JAMES E. FERGUSON, II
JAMES E. FERGUSON, II, is a founding partner of the firm Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, Gresham and Sumter, P.A. and has served as President of the firm since 1984. He currently heads the firm's catastrophic injury and wrongful death team, concentrating in medical malpractice, personal injury and products liability.
James has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the nation's top ten litigators and has been listed in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America in two categories: personal injury litigation and criminal defense. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an exclusive organization whose membership is limited to 100 of the nation's top trial lawyers. For a number of years, James has also been voted by his peers as a Super Lawyer.
Since the late seventies, James has concentrated his practice in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising out of medical malpractice, personal injury and products liability. Under his leadership, the firm has successfully resolved cases for injured plaintiffs in an aggregate amount in excess of one hundred million dollars. In addition to his catastrophic injury cases, James continues to handle civil rights and criminal cases.
Not only has James distinguished himself as a trial lawyer, he has achieved distinction as a teacher of trial skills and a leader of the profession. He has held teaching positions at Harvard Law School and North Carolina Central Law School. He served as a Scholar in Residence at Santa Clara Law School and was recognized as an Honorary Fellow by the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, having been inducted in 1987.
James co-founded South Africa's first Trial Advocacy Program, offering the program to black and white lawyers, even during the apartheid era. He has taught trial advocacy in London, Cambridge and Stratford-on-Avon, England, as well as throughout the United States, including the first advanced trial advocacy program offered in the United States through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
He is a past Chair or President of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the Academy of Trial Lawyers) and the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers.
In the civil arena, James has served as the Chair of the Charlotte Community Building Initiative and as a member of the North Carolina Commission on Alternatives to Incarceration. He served for more than 15 years as General Counsel and member of the National Executive Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union.
GERALDINE SUMTER joined the firm December 31, 1982. Since joining the firm, Geraldine has concentrated on employment work primarily. Her other areas of practice include workers’ compensation, small business, non-profit, and other civil rights work including voting rights and school desegregation.
Geraldine received a B.A. from Howard University in 1978 with a major in Political Science and Economics. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into the Political Science Honor Society (Phi Sigma Alpha). She received her J.D. from Duke University in 1981 where she served on the 1980 National Winning Team of Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and the Duke University School of Law Moot Court Board.
Geraldine clerked for The Honorable Charles L. Becton of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, former member of the firm, from August 1981 through July 1982. She thereafter joined the Palmetto Legal Services as a Staff Attorney in its Lexington, South Carolina office and worked there for six months where she did consumer, landlord, and domestic work.
Geraldine is a member of the North Carolina and South Carolina State Bars. For a number of years, Geraldine has been voted by her peers as a Super Lawyer in employment litigation, as well as a member of the "Legal Elite" by Business North Carolina.