Richard Harper

Education:
Graduated from Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, NC – 1971
Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with B.A. in History – 1975
Graduated from Campbell University School of Law with J.D. – 1981

Work Experience:
1981-1986 Private practice of law in Durham, NC
1987-1989 Deputy Commissioner, NC Industrial Commission (02/1/87 to 02/01/89; appointed by Governor James Martin)
1989-1990 Associate, Holleman and Stam, Attorneys, Apex, NC
1990-1992 Associate/Partner, Coward Law Firm in Sylva, NC
1993 to present Private practice of law in Sylva, NC

Professional Certifications/Memberships:
Board-certified in N.C. Worker’s Compensation Law since 2000
Member, N.C. Advocates for Justice (NCAJ)
Member, N.C. Bar Association
Member, American Advocates for Justice
Member, Work Place Injury Litigation Group
Past Chairman, 2001-2003, NCAJ Worker’s Compensation Section
Past Membership Vice-President, 2005-2006, NCAJ
Member, Executive Committee, NCAJ Worker’s Compensation Section
Past Member, NCAJ Board of Governors 02/01/11 selected as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers North Carolina Super Lawyers – 2008, 2009, 2010 Best Lawyers in America – since 2007 Board Member, N.C. Republican Attorneys’ Association
Member, Christian Legal Society

State and Federal Bar Admissions:
1981 Admitted to the North Carolina State Bar 1982 U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina 1987 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 1987 U.S. Supreme Court 1990 U.S. District court, Western District of North Carolina 2002 Cherokee Supreme Court, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Community Activities:
Member, Webster Baptist Church, Sylva, NC (has served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, Chairman of the Pastor Search Committee, Member, Long-Range Planning Committee, Former Chairman, Missions Team, Current Co-Chair, Sunday School Ministry Team)
Leader, Jackson County Men’s Community Bible Study
Past President, Smoky Mountain High School Touchdown Club
Former Jackson County Little League Assistant Coach, former Jackson County Youth Sports basketball coach

Personal Info:
Born April 16, 1953 in Rockingham, NC
Married Patti Owen of Durham, NC – 1977
Four children: Jillian, Joshua, David and Chadwick

Publications:

  1. “Overview of Workers Compensation Act” – sponsored by NCATL at Research Triangle Park, NC on Feb. 21, 1992. Presented paper entitled “Overview of Workers’ Compensation Act.”
  2. “Workplace Torts and Workers Compensation” – sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on Nov. 18, 1994. Presented paper entitled “Top Ten Things That Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Do To Hurt Their Clients’ Cases.”
  3. “Third Annual Workers’ Compensation Roundtable” – sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on Sept. 12, 1997. Presented paper entitled “Protecting Future Medicals.”
  4. “NC Academy of Trial Lawyers” (currently NC Advocates for Justice) – Trial Briefs Magazine in May 2002. Wrote article entitled “Barriers to Justice: Telling the Story,” a case involving self- employed worker killed on the job; family unable to recover because of doctrine of contributory negligence in North Carolina.
  5. “Eleventh Annual Workers’ Compensation Round Table” – sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on March 4, 2005. Participated in panel discussion and presentation on “CMS and Medicare Set- Asides and Allocations.”
  6. “When Mediators Listen, People Talk: Understanding the Law, the Parties and the Process” – 13th Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting sponsored by the NC Bar Association Foundation in Cary, NC on May 5, 2006. Participated in a Round Table Discussion as a panel member on the topic “Was My Face Red – Mediation Mistakes from Which We Can Learn.”
  7. “When Mediators Listen, People Talk: Understanding the Law, the Parties and the Process” – 13th Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting sponsored by the NC Bar Association Foundation in Cary, NC on May 5, 2006. Presented a lecture/paper with Vachelle Willis entitled “Workers’ Compensation and Legal Update and Medicare Primer.”
  8. “Avoiding CMS, Structured Settlements, Appellate and Industrial Commission Mistakes” – NCATL Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation CLE Seminar sponsored by the NC Advocates of Justice (formerly NC Academy of Trial Lawyers) in Chapel Hill, NC on December 7, 2007. Participated in a panel discussion on “Ramifications of the Year’s Most Important Appellate Court Decisions.”
  9. “NCAJ Workplace Torts Seminar” – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Chapel Hill, NC on December 5, 2008. Prepared and presented paper entitled “Handling Complex Rating Cases – Is N.C. Gen. Stat. Sect. 97-31 Your Most Favorable Remedy?”
  10. “Navigating Claims Through the Industrial Commission” – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Raleigh, NC on May 7, 2010. Prepared paper and oral presentation on “Legal Aspects of Work Restrictions and Limitations.”
  11. NCAJ 16th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Raleigh, NC on March 4, 2011. Prepared and presented paper entitled “Annuities: When They Are Beneficial and When They Should be Avoided”