      I was deemed disabled in 2010, a couple years in, the disability company refused to pay on claim (that I paid for while employed). I talked to several attorneys and was unable to find anyone to assist me with a claim. I contacted Noris Adams and was pleasantly surprised when he was happy to assist me with my claim. His team was exceptional, responding promptly to any questions and taking the time I needed to understand. Since then, the disability company has paid in full on the claim. I am forever grateful to Norris and his team for their expertise and compassion. I could not recommend them enough! Thank you, Victoria Pressley Charlotte, NCread more
      Victoria Pressley
      12:32 27 Jan 18
      Norris Adams is a rock star: the epitome of an attorney you want representing you. A credit to the legal profession, Norris represented me with the thorough research, diligence, and intelligence for which the case called, and there was something else as well... Never expecting to find myself in a dispute with my long term, admired employer, I approached Norris with more than just the facts, but also with a sense of betrayal. His compassion was evident as he advised and skillfully led me through the iterations of stating our case, making our request, and successful mediation which left me feeling more charitable towards my employer solely by virtue of his hard work on my behalf. I have tremendous gratitude for Norris Adams’ representation and am confident that you, too, will benefit from his hard work, intelligence, negotiation skills, and common more
      Pamela May
      22:38 26 Feb 18
      Approximately two years ago my wife lost her job of over 30 years due to a disability. We tried to resolve this issue ourselves with her employer, hoping that they would be fair and do the right thing. We found out quickly that her employer and the insurance company they use to handle such matters were not interested in doing the right thing. Fortunately for us, we found Norris Adams and his wonderful staff at the Essex Richards Law Firm. During our first meeting with Norris he listened to our ramblings and despair. He was calm, understanding and patient. He was also very honest with us. Norris let us know that employment law was complicated and not always written with the employee's best interest in mind. But he also told us that he felt like he could help us. He told us we would need to be patient because these types of cases can take a long time to be resolved. Norris never made any promises but he did give us hope and we left his office with a sense of calm. During the almost two years that we fought this battle, Norris and his staff kept us informed of everything that was happening. There were a few times when we thought about throwing in the towel, but Norris convinced us to stay the course. We are so glad we did because my wife was approved for the long term disability benefits that she deserves. To anyone who finds themselves in need of legal assistance dealing with employment/disability issues, we highly recommend Norris Adams and the staff at the Essex Richards Law more
      Doug Patterson
      15:38 18 Mar 18
      Extremely pleased with all the professionals at Essex Richards! My husband was denied long term disability by the insurance company from his former employer. Norris Adams and his team went out of their way to understand our problem and put together an appeal package that reversed the insurance company decision immediately. His team's efforts resulted in an indescribable positive impact on our family. Now our future doesn't look so bleak. Thank you Norris and Tona!read more
      Budman BB
      22:35 27 Nov 18
      We never would of been able to obtain the funds owed to us by a large corporation without the extremely high level of legal expertise and professionalism shown by Norris Adams and Team. We are forever grateful for more
      Sharon Wiwel
      18:07 01 Apr 19
      After being turned down by one attorney and attempting to represent myself in the appeal process I came to the realization I needed a good attorney. Acting on a recommendation from a friend I contacted Essex Richards. I met with two of their attorneys specializing in the area of law needed to peruse my case. The step was to review my case to indeed insure that I did have a case. Already feeling somewhat dismayed that I may not have a case Norris Adams, after reviewing documentation informed me that I did indeed have a case and that pursuing the case was in order. Mr. Adams was always approachable and showed the utmost professionalism throughout all conversations and negations. Mr. Adams did everything with his power to make sure that I was comfortable with what my legal team was doing and that what they were perusing was the best way to go. For anyone needing an attorney specializing in Mr. Adams area of law, willing to go the distance and displaying the tenacity to win, I high recommend Norris more
      Robert House
      15:22 03 May 17