About Lincoln Derr

We created our firm to offer diversity, trial experience and value. That was the foundation for Lincoln Derr, and it continues to guide our firm now. Learn more about our vision, our diversity, our history & the advantages of working with us.

Our Attorneys in Action

Our co-founder Tricia Derr took on the second “hot coffee” case to hit the nation. This time, the allegations came from a police officer who claimed that, though he received a cup of Starbucks coffee for free, it spilled on him and he sustained third-degree burns. He wanted to hold Starbucks accountable, but Derr found his story didn’t add up.

What We Do

Our attorneys represent some of the largest healthcare providers, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies throughout the Southeast. We’ve logged more than 10,000 hours in the courtroom and 150-plus years of combined practice experience.

Our Message to Prospective Clients...Talk to the Competition

The relationship between client and attorney is an intimate one. It requires commitment and time, vulnerability, and trust.  And you don’t know if there is a “fit” unless you survey the competitive landscape.

The Lincoln Derr Advantage


Over 150 years of combined experience form the foundation of the Lincoln Derr Advantage. We leverage our experience to offer the highest level of representation available.


We don’t just promote diversity-we are diverse. Our backgrounds and experiences enhance our connections with others and allow us to offer a broader perspective to clients.

Local Roots

We are immersed in our communities which gives us the advantage of knowing our courts, our jurors, and our opponents.

Click the video below to hear more about our firms primary differentiators explained by founders Sara Lincoln & Tricia Derr.


Recent News & Articles

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Judge Jesse Caldwell III: The Man Behind the Robe Episode 11

Judge Jesse Caldwell III: The Man Behind the Robe Episode 11

In this episode of Trying 2 Win, Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr talk with recently retired Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell III about life on and off the bench.

Judge Caldwell, who has nearly 50 years of courtroom experience, visited us for a follow-up interview to Unfurling the ‘scarlet thread of justice’ with Judge Jesse Caldwell III. He opens up about moments of levity, strange occurrences, and surprises throughout his career. His recollections include cell phones going off, ceiling tiles falling on Girl Scouts, bailiffs kissing lawyers, and everything in between. “Almost 50 years worth of stories and a lot of good justice that was done,” he says.

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Unfurling the ‘scarlet thread of fairness’ with Judge Jesse Caldwell III  Episode 10

Unfurling the ‘scarlet thread of fairness’ with Judge Jesse Caldwell III Episode 10

In this episode of Trying 2 Win, Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr talk with recently retired Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell III, who has nearly 50 years of courtroom experience that culminated in a 28-year stint as a Superior Court judge in Gaston County, making him the longest-serving Superior Court Judge in the division.

Dubbed “the renaissance man” by Tricia, Judge Caldwell has many interests that he feels have helped him both on the bench and as a lawyer. He’s an actor, writer, foodie, and preacher who said his biggest interest is the people in his community…

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Tricia Derr Admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers Fellowship.

Tricia Derr Admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers Fellowship.

Tricia Derr has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Tricia Derr became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 687 (including both in-person and virtual attendees) during the recent Annual Meeting of the College in Chicago, Illinois…

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NCADA President Sara Lincoln Reflects on First Months in Office

NCADA President Sara Lincoln Reflects on First Months in Office

On behalf of our co-founder Sara Lincoln, we’d like to announce some big news: Sara has been named president of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA).

Sara has served as a member of the organization since 1996 and began serving on the NCADA board in the early 2000s. Her new position of leadership in the organization comes at an important time, both for NCADA and the legal profession as a whole.

“Sara came into her role as President of the NCADA at a time when the trial practice and legal industry is experiencing accelerated change,” says Lynette Pitt, Executive Director of NCADA…

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Meet The Team


Sara R. Lincoln

Problem solving is what we are good at, whether that requires a courtroom or not. We are fighters by nature which allows us to put our clients in the best position possible for a favorable outcome.



Tricia M. Derr

Tricia Derr is a trial lawyer who has litigated hundreds of cases using creative communication, practical advice and innovative trial strategies.




Scott S. Addison

Scott Addison represents national corporations, large regional hospital systems, physician practices, banks, and entrepreneurs.



Jeremy Sugg

Jeremy Sugg is a uniquely talented lawyer dedicated to solving problems in the most efficient and comprehensive manner, whether at the deal table or in the courtroom, for clients ranging from individuals to national corporations.



Maria D. Ortiz

Maria Ortiz is an experienced bilingual litigator with a diverse background.  She has litigated cases in federal and state courts; a fighter by nature who takes pride in representing health care professionals, hospital systems and physician practice groups.



Gwendolyn W. Lewis

Gwendolyn Lewis is a trial attorney, representing individuals, healthcare professionals, and companies in a wide variety of legal and risk management matters. She has an employment law, trial skills, and nonprofit higher education background.



Phoebe Coddington

Phoebe has litigated hundreds of cases and appeals nationally. Although she handles all types of cases, complex business litigation comprises the majority of her work.



Heather Fuller

Heather Fuller, a seasoned litigator with extensive federal experience, has handled cases in courts across the United States.  Her innovative approach to each case, coupled with her sound judgment and ability to solve complex problems, makes her a strong advocate for her client.




Suzannah Hicks

Suzannah Hicks is an experienced litigator who has litigated high-profile, complex cases before various federal courts and agencies. She represents corporations and individuals in a wide variety of matters.




Courtney Bain

Courtney Bain joined Lincoln Derr in 2020 having previously worked at a litigation firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Courtney has represented clients in defense of a variety of negligence claims involving motor vehicle accidents, motor carrier liability, and premises liability.



Chris Vernick

Chris Vernick represents health care providers, hospital systems, and medical practice groups through all phases of litigation. He also handles North Carolina Medical Board matters.



Erin E. Alfaro

Erin Alfaro is a NC State Bar Certified Paralegal who has 20+ years experience working as a defense litigation paralegal.



Kelly Vecchio

Kelly Vecchio is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal who has over twenty-three years of experience. She brings to our legal team an outstanding work ethic, attention to detail and a willingness to go above and beyond to get the job done.



Christian Whittington

Christian Whittington is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal. She is committed to excellence in service and helping others find solutions to problems.



Karen Tahan

Hard work has its rewards both for our team and our clients. Knowledge, resourcefulness and dedication all contribute to the success of our team.



Kathy Devon

Kathy Devon is a recent New Jersey transplant who brings more than 20 years of diverse legal assistant experience to the firm.  Her background and exposure to multiple areas of law enables her to provide solid and trustworthy support.



Tara Sipes

Tara's expertise is in customer service and client connection, and she is the "Director of First Impressions" at the firm. She greets our clients and provides support to the team. Her talents go beyond the traditional receptionist role ranging from event planning to technical support.



Dori Cazorla

Good marketers are observant, curious, and thrive on transforming creative into clever.  However, passion for the “thing” that you are marketing is the link to success.


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Best Law Firms 2021