Attorney Gary W. Jackson of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

“At its core, law is about representing people, helping people, understanding people, and having empathy. And that’s what is so gratifying to me.”

- Gary W. Jackson**


Best Lawyers for Gary W. Jackson 2021 Logo

Named to “Best Lawyers”4 list for Litigation by Best Lawyers, 2020-2024

American Bar Foundation Fellows Logo

Fellow, American Bar Foundation3

Super Lawyers Gary W. Jackson 10 years logo

Named a “Super Lawyer”4 by Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2021

Attorney Gary W. Jackson**

Gary Jackson** joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2017. He is a formidable trial lawyer and a natural leader. He has served as president of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and has held leadership positions in several other national and state organizations.

Returning to North Carolina to Fight for Those Who Have Been Wronged

Gary, a Blue Devil who earned both his undergraduate degree and J.D. from Duke University, started his law career on the West Coast. He clerked for a federal judge and was later recruited by one of the largest law firms in the U.S., which sent him to the prestigious Harvard Negotiation Program before utilizing his skills in its New York offices. Gary also participated in pro bono efforts to help the families of 9/11 victims through the federal Victims’ Compensation Fund.

Gary eventually tired of the northern winters and returned to practice law in North Carolina. He sharpened his trial skills at a large defense firm litigating R.J. Reynolds Tobacco cases. It was there that Gary “further developed his professional conscience.” Soon, Gary began to consider leaving the corporate defense side and working on behalf of individual plaintiffs.

“I remember thinking, I’d rather be happy with what I do.”

Gary joined a Charlotte plaintiffs’ firm and became the lead attorney on cases involving defective synthetic stucco that was causing homes to rot. However, the firm decided after a year that it no longer wanted to devote time and resources to the cases.

Gary strongly disagreed – he wanted to fight for the homeowners so he took the synthetic stucco cases to another law firm, where he kept building evidence against the manufacturers and builders. Gary even took a leap of faith and cashed out his 401(k) to keep the cases afloat.

These cases numbered in the hundreds, and they settled for substantial sums.1 But it wasn’t about the money for Gary. It was about fighting for the rights of those who have been wronged.

Earning Well-Deserved Recognition

With more than 40 years of experience as a successful litigator trying multiple multimillion dollar cases, Gary is a recognized name throughout the legal community of North Carolina and beyond.1 He has been frequently asked to speak throughout the country at educational programs for lawyers, and he has regularly authored articles addressing current legal trends and developments.

From 2020 to 2023, Gary was selected by his peers for inclusion on the Best Lawyers in America “Best Lawyers” list for Litigation.4 North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine has honored Gary on the “Super Lawyer” list every year from 2006-2023 for Class Actions and Mass Torts.4

Since 2011, Gary has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, which accepts only 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. He is a charter fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and holds an AV pre-eminent rating (their highest peer-review rating) from Martindale-Hubbell.4

Gary was invited by noted trial lawyer Gerry Spence to his nationally acclaimed Trial Lawyers College on his Wyoming ranch in 2012. This unique institution is dedicated to helping lawyers and judges “obtain justice for individuals; the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression.”5

Throughout his law career, Gary has tried cases in the areas of consumer protection, construction litigation, business litigation, class actions, mass torts, products liability, medical negligence, nursing home negligence, estate disputes, and whistleblower claims. Gary has often been tapped by other law firms as co-counsel on tough cases.

Relaxing Back at Home

Gary claims that his two sons, who were adopted from Russia when they were a few months old, keep him young. When he’s not in the courthouse or at the office, he can often be found spending time reading, traveling, following politics, cooking, and watching sports events with the oldest at their Durham home near Duke’s East campus.

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Licensed In

  • North Carolina
  • New York

Practice Area


  • “Best Lawyers in America” list4 for Litigation, 2020 – 2024
  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society Inductee, 2020
  • Mass Tort MDL Program Certificate, Duke University School of Law, Bolch Judicial Institute, 2019
  • North Carolina “Super Lawyers”4 for Class Actions/Mass Torts, 2006–2023
  • North Carolina Open Government Coalition, Sunshine Award for Advocacy, 2015
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers “Top 100 Lawyers in North Carolina,”4 2013–15
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers “Top 25 Lawyers in Charlotte,”4 2013 and 2015
  • Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” list4 2003, 2004, 2008, 2013
  • Fellow4, American Bar Foundation – limited to 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Charter Fellow, 2006-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating4
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Kelly Crabtree Award, 2011
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Ebbie Award, 2009


  • American Association for Justice
    • Co-Chair, Construction Defects Litigation Group, 2002–present
    • Member, Public Affairs Committee, 2006–2008
    • Member, Publications Committee, 2007–2009
    • Business Torts Section
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
    • President, 2011–2012
    • Executive Committee, 2007–2013
    • Vice President at-Large, 2010–2011
    • Vice President – Education, 2007–2010
    • Board of Governors, 2006 –2013
    • Chair, Consumer Areas of Practice Litigation Group, 2003–2005
    • Professional Negligence, Consumer Areas of Practice sections
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association
    • Board of Governors, 2006–present
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Chair, Litigation Section, 2002–2003
    • Chair, International Section, 1994–1995
    • Tort Reform Task Force, Member, 2003–present, Co-Chair, 2005–2007
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud
  • Durham County Bar Association
  • Master, William Bobbitt Inn of Court, Program Chair, 2003–2005

Bar Memberships:

  • North Carolina State Bar, 1987
  • New York State Bar, 1985
  • California State Bar, 1979*
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th and 4th Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts (Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina; Eastern, Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California; Southern and Eastern Districts of New York)
  • International Trade Commission (1994)

Classes & Seminars

  • “lncivility: I Know It When I See It – Double Standards that Plaintiff Lawyers Face,” STLA Presentation, February 2019, New Orleans (Speaker)
  • “The Strategies Defense Lawyers Use to Rattle Your Cage and Sabotage Your Premises Liability Case,” Connectionology Seminar, June 2018, Charlotte, NC (Speaker)
  • “Courthouse Lockout: The Indomitable March of Compulsory Arbitration.” STLA Annual Meeting, February 2013, New Orleans (Speaker)
  • “Adapt or Perish: Seizing New Opportunities in Challenging Times,” Alabama Association for Justice Mid-Winter Conference, January 2013, Birmingham (Speaker)
  • “Expert Witnesses: Competing Views from the Plaintiff and Defense Lawyers’ Perspectives,” NCBA Annual Meeting, June 2010, Wilmington, NC (Speaker)
  • Civil Masters Program, NCAJ Annual Convention, June 2010, Wilmington, NC (Chair)
  • “Business Court: A Primer for Trial Lawyers,” South Carolina Association of Trial Lawyers, August 2008, Hilton Head, SC (Speaker)
  • “Civility is not a One Way Street,” Ohio Association for Justice Annual Meeting, May 2008, Columbus, Ohio (Speaker)
  • “Incivility: I know it When I See it – Double Standards that Plaintiff Lawyers Face,” AAJ Convention, January 2008, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Speaker)
  • “A Steep Uphill Battle: Representing Homeowners, Consumers, and Policyholders in North Carolina,” NCATL Annual Convention, June 2007 (Speaker)
  • “Litigation Incivility: I Think I Know It When I See It,” Litigation Counsel of America Annual Meeting, June 2007, New York, NY (Speaker)
  • All-Star Panel, “Litigating Complex Cases in the NC Business Court,” NCBA Antitrust Annual Meeting, May 2007 (Panelist)
  • “Litigating Construction Defect Cases,” PESI Absolute Business Torts, Litigation Conference, March 2007, Las Vegas, NV (Speaker)
  • “Successful Prosecution of Construction Defect Cases in the Age of Tort Reform,” AAJ Annual Convention, 2007, Chicago, IL (Speaker)
  • “Prosecuting Class Actions in Arbitration,” Litigation at Sunrise, ATLA Annual Convention, July 2006, Seattle, WA (Speaker)
  • “North Carolina’s Predatory Lending Laws: An Introduction,” NCATL Annual Convention, June 2006 (Moderator)
  • “If You Build It They Will Come: Litigating Construction and Mold Cases,” STLA Annual Conference, February 2006, New Orleans, LA (Speaker)
  • “Construction Defects in a Nutshell,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Workhorse Seminar, February 2006, Orlando, FL (Speaker)
  • “How to Spot the Sick Building Case: A Primer in Contamination and Defect,” ATLA Mid-Year Convention, February 2004, Orlando, FL (Speaker)
  • “Evaluating Toxic Mold Cases: A Primer,” NCATL Mountain Magic, October 2003, (Speaker)
  • “Professionalism, Civility and the Practice of Law: Are They Related?,” ATLA Annual Convention, July 2003, San Francisco, CA (Speaker)
  • “Bad Buildings and Mold — Tying It All Together,” ATLA’s Litigating Toxic Mold Cases, June 2003, Chicago, IL (Speaker)
  • “Construction Defects in 2002,” Mealey’s Conference, October 2002, Atlanta, GA (Speaker)
  • “Roundtable Discussion with Superior Court Judges,” NCBA Annual Meeting, June 2002 (Program Planner)
  • “Analyzing and Proving Construction Damages in North Carolina,” Lorman Education Series, May 2002 (Speaker)
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of Products Liability Litigation,” NCATL, May 2002 (Speaker)
  • “Toxic Mold: A Legal Primer,” Community Associations Institute’s National Conference, May 2002, Dallas, TX (Speaker)
  • “Toxic Mold and Construction Defects,” NCATL, March 2002 (Program Planner and Speaker)
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” NCATL, March 2002 (Speaker)
  • “When Bad Houses Make Good Cases,” Litigation at Sunrise, ATLA Mid-year Convention, February 2002, Miami, FL (Speaker)
  • “Synthetic Stucco Litigation,” Litigation at Sunrise ATLA Annual Convention, July 1999, San Francisco, CA (Speaker)
  • “Advanced Synthetic Stucco: Trial and Beyond,” NCBA, May 1999 (Speaker)
  • “Synthetic Stucco Litigation from the Plaintiff’s Perspective,” NCBA, April 1998 (Speaker)
  • “Synthetic Stucco Class Action: Opt In or Opt Out,” NCATL, September 1997 (Speaker)
  • “The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments,” NCBA, February 1993 (Speaker)


  • 1980–1981 Law Clerk, U.S. District Judge Robert P. Aguilar (N.D. Cal.)
  • 2002 Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University School of Law

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • “Adapt or Perish,” Trial (October 2010)
  • “Managing Co-Counsel Relationships,” Trial (October 2009)
  • “Do Business Courts Really Mean Business?” Trial (June 2006)
  • “The Economic Loss Principle in Construction Defect Litigation,” The Litigator (June 2005)
  • “Home, bitter sweet home,” Trial (February 2005)
  • “Mold Liablility – Mixed Signals,” Realtor Magazine (December, 2004)
  • “Arbitration of Business Disputes: Friend or Foe?” Business North Carolina (June 2004)
  • “Synthetic Stucco: Litigation Alert,” Realtor Magazine (January 2004)
  • “Business Plaintiffs: Not an Oxymoron,” Business North Carolina (July 2003)
  • “When Bad Houses Make Good Cases,” Trial (November 2002)
  • “Immediate Appeal of Class Certification Orders–Should North Carolina Follow the Federal Lead?”, North Carolina State Bar Journal (Winter 2001)
  • “Evaluating and Prosecuting the ‘Bad House’ Case,” Mealey’s Construction Defects Litigation Report (September 2001)
  • “North Carolina’s New International Arbitration Act,” Campbell Law Observer (February 1992)
  • Monthly Editorial Guest Columnist, The Charlotte Observer (1998)

Representative Decisions:

  • MyGallons LLC v. US Bancorp, 521 Fed. App’x 297 (4th Cir. 2013)
  • In re Hendrix, No. 17-281, slip op. (N.C. Ct. App. 2018)
  • Universal Cab v. City of Charlotte, 247 N.C. App. 479 (2016)
  • Jackson v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Hosp. Auth., 238 N.C. App. 351 (2014)
  • Podrebarac v. Perry, Bundy, Plyler, Long & Cox, LLP, 231 N.C. App. 70 (2013)
  • Moore v. Smith, 226 N.C. App. 583 (2013)
  • Chase Dev. Grp. v. Fisher, Clinard & Cornwell, PLLC, 211 N.C. App. 295 (2011)
  • Gaskin v. J.S. Procter Co., 196 N.C. App. 447 (2009)
  • Brevorka v. Wolfe Constr., Inc., 357 N.C. 566 (2003)
  • Pitts v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., 356 N.C. 292 (2002)
  • Gaynoe v. First Union Corp., 153 N.C. App 750 (2002)
  • Lienhart v. Dryvit Sys., Inc., 255 F.3d 138 (4th Cir. 2001)

Community & Civic Involvement

  • Chair, YMCA Board of Directors (Winston-Salem) (1993–95)
  • Chair, Forsyth County Democratic Party (1991–93)
  • Member, East Winston-Community Development Corporation Board of Directors (1993–95)
  • Fellow, North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership (1990)
  • Member, YMCA of Greater Charlotte Public Policy Committee (1996–98)

Law School

Duke University School of Law
1979, J.D.
1977–1979, Duke Law Journal, Staff and Editorial Board Member


1984–1985 Harvard School of Law, Visiting Researcher
2012 Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, Graduate


Duke University
1976, A.B. in History, magna cum laude

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**Of counsel