Attorney Hoyt Tessener

Confident. Tenacious. Humble. Relatable.

Litigation attorney Hoyt Tessener tries the really tough cases – and he has for more than 30 years. Tough strategically. Tough emotionally. The trucking accidents whose evidence gives you chills. The personal injury cases that can bring an otherwise “impartial” jury to tears. Cases that few have the stomach to try. Confidently. Thoroughly. Compassionately.

Hoyt joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2017 so he could try these tough cases with the resources and technology behind him to take his legendary litigation efforts to the next level. He is a shareholder of the firm.

A Legend in the Courtroom

Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and having tried over 100 cases in state and federal courts throughout North Carolina with multiple verdict awards of $1,000,000 or more,1 lawyers and judges and others know Hoyt for his confidence, tenacity, and meticulous preparation.

His clients know him as their champion.

The one who will fight tooth and nail for them. Honest. Humble.


“The people I represent – no matter what walk of life they come from – are often scared,” Hoyt said. “They’re not sure what to do. In some cases, they’re not sure they can do anything. They’re underdogs. I know there’s a lot they can do – and I will fight as hard as I can for them. I am well aware that I’m fighting for my clients to get the care they need or for compensation to put their lives back together. So I’d better do my best – and I do.”

The “Other Side” Advantage

Hoyt feels he is often at an advantage in the courtroom because he has been “on the other side” representing big corporations, like the very insurance companies his clients are fighting.

“Knowing the strategies the opposing lawyers might be going with is definitely an advantage,” he says. “There may be more of them – 12 or 15. But they can only talk one at a time … They can yell at me, they can do what they want, it doesn’t matter to me. The whole time, I’m thinking through what’s best for my client. My clients always know what’s going on and where we stand because we are a team fighting together.”

Finding His Passion

Hoyt was raised in the textile town of Shelby, NC; his family, like most there, lived modestly. His father owned an auto body repair shop and his mother was a beautician. He eventually attended NC State University – the first in his family to ever attend college.

He chose NC State because it had a textile program. It never occurred to him then that he’d do anything other than work in the textile industry. Yet that industry was rapidly declining and jobs moved overseas. Hoyt attended Campbell University, learned the art of litigation, and was met with great success. Hoyt won the Rick Edmonson mock appellate competition with the highest score possible, and 10 Book Awards – the highest number achieved at that time. It seemed meant to be.

Hoyt recalls, “Litigation just seemed to fit. I’ve been told I’m a fighter and a good story teller. I may not be the smartest guy in the room. I may not be the best looking. But I’m a hard worker. I’m a fighter. And as the child of hardworking parents, I have a solid work ethic. I am the one who will wade through the weeds to try to get the results my clients potentially deserve.”

The Success That Followed

Hoyt’s success as a lawyer eventually landed him right back at Campbell University School of Law teaching jury selection as an adjunct professor. Something he’s done since 1999. He is also chair of Campbell’s Board of Visitors, which assists the dean, faculty, and leadership in developing and evaluating strategic planning efforts and launching initiatives.

His peers have taken note, too. Every year since 2006 he has been selected to be included as a “Super Lawyer”2 in Super Lawyers magazine. Since 2008, his name has appeared on The Best Lawyers in America2 annual list of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. That same publication designated Hoyt in 2016 as “Lawyer of the Year”2 for the Raleigh area for Product Liability Litigation. And in 2015, Business North Carolina named him among the "Legal Elite".2

In 1997, he was invited by noted trial lawyer Gerry Spence to his nationally acclaimed Trial Lawyers College on his 400,000-acre Wyoming ranch, and subsequently joined its college faculty. This unique and one of its kind 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."3

A credo that, Hoyt says, “is just in my DNA.”

Practice Area:

Personal Injury
Consumer Protection
Business Litigation
Class Actions
Mass Torts
Products Liability
Nursing Home Negligence
Medical Negligence
Whistleblower Claims

Law School:

Campbell University School of Law
1988 J.D.


North Carolina State University
1983 B.S. in Textiles


  • Admitted to the United States Supreme Court
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Georgia State Bar
  • American Association for Justice
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Former Chairman of the Litigation Section
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association
  • Attorney Information Exchange Group


“Super Lawyers”2 by Super Lawyers magazine, 2006–2020

“Best Lawyers”2 for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs by Best Lawyers in America, 2008–2020

“Lawyer of the Year”2 Product Liability Litigation by Best Lawyers in America, 2016

Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,”2 2015

Martindale-Hubbell AV Pre-eminent Rating2

Law Offices of James Scott Farrin AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell2

Hoyt G. Tessener Recognized by Best Lawyers 2020 2

Rated by Super Lawyers Hoyt G. Tessener 10 Years 2

Community & Civic Involvement:

  • Adjunct professor Campbell University for 20 years
  • Campbell Law School Board of Visitors, Chair
  • Bipartisan candidate for NC Superior Court Judge 2016
  • Hoyt Q. Bailey Endowment, Inc., President
  • Family Promise Board of Directors
  • Governor’s Crime Commission
  • The Craven-Everett American Inn of Court

1 Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2 For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for Super Lawyers, visit For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for Best Lawyers, visit For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for "Lawyer of the Year," visit For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, visit For information regarding the standards for inclusion in Martindale Hubbell peer review ratings, visit