Four Partners of Smith Debnam - Jerry T. Myers, John W. Narron, Rose H. Stout and Bettie Kelley Sousa - have been selected again in 2014 as North Carolina Super Lawyers®. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in one of more than 70 practice areas. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Fewer than 5% of practicing lawyers within a state receive Super Lawyer recognition.
Recognized again as a Super Lawyer in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, Jerry Myers is Smith Debnam's managing partner. He concentrates his practice in creditors' rights with an emphasis on debt collection, judgment enforcement, and commercial litigation. Jerry has served as President of the Commercial Law League of America and is a Creditors' Rights Specialist, certified by The American Board of Certification. He has written and lectured extensively on debt collection and judgment enforcement. Jerry was also instrumental in forming the North Carolina Creditors Bar Association, a specialty bar whose members advocate for the rights of those who make credit available and educate the general public on managing credit effectively. Until recently, he served as the organization's President.
John Narron has practiced law in North Carolina since 1977 and has been a partner with Smith Debnam since 1987. John's practice consists of litigation, arbitration, mediation and business transactions. For more than 35 years, John has provided advice and litigation services to clients in central and eastern North Carolina in all manner of civil disputes, including equitable distribution proceedings, alimony trials, will caveats, employment disputes, personal injury trials and negotiations, and a wide variety of commercial business disputes. One of the first North Carolina attorneys to become Board Certified as a Family Law Specialist, John again was recognized as a Super Lawyer in Family Law. In 2013, John received the Sara H. Davis Award of Excellence from the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.
Rose Stout, another of Smith Debnam’s five Board Certified Specialists in Family Law, was selected again as a Super Lawyer in her area of practice. Licensed since 1985, Rose has been with Smith Debnam since 1989. She represents clients in all aspects of domestic law, including divorce, custody, equitable distribution, child support and alimony. She has extensive trial experience at the district court level and has spoken at family law seminars on various family law issues. A certified mediator and an experienced arbitrator, Rose regularly acts in both capacities in family law matters.
Bettie Kelley Sousa again has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Business Litigation. Bettie has a wealth of experience in state and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, at both trial and appellate levels. She represents mostly businesses and business owners in a variety of matters, including contract drafting and disputes, business break-ups, and employment issues. Certified as a Creditors' Rights Specialist by The American Board of Certification since 1993, Bettie recently was named an Emeritus Director for the ABC and has held all office positions including President (2011) and Chair (2012). She was recognized in 2011 as a Woman Extraordinaire by Business Leader magazine. As an adjunct faculty member, she created and teaches a course in Business Litigation at Wake Forest University School of Law, her law school alma mater.
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