- August 19, 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of Attorney Joel Harbinson being licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Over four decades, he has handled virtually every kind of criminal and civil case. More recently, in 2018, Harbinson was the only trial lawyer in North Carolina who tried both a First Degree Murder criminal case and a Major Medical Negligence civil case in that same year.
- On June 21, 2019, Attorney Joel Harbinson was officially appointed by the court to represent 16-year-old Heidi Wolfe during her initial appearance in Alexander County District Court on triple murder charges.
- On June 20, 2019, the North Carolina Bar Association honored Attorney Joel Harbinson, along with only ten other lawyers in the state, as a 2019 recipient of the Citizen Lawyer Award. The award was presented at the NCBA Annual Meeting at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The NCBA Citizen Lawyer Award was established in 2007 to recognize lawyers who provide exemplary public service to their communities. Honorees include elected and appointed government officials, coaches, mentors and voluntary leaders of nonprofit, civic, and community organizations.
- During the June 10, 2019, term of Alexander County Superior Court, Attorney Joel Harbinson filed a Motion to Suppress on behalf of his client A.G. who was charged with Driving While Impaired. Harbinson argued that since the arresting officer only saw A.G.'s vehicle "touch the center line" rather than cross it, based on a 2009 NC Court of Appeals decision, the officer had an insufficient reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. The presiding judge agreed and suppressed the evidence of the stop. As a result of winning the motion, the DWI charge against A.G. was dismissed.
- On June 3, 2019, Attorney Joel Harbinson was able to get charges of 1st Degree Rape and 1st Degree Burglary dismissed against his client O.A. Client O.A., a Hispanic citizen of the U.S., was charged by his adult Caucasian neighbor of a non-consensual sexual assault. Harbinson set a probable cause hearing soon after the charges were filed where he cross-examined the accuser and had a transcript of her testimony, showing inconsistencies and a general lack of credibility, made which he provided, along with telephone records he subpoenaed showing a relationship between the parties before and after the alleged rape and burglary, to the DA's office. Upon consideration, the DA's office dismissed all charges "due to significant conflicts in the evidence" which Harbinson was able to establish.
- In the March 21, 2019, edition of the Taylorsville Times, Attorney Joel Harbinson was recognized for being instrumental in bringing the State-funded Alexander Correctional Institution to Taylorsville when he served as a county commissioner. The prison is one of only six state-funded close security prisons in North Carolina. It is now one of the largest employers in Alexander County with nearly 750 jobs and has paid for itself many times over for the $1 million local investment to secure it -- by its monthly payments to the Town and the County in water and sewer fees, as well as in savings in meals for our detainees in the county jail and in sales taxes for buying local products and using local services.
- On December 12, 2018, Attorney Joel Harbinson was selected by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers in North Carolina. The National Trial Lawyers is an organization composed of such notable attorneys (and their clients) as Gloria Allred (Bill Cosby's accusers), Jose Baez (Casey Anthony), Mark Geragos (Scott Peterson), Mark O'Mara (George Zimmerman), and Gerry Spence (Karen Silkwood). As a result, Harbinson will be invited to attend the annual Trial Lawyers Summit and network with these and other top lawyers across the country.
- On July 1, 2012, Attorney Joel Harbinson began the direct marketing of handling traffic tickets outside of Alexander County. With the addition of Attorney Bryan Corbett in 2016, the firm now handles traffic tickets in the following counties -- Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Iredell, and Wilkes. In December 2018, the firm recognized the 10,000th speeding ticket it had reduced to "Improper Equipment" since its marketing campaign began -- saving its clients millions of dollars in car insurance premiums.
- Client A.A., a wholesaler from outside North Carolina, was stopped at a license check where, after a consent search of his van, numerous vials of CBD were found -- which he supplied to "head shops" across the state. Since CBD is a derivative of hemp and can contain THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, A.A. was charged with Felony Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Sell and Deliver. The CBD was sent to the state lab for analysis and THC was indeed confirmed. A.A. retained Attorney Joel Harbinson who was able to get the charge dismissed in Alexander County Superior Court on December 12, 2018 when he advocated that the State could not prove the specific level of THC within the CBD confiscated from A.A.'s vehicle -- a crucial element which determines whether CBD is a legal, or an illegal, substance.
In March 2015, Attorney Joel Harbinson was retained to represent a client charged with Felony Hit and Run in Catawba County after she struck a jogger on the
side of the road early in the morning before sunrise.
The defendant thought she had hit a dog and went on to work two miles away at a day care center where she worked and parked her car right outside. When the sun rose and she finally looked the damage to the passenger side of her car, it was determined she had a struck a jogger running on the edge of the highway in the dark.
After negotiations with the District Attorney's Office over the next three years, she eventually pled No Contest on October 8, 2018 to a simple misdemeanor -- instead of a felony -- and was ordered to perform some community service and pay a fine, but was not ordered to pay any restitution.
- In September of 2018, our firm won The Taylorsville Times and Alexander County Economic Development Corporation's Readers' Choice Awards for "Best Overall Law Firm" -- for the fifth consecutive year.
- Attorney Joel Harbinson was chosen on August 13, 2018 as one of just 30 recipients for the 2018 "Leaders in the Law" award as determined by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly. Honorees of this award are described as "the most influential individuals within our state's legal community" and are recognized as going "above and beyond in their profession and community."
- Attorney Joel Harbinson was retained on June 25, 2018, to represent a 20‑year‑old teen who accidentally crossed the centerline coming home from work causing a collision which killed a young mother and injured her children. The teenager, a volunteer firefighter in his community, was exhausted from a long day working his construction job outside in the hot weather. The teen has fully cooperated with authorities. Neither alcohol nor drugs were involved. Charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle (an unintentional death resulting from the violation of a traffic law), reckless driving, and driving left of center are currently pending in Alexander County District Court.
- Attorney Joel Harbinson was hired on June 11, 2018, to defend a teenager who accidentally shot and killed his best friend earlier that morning. During an investigation by the DA's office and local detectives over the next week, Harbinson and his client fully cooperated with local authorities in order to show any charges of homicide would not be justified based upon the specific facts of the case. One week later, on June 18, 2018, the District Attorney announced that no criminal charges would be sought by her office.
- Attorneys Joel Harbinson and Caryn Brzykcy served as co‑counsel in a complicated medical negligence trial in Iredell County Superior Court over a period of more than three weeks from May 21‑June 11, 2018 in Iredell County Superior Court. The case involved the testimony of a total of seven doctors (five of which were expert witnesses). With the law in North Carolina stacked in favor of the defendant doctor in such medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff did not prevail despite a hard‑fought battle by our team of experienced attorneys.
- On May 21, 2018, Attorney Caryn Brzykcy finalized a settlement for her client who was of one of the students injured on October 3, 2015, when a rental truck struck North Iredell High School, causing a concrete awning to collapse on students waiting underneath. Twenty-five students attending a band competition were injured and taken to local hospitals. The claims of all of the students, some severely and permanently injured, were mediated collectively over a period of 24 hours, and Caryn was able to reach a successful settlement for her particular injured client.
- Attorneys Joel Harbinson and Caryn Brzykcy settled a Medical Malpractice case in April 2018 on behalf of a client where a urologist negligently left a 150 cm guidewire in his bladder. By agreement of both parties, the terms of the settlement are confidential.
- Attorney Joel Harbinson was recognized in the April 2018 edition of Trial Briefs, the quarterly publication of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, for his representation in a First Degree Murder case in January 2018.
- Attorney Bryan Corbett originated and promoted the firm's decision in January 2018 to offer its criminal defense representation free of charge to those defendants who seek in-patient treatment for their opioid addictions. Watch The Video »
- Attorneys Joel Harbinson and Bryan Corbett were recognized for their roles in the October 2017 North Carolina Advocates for Justice seminar entitled "Becoming Atticus Finch ‑‑ Representing the Wrongfully Accused in Sexual Assault Cases." Harbinson was Program Chair and author and presenter of the topics "Using Inconsistent Statements and the Lack of Corroboration as the Bedrock of Your Defense" and "Establishing Shared Values with the Jury Leading to an Acquittal. Corbett was author and presenter of the topic "Upholding the Ethical Standards of Atticus Finch."
- Attorney Joel Harbinson was recognized in the July 2017 edition of Trial Briefs, the quarterly publication of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, for his representation of three indigent defendants in First Degree Sexual Assault cases in a twelve-month period from January 2015 to January 2016.
- Attorneys Joel Harbinson and Caryn Brzykcy were recognized in a October 2016 publication of N.C. Lawyers Weekly for their part in a successful settlement in a Wrongful Death damages case resolved in May 2016.