Justin D. Howard

Partner

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Practices
Industries
Education
  • The University of North Carolina School of Law, JD
  • The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, BS
Admissions
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Affiliations

Member, International Association of Defense Counsel

Chair, Trial Tactics and Technology SLG, Product Liability Committee, Defense Research Institute

Member, Board of Directors, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys

Past Chair, Products Liability Section, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys

Co-chair, Ethics Committee of the Litigation Council, North Carolina Bar Association

Member, Federal Bar Association

Member, Wake County Bar Association

Member, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

Member, Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County

Past Member, Board of Directors, The Purple Promise Foundation to End Melanoma

Justin Howard is a trial lawyer who defends manufacturers and distributors in product liability claims. He also represents businesses in a wide range of other litigation matters, including labor and employment disputes and actions involving alleged breach of contract, business torts, professional malpractice, financial services fraud, and toxic torts. He handles complex litigation in state and federal courts and has represented corporations and individuals at trial in a variety of matters.

Justin has defended leading companies in a wide range of industries, from banking to waste management. He serves on the national defense team of a major industrial manufacturer and assists the firm's energy team in litigating matters on behalf of clients before courts and utilities commissions. He also represents clients in matters before the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, advising them on permit and compliance issues.

Justin has served on the board of directors of The Purple Promise Foundation to End Melanoma and currently serves on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County.

Martindale-Hubbell has recognized Justin with their AV Preeminent peer rating. He has also been singled out by Business North Carolina for several years running, first as a "Young Gun" and later as one of the "Legal Elite" for litigation. In 2011 he was the recipient of Business Leader Magazine's Mover and Shaker Award for Dedication to Community and Excellence in Leadership. In 2014 Woodward/White, Inc. added Justin to its list of Best Lawyers in America.

Prior to entering law school, Justin served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years.

In the News

vCard
T: +1 919 755 6685F: +1 919 755 6586434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601
RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR OUTCOME.

Product Liability

Defends product manufacturers and distributors in claims for personal injury, wrongful death and property damage in state and federal courts throughout the United States.

Serves on the national litigation team for a leading power tool manufacturer.

Defended a manufacturer and distributor of dietary supplements in a lawsuit alleging that the product caused a cerebrovascular accident resulting in permanent brain injury.

Defended a leading manufacturer of valves and controls in property damage claims allegedly caused by product defects.

General Litigation

Defended an underground excavation company at trial in a personal injury action arising from the explosion of a ruptured natural gas main line. Defense verdict.

Represented a commercial trucking company and its employee driver at trial in an action arising from the collision of three tractor-trailers on Interstate 95 in North Carolina. Verdict for plaintiff and for defendant client against co-defendant during liability phase of bifurcated trial; case settled during damages phase.

Defended a leading producer of pork products and its former employee driver at trial in an action arising from a collision between one of the company’s tractor-trailers and a bicyclist in a crosswalk in a busy intersection. Defense verdict.

Defended a publisher of an international scientific journal and its employees in a lawsuit for defamation and related claims arising from alleged postings to the publisher's website. Motion to dismiss granted.

Defended a family farm and its employee driver in two personal injury lawsuits arising from a collision between one of its tractor-trailers and an SUV that allegedly resulted in permanent injury to the driver of the SUV and to her child who was a passenger. Settled.

Energy Litigation

Assisted team of McGuireWoods energy, corporate and litigation attorneys with trial preparation and support in the firm's representation of a leading power company in proceedings before utilities commissions in two states to obtain approval of the company's sale of natural gas companies.

Defended an owner and operator of a hydroelectric co-generation facility in a lawsuit for an alleged breach of a repair services agreement brought by a company that sold and repaired its high-pressure feed pump motors. Settled.

Financial Services Litigation

Defended one of the world’s largest financial institutions in a variety of lawsuits involving claims of fraud, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with consumer lending.

Defended a leading lender in the mortgage banking industry against claims for alleged fraud, predatory lending, unfair and deceptive trade practices, violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and violations of the Truth in Lending Act.

Labor & Employment

Defended a leading waste removal, recycling and environmental services company at trial in a North Carolina Wage and Hour Act claim brought by a former employee for an alleged failure to pay sales commission. Defense verdict.

Defended one of the world's largest banks in a purported class action in federal court brought on behalf of current and former employee credit managers, senior credit managers, assistant managers and loan processors for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and alleged violations of the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act.

Defended a leading provider of food and support services in an age discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee, who alleged that she was terminated in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Settled.

Professional Malpractice

Defended a leading university health system, its chief of gastrointestinal and colorectal surgery, and its former chief resident at trial in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving post-surgical complications following colorectal surgery. Defense verdict.

Defended a hospital and its employee nurse anesthetist at trial in a medical malpractice action for wrongful death arising from a post-extubation cardiac arrest and severe brain injury. Directed verdict for the defense.

Defended a hospital and its employee nurse anesthetist at trial in a medical malpractice action arising from an intraoperative extravasation injury that allegedly caused permanent injury and impairment to the patient's dominant arm. Defense verdict.

Defended a regional medical center at trial in a lawsuit for alleged failure to suspect and report child abuse. Confidential high-low settlement agreement triggered by verdict for the plaintiffs.

Defended a leading university health system's ophthalmology practice and its employee occuloplastic surgeon in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving post-surgical complications following levator release and entropion repair surgery. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended a regional medical center in a wrongful death lawsuit for alleged medical malpractice in response to complications arising after gastric bypass surgery. Settled.

Defended a regional medical center in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving an alleged failure to diagnose an esophageal tear in the emergency department. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended one of the largest anesthesiology groups in the country and its employee anesthesiologist in a wrongful death lawsuit for alleged medical malpractice in the administration of general anesthesia. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended two emergency medicine physicians and their practice group in a wrongful death lawsuit for alleged failure to diagnose a hemorrhagic stroke in an emergency department. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended an internal medicine physician in a wrongful death claim involving the deaths of both a mother and her child during the 27th week of pregnancy allegedly caused by a rare blood disorder. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended a plastic surgeon in a lawsuit for alleged medical negligence in performance of elective abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a "tummy tuck" procedure, which allegedly resulted in post-surgical complications. Summary judgment for the defendant.

Toxic Torts

Defended a leading chemical manufacturer in a wrongful death action arising from alleged exposure to chromic acid and potassium bichromate. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended a manufacturer of synthetic industrial lubricants in a third-party claim asserted in a wrongful death action arising from alleged exposure to benzene and toluene. Dismissed without settlement.

Defended manufacturers in the automotive, power tool and paper products industries in cases of alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products resulting in asbestosis and mesothelioma.

AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2014-2017, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2017, Woodward/White, Inc.

Named a “Local Litigation Star,” Product Liability, Benchmark Litigation, 2015, 2016

Named to "Legal Elite," Litigation, 2011-2016; Young Guns, 2009-2010, 2012-2013, Business North Carolina

Named to "North Carolina Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2014-2016

Named to "North Carolina Rising Stars," Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2009-2013

Recipient, Mover and Shaker Award for Dedication to Community and Excellence in Leadership, Business Leader Magazine, 2011

Named to "Top Lawyers," The North Carolina Legal Guide, Business Leader Magazine, 2009

Chief Justice of the Holderness Moot Court Bench, UNC School of Law, 2002-2003

Recipient, James William Morrow III Award, UNC School of Law, 2003

Selected for inclusion in the Order of Barristers, UNC School of Law, 2003

Member, Broun National Trial Team, UNC School of Law, 2001-2003

Member, Moot Court Invitational Team, UNC School of Law, 2002-2003

Regional Champion, ATLA Mock Trial Competition, 2002

Speaker, "Expert Cross-Examination," Trial Techniques and Technology Specialized Litigation Workshop, DRI Product Liability Conference, April 9, 2014
Panelist, "Ethics and Professional Responsibility," 2nd Semester Orientation, UNC School of Law, January 18, 2013
Speaker, "Tablesaws and Torts: When is an ‘Alternative’ Product Design Reasonable?," North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys’ 2012 Fall Seminar for Insurance Claims Managers & Defense Counsel, September 28, 2012
Speaker, "How to Prepare for and Conduct an Effective Deposition Examination," February 14, 2012
Panelist, "Cover Letters and Resumé," Networking event for the North Carolina Bar Association, Hispanic/Latino Lawyers Committee, and the Hispanic/Latino Law Students Association, January 29, 2011