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Wells  dixie lg

Dixie Wells represents clients in lawsuits involving engineering issues, higher education law, complex commercial transactions, and products liability.  Regardless of the substantive law at issue, she focuses her practice in managing mass litigation and handling litigation arising from single events where suits are filed in multiple courts. Ms. Wells applies the same attention to detail as a lawyer that she did as a structural engineer.  In addition, she relies on her engineering background when handling cases involving technical issues and when working with experts.  Her experience includes representing Fortune 100 companies in commercial litigation, medical products cases, environmental exposure cases, and antitrust class actions, and representing universities in claims involving student-athletes and student affairs.

Ms. Wells obtained her undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Duke University (B.S.E., magna cum laude, 1991) where she was a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, her master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia (M.S., 1993), and her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999) where she was a Fletcher Scholar. While in law school, Ms. Wells served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest Law Review, was a member of the Moot Court Board, and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Before attending law school, Ms. Wells was a research scientist with the Virginia Transportation Research Council from 1993-1996 where her research focused on the maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and replacement of bridges. She obtained her professional engineer license in North Carolina in 1996.

Awards and Honors

  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Litigation Star (2016-2017)
  • Peer Review Rating of AV® in Martindale Hubbell
  • Outstanding Volunteer Award, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (2016)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, Business Litigation (2013-2017)
    • "Top 50 Women in North Carolina" (2014-2016)
    • "Top 100 Super Lawyers in North Carolina" (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation (2010-2017)
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, Litigation (2012-2014)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
  • Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court
    • Board of Directors (2011-present)
    • Master (2012–present)
    • Senior Barrister (2007-2012) 
    • Barrister (1999-2002)
    • Pupil (1997-1999)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (2016-present)
  • Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering, Engineering Alumni Council (2009-2017)
    • Immediate Past President (2016-2017)
    • President (2015-2016)
    • Vice President (2014-2015)
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Litigation Section
    • Council Member (2006-2009)
    • Membership Chair (2004-2006)
  • Guilford Inn of Court (2003-2005)
  • Expert Technical Group on Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation Unit Costs for Bridge Management Systems sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (1994-1996)
  • National Cooperative Highway Research Program Panel, Project 20-5, Topic 25-06, “Collecting and Managing Cost Data for Bridge Management Systems” (1994-1996)
  • Technical Advisory Group on Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation Unit Costs for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Pontis Task Force (1993-1994)
  • Professional Engineer License, North Carolina, inactive

Presentations

  • Eight Common Privilege Myths and Missteps in Accident Investigations – Presenter; Regional Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel; Raleigh, NC, June 25, 2015
  • Overview of Decisions of the North Carolina Appellate Courts between October 2014 and May 2015 – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Hilton Head, SC, June 12, 2015
  • Successfully Defending the Company: Litigation Strategy, Witness Preparation, and Media Relations – Program Planner and Co-Presenter; Association of Corporate Counsel (Research Triangle Area Chapter); Cary, NC, April 22, 2015
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Greensboro, NC, October 3, 2014
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Hilton Head, SC, June 14, 2014
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Greensboro, NC, October 4, 2013
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Hilton Head, SC, June 15, 2013
  • Civil Law Update – Presenter at the 2012 Annual Review; sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association; Greensboro, NC October 12, 2012
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] – Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Hilton Head, SC, June 14, 2012
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] — Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Greensboro, NC, October 14, 2011
  • Advanced Trial Evidence with Don Cowan and Dixie Wells — Program Planner and Session Moderator, sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association; Greensboro, NC, December 10, 2010
  • What do jurors know about your case…about you…and about the judge? — Program Planner and Co-Presenter; Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court; Winston-Salem, NC, November 8, 2010
  • Civil Law Update — Presenter at the 2010 Annual Review; sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association; Greensboro, NC, October 7, 2010
  • Civil Law Update — Presenter at the 2009 Annual Review; sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association; Greensboro, NC, October 8, 2009
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] — Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Greensboro, NC, September 25, 2009
  • Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege: Protecting Communications, Avoiding Waiver, and Reducing Risks — Program Planner and Panel Moderator; Joint Meeting of the Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court and the Guilford Inn of Court; Greensboro, NC, February 27, 2008
  • Advanced Trial Evidence with Don Cowan — Program Planner and Session Moderator; sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association; Greensboro, NC, December 8, 2006
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] — Presenter; Meeting of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys; Greensboro, NC, November 4, 2005
  • In re. Pedestrian Walkway Failure & Taylor v. Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Tindall Corporation, and Anti-Hydro International, Inc. — Program Planner and Presenter; Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court; Greensboro, NC, March 29, 2004

Publications

  • Co-author, Eight Common Privilege Myths and Missteps in Accident Investigations (International Association of Defense Counsel, June 25, 2015)
  • Overview of Decisions of the North Carolina Appellate Courts between October 2014 and May 2015  (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, June 12, 2015)
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, October 3, 2014)
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, June 14, 2014)
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, October 4, 2013)
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, June 15, 2013)
  • Civil Law Update (North Carolina Bar Association; October 12, 2012)
  • Recent Decisions [ of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, June 14, 2012)
  • Recent Decisions [of the North Carolina Appellate Courts] (North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Oct. 14, 2011)
  • “Q&A with Don Cowan,” in The Litigator (North Carolina Bar Association’s Litigation Section’s Newsletter Vol. 28, No. 3, July 2008)
  • Co-author, An Assessment of the Construction Advertisement Date Process Within the Virginia Department of Transportation (Virginia Transportation Research Council Report No. 96-R15, 1996)
  • “Environmental Classification Scheme for Pontis,” in Proceedings of the Fourth International Bridge Engineering Conference 203 (Transportation Research Board ed., 1995)
  • Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation Unit Costs for Pontis (Virginia Transportation Research Council Report No. 95-TAR10, 1995)
  • Environmental Classification Scheme for Pontis (Virginia Transportation Research Council Report No. 94-R20, 1994)
  • “The State of the Art of Bridge Management Systems,” in Infrastructure Planning and Management Proceedings 182 (American Society of Civil Engineers ed., 1993)
  • “The Analysis and Design of a Bridge Management System for the State of Virginia,” in Infrastructure Planning and Management Proceedings 182 (1993) (unpublished M.S. thesis, University of Virginia)

Prior Legal Experience

  • Adjunct Professor of Trial Practice, Elon University School of Law, 2008
  • Smith Moore LLP, 2002-2005, 2006-2008
  • Smith, Helms, Mulliss, & Moore, LLP, 2000-2002
  • Clerkship, United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Hon. N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., 1999-2000

Other Prior Experience

  • Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council, 1993-1996

Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1999
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • All State and Federal Courts in North Carolina