GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jeri Whitfield, an attorney from the Greensboro office of Smith Moore Leatherwood, has recently been appointed chair of the North Carolina State Bar's Board of Legal Specialization. The Board was created to certify attorneys who excel in a specific field of law as legal specialists.
There are currently more than 800 certified specialists in N.C. The specialist certification aims to encourage attorneys to continue their legal education and improve competency. The Board of Legal Specialization is responsible for: setting exam standards, ensuring the exams are valid and reliable, as well as overseeing ten specialty committees and the annual awards luncheon.
"Jeri was a pioneer on the workers' compensation specialization committee, serving on the inaugural committee that drafted the field's first exam and later served as chair. Her extensive experience with the specialization program makes her a natural leader," said Kent Auberry, partner in charge of the firm's Greensboro office. "We congratulate Jeri on this prestigious appointment to lead one of only 18 state legal certification programs in the nation."
Whitfield has considerable experience in litigating complex occupational disease claims before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and appellate courts. Her civil practice includes handling toxic tort and asbestos-related litigation and premises liability claims before the trial and appellate courts. She has been a speaker at various continuing legal education seminars and for various industry groups regarding workers' compensation topics. She previously served as vice-chair for the N.C. State Bar's Board of Legal Specialization.
Whitfield received her bachelor's degree, with honors, from Cornell University in 1972. She attended Duke University School of Law and George Washington University School of Law, receiving her Juris Doctor, with honors, in 1977.