Gary began his legal career in the Marine Corps where he was first an infantry officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with distinction in 1977. The Marines put him through law school at Duke University and he became a judge advocate serving in North Carolina, Hawaii, and California. In 1989, Gary went into private practice in Greensboro, N.C. where he does commercial litigation involving contract disputes, fiduciary duties, products liability including asbestos litigation defense, intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights), shareholder disputes, e-commerce issues, false advertising, torts, non-competes, pharmacy defense, bad faith insurance defense, and just about any other commercial dispute one can imagine. At the same time, Gary remained in the USMC Reserves, where he performed in a variety of positions, including as the senior lawyer at European Command in Stuttgart, Germany and a stint on active duty in 2003 as the senior legal advisor to the Commander of the Kosovo Force, a United Nations peace-keeping force. Gary retired from the USMC Reserve as a colonel in 2007.
Gary says that in the Marine Corps his Marines and the mission came first and that he brings those same priorities to his work in commercial litigation. For Gary, his clients and getting them the best result possible under the circumstances are his first priorities.
He has represented clients in many jurisdictions and many forums, including trying cases in arbitration and in state and federal courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Texas, and handling appeals in the North Carolina state appellate courts and in the United States Courts of Appeal for the Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits.
In addition to the work for his clients, Gary is active in several legal professional organizations, including serving as a longtime member and former chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee, which helps to revise and improve the rules that govern the North Carolina state appellate court procedures. In addition, Gary serves as co-chair of a subcommittee on internet litigation for the American Bar Association. Gary also teaches Trial Advocacy and Pre-trial Litigation courses as an adjunct professor at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, N.C., and writes and lectures on several legal topics, including trademark and copyright issues, electronic discovery, social media evidence, and appellate work.
His reported decisions include:
Springwall v. Timeless Bedding, Inc., 207 F.Supp.2d 410 (MDNC 2002)
French v. The Chosin Few, Inc., 209 F.Supp.2d 593 (WDNC 2002)
The Chosin Few, Inc. v. Scott, 173 F.Supp.2d 451 (WDNC 2001)
Glendale Neighborhood Association v. Greensboro Housing Authority, 956 F.Supp. 1270 (MDNC 1996)
Glendale Neighborhood Association v. Greensboro Housing Authority, 901 F.Supp. 996 (MDNC 1995)
Haizlip v. MFI of South Carolina, Inc., 2003 WL 21791639 (N.C.App. 2003)
Pototsky v. Department of Navy, 695 F.Supp. 1084 (D.Haw. 1988)
Stout v. United States, 696 F.Supp.538 (D.Haw.1987)
Community & Professional
- American Bar Association
- Greensboro Bar Association
- North Carolina Bar Association
Outside Nexsen Pruet
Gary’s proudest achievements outside of work are raising his children to be interesting adults. His daughter Anna works in advertising and his son Alex helps make movies and TV shows; both are in Atlanta. Gary happily remarried in 2015.
On his own part, Gary’s joints and muscles screamed loudly enough for Gary to give up basketball and softball after decades of play and focus instead on golf and gym workouts. Unfortunately, so far, Gary’s enthusiasm for golf far outstrips his ability to post a low score (but he has fun trying).
Gary loves to travel whether for work or pleasure and has recently vacationed in the British Virgin Islands, and, domestically, San Diego. Gary also enjoys visiting with his parents in Havelock, North Carolina and with his brother, a country club manager in Louisiana. He is also an avid reader on topics outside the law.
For a client doing business nationwide, Gary polices the internet for trademark infringements and, when infringements are found, obtained transfer of infringing domain names and injunctions preventing further trademark infringement and cybersquatting on domain name.
For a company doing e-commerce, Gary forced a competitor to pay a large monetary settlement and cease its online copyright infringement and false advertising.
For companies sued on products liability claims, Gary has obtained dismissals and favorable settlements for less than the cost of defense.
For Chanel, Gary obtained a large monetary judgment against an online retailer for infringing Chanel trademarks by selling Chanel knock-offs online.
For a vending machine company, Gary has enforced contract terms against businesses that try to break their contracts before the end of their terms, including obtaining monetary settlements.
For several clients, Gary has successfully sued to enforce personal guarantees made on business contracts. In several lawsuits against former employees of clients, Gary obtained return of company property and confidential information, injunctive relief, and monetary damage.
- Colonel, USMCR, retired
- U.S. Naval Justice School, Honor Graduate
- North Carolina Bar Association, Appellate Rules Study Committee, former chair
- American Bar Association's Litigation Section Internet and Internet Litigation subcommittee for the Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, former co-chair
- Eastern District of North Carolina, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, (1983-1984)
- District of Hawaii, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, (1985-1988)
- USNA Alumni Association's Piedmont Triad Chapter, Founder
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
- Recognized in Business North Carolina's Legal Elite of 2021
Gary finds that teaching and writing about legal issues helps him stay on the cutting edge.
- He taught a CLE class in Nexsen Pruet's Litigation CLE Series on Preparing, Taking and Defending 30(b)(6) Depositions on September 25, 2018.
- He taught a CLE class on interlocutory appeals at the N.C. Bar Center on Friday, October 4, 2013, as part of a full-day CLE on appellate practice in North Carolina.
- For the American Bar Association, he wrote a manuscript addressing discovery and use of social media evidence and moderated a panel on that subject at the ABA annual meeting in August 2013.
- Taught many CLE classes on the law governing discovery of electronically stored information and wrote several manuscripts on that subject.
- Teaches course in trial advocacy and pretrial litigation at Elon University’s law school.
- "The Effect of Twombly/Iqbal on Trademark Lawsuits in the Fourth Circuit" Gary authored this article for the March 2013 edition of IP Links, the newsletter from the NC Bar Association Intellectual Property Section.
- "Meeting Your Duties Regarding Electronically Stored Information" Gary authored this article for the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section.
- "Trade Secrets and Non-Competes – A Compendium of State Law" Gary was a regional editor for "Trade Secrets and Non-Competes – A Compendium of State Law", a publication from the Commercial Litigation Committee of DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar.
- "Avoiding Lawsuits over False Advertising on the Internet" Gary authored this article published in a newsletter from the American Bar Association Commercial & Business Litigation Committee as well as the Winter 2012 edition of the ABA Publication, In-House Litigator.
- "If You Build It, They May Sue: Floor Plans, Elevations, and Copyright Infringement" Gary authored this article published in a 2017 newsletter from the ABA Commercial & Business Litigation Committee.
- North Carolina
- North Carolina Supreme Court
- North Carolina Court of Appeals
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims
- U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, the Northern District of Texas, the District of South Carolina, and the District of Hawaii