Notable North Carolina attorney and plaintiff’s advocate Gary Jackson joins the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. With over 37 years’ experience litigating hundreds of cases, Jackson will handle many of the firm’s more complex, high-stakes cases.
Acclaimed plaintiff’s attorney Gary Jackson, who has tried dozens of trials over his more than 37-year career, recently joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. Working with Hoyt Tessener on Farrin’s expanded litigation team, Jackson will help guide attorney teams as the firm casts a wider litigation net among some of the more complex high-stakes cases.
Jackson has represented North Carolinians against some of the largest and most powerful companies and industries in the country and has been responsible for verdicts and settlements totaling more than $100 million*.
Complex High-Stakes Cases
The disputes Jackson has handled have generally been complex, high-stakes litigation involving people’s health, homes, and financial wellbeing. Jackson has successfully* fought against insurance companies, product manufacturers, general contractors, banks, and other entities which have engaged in wrongful conduct.
Understanding the Other Side’s Methods
Jackson hasn’t always fought for the “little guy.” Earlier in his career, he litigated against them as a defense attorney working for the “other side” representing large corporations, insurance companies, and others. For a combined 15 years he was an associate with Baker & Mackenzie, one of the world’s largest law firms, and subsequently a partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in North Carolina. Jackson believes the experience he gained understanding how the defense side operates has helped equip him for the successes* he has achieved on behalf of the deserving underserved.
Jackson said, “After 15 years of practicing with large law firms whose claims to fame were representing corporate interests, I decided to take a different path. I realized that my background and values didn’t line up with advancing the interests of cigarette manufacturers, banks, insurance companies, and other powerful interests. When I did represent those clients, I got cases – however meritless – that were dropped on my desk. They were “institutional” clients that had to be represented, whatever the merit of claims against them. Those corporate entities had enormous resources to fight and obstruct. So I decided to represent people and small businesses who should expect the same quality of advocacy as their well-healed adversaries. Now, I evaluate cases based on their merit, not on the hourly fees I could amass. I no longer handle cases because a corporate client might be able to mount a questionable defense and have the money to pay for that. The cases we pursue are for people. People who deserve justice, but don’t have the resources of my former clients. I sleep a lot better now, and I get up earlier.”
National Recognition for Stucco Class Action Victory
Jackson was one of the lead attorneys in the widely-publicized synthetic stucco lawsuits in the late 1990’s in which he represented homeowners in North Carolina whose homes were rotting from the inside out because defective stucco allowed moisture to permeate causing rot and structural damage. He represented over 300 homeowners, several commercial businesses, and many homeowner associations in those cases, recovering over $25 million*.
Getting it Done
Jackson was the first in his family to attend college – Duke University, where he also obtained his law degree at the Duke University School of Law.
He later joined the law firm of Womble Carlyle in Winston-Salem earning six figures litigating for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. against smokers who claimed their tobacco products harmed their health.
A shift in Jackson’s conscience began to occur when he had to argue on behalf of Reynolds’ retirees who had been cheated out of their retirement money. That yearning to fight on behalf of the individual grew to more of a tidal pull, and he left Womble Carlyle to join a small plaintiff’s firm that paid about half the salary he had grown accustomed to.
Jackson admitted the salary cut took some getting used to, but he said he was happier representing individuals instead of big corporations. It was while at this firm that Jackson began working on the defective stucco class action case. During the course of this lengthy case, that law firm disbanded. In an effort to keep the lawsuit moving forward for his clients and to be able to pay his own bills, Jackson sold his 401(k) and took an equity line on his home. Eventually he was able to bring the stucco cases with him to another law firm where he settled nearly 300 of them for about $25 million*.
A Recognized Advocate
Gary holds leadership positions in several national and state legal and advocacy organizations, such as the American Association for Justice, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He frequently speaks throughout the country at educational programs for lawyers and authors articles addressing current legal trends and developments.
“North Carolina Super Lawyers” magazine has designated Jackson a ‘North Carolina Super Lawyer’** every year since 2006 for Class Actions and Mass Torts. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 he was designated one of the ‘top 100 lawyers in North Carolina’** and in 2013 and 2015 among the ‘top 25 lawyers in Charlotte’**. Jackson has been recognized by “Business North Carolina’s” ‘Legal Elite’*** in 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2013. He is a charter fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and holds an AV pre-eminent rating (the highest peer-review rating) from Martindale-Hubbell****.
Why the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?
As co-counsel on the firm’s 300 Charlotte School of Law cases, Jackson noted the firm’s massive technological and staffing resources as a factor in his decision to join the firm.
Jackson said, “In order to serve individuals who need legal advice and, if necessary, representation, clients need lawyers who have the horsepower, experience, and devotion to this mission: thoroughly evaluating the facts; communicating their conclusions honestly; and vigorously fighting for their rights. I joined James Scott Farrin because I knew that this was the firm where I could best meet those goals and achieve results* for clients at the very highest level. I have practiced for over 37 years, and am very proud of what I have accomplished for people, as their lawyer. This new step is the ultimate opportunity for me to attain my highest and longest reach for the mission that I started 37 years ago.”
Fast Facts about Gary Jackson
- Responsible for verdicts and settlements totaling more than $100 million*
- Multiple verdict awards of $1,000,000 or more for clients*
- Tried and appeared in cases in both state and federal courts
- Concentrates in class action cases, medical malpractice, fraud, and product liability claims
- Graduated from Duke University with a degree in History and earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law
- Past president of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice; Southern Trial Lawyers Association Board of Governors since 2006; and co-chair of the American Association for Justice Construction Litigation Group since 2002
- In 2012, noted trial lawyer Gerry Spence selected Jackson to attend his Trial Lawyers College***** in Wyoming
- Selected by his peers every year since 2006 to be included as a ‘Super Lawyer’** in “North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine”
* Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome
** For more information regarding the standards for inclusion, visit www.superlawyers.com
*** For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, visit www.businessnc.com
**** For information regarding the standards for peer-review ratings, visit www.martindale.com