Celebrating 10 Years of Doing What We Love, with Clients We Care About


Our mission has always been to give our clients what they want: high-caliber, reasonably priced, and diverse legal representation. Caring about our clients, understanding their values, embracing opportunities, and demonstrating loyalty are key attributes of our mission.

Lincoln Derr is a women-owned and managed law firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

We provide counsel and litigation services to some of the largest health care companies, municipalities and Fortune 500 corporations throughout the Southeast. We have accumulated 10 years of outstanding results for our clients by working harder, preparing better, and being smarter than the other side. 

“What Brought Us Together Is What Sets Us Apart”—Tricia Derr

The Story of Lincoln Derr:
How one bold move transformed Charlotte’s legal landscape

Originally published in the Charlotte Business Journal, January 2019

What made you decide to launch your firm 10 years ago?

Female trial lawyers are scarce. Female- and minority-owned litigation firms are even harder to find. In that scarcity, Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr visualized a movement, along with an entrepreneurial opportunity. So they left good jobs, good people and a secure future in the midst of a severe economic downturn to launch Lincoln Derr. Colleagues questioned their decision, and their sanity. But our founders were steadfast. Focusing on efficiency, employee satisfaction and client satisfaction, they believed they could build a better law firm. And they did. Over the past decade, our firm has grown from two attorneys to 10. We provide outstanding service. We don’t waste our clients’ money. And we love what we do.

 

What’s the state of diversity in law now, 10 years later?

There is so much work to be done. Women make up less than 35 percent of attorneys at law firms, yet women now outnumber men in law schools across the country. The percentage of women with equity partnerships is even lower, at about 20 percent. Why does that matter? Diversity of talent brings diversity of thought and creates the best possible solutions, no matter what your discipline. Clients are seeing great results coming from our diverse teams and coming to realize diversity is good for business. Period.

 

What challenges have you faced over the years?

Leadership inside the courtroom is quite different from leadership in a business enterprise. We had to learn a lot about managing our business and the people in it. The process hasn’t always been easy, but the rewards have been profound. We’re building a legacy — a firm that will continue to thrive long after we’re gone and a team of lawyers who will infuse the Charlotte legal community with quality and diversity for years to come.

What has Lincoln Derr learned over the past decade?

Results matter. Our successes are directly tied to staying client-centric, developing our team and staying close to our community. We have learned that these things yield results we can be proud of. And they matter.

 

What is unique about the Lincoln Derr culture?

It has taken some time and a lot of investment, but the culture at the firm today is stronger than it has ever been. The firm added a yoga room, yoga classes, individualized technology budgets and full health insurance coverage for all team members because we came to realize one vital point: When your team knows the firm cares about them, values their growth, and supports their pursuit of individual passions, that team gets even stronger.

 

Any secrets to success?

Guts, grit and stamina. You have to be 100 percent committed to success to achieve it. We are constantly reminding ourselves and our team to never get greedy, to treat our clients the way we want to be treated and to love what we do, every single day.

 

What’s next for Lincoln Derr?

We will continue to grow in very strategic ways. We never want growth to blur our mission, but we do want to meet the demand that has kept us going since day one. We plan to grow our Labor and Employment practice area while intentionally preserving our level of service and internal culture. And we will continue to encourage team members to develop their own personal brands. Clients hire lawyers, not law firms, and we are committed to making our people the very best they can be.

Our Team

Meet the Lincoln Derr team that has grown over the last decade to meet the needs of our clients.

Sara R. Lincoln

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.

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Tricia M. Derr

Tricia M. Derr

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

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Scott S. Addison

Scott S. Addison

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

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Jeremy Sugg

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.

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Maria D. Ortiz

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.

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Gwendolyn W. Lewis

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.

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 Kathleen K. Lucchesi

Kathleen K. Lucchesi

Kathi Lucchesi is a trial lawyer who also regularly advises employers, large and small, regarding all types of employment issues both in and out of the workplace.

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Noelle C. LeBlanc

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.

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Noelle C. LeBlanc

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.

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Noelle C. LeBlanc

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.

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Noelle C. LeBlanc

Noelle C. LeBlanc

Noelle LeBlanc is a senior litigation paralegal utilizing diverse skills to provide support to the firm and exceptional client service.

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Erin E. Alfaro

Erin E. Alfaro

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

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Karen Tahan

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.

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Noelle C. LeBlanc

Christian Whittington

Christian occupies our reception desk in her role as administrative assistant. She is committed to excellence in service and helping others find solutions to problems. 

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Dori Cazorla

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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