Gresham Receives Harkavy Award
John Gresham of Charlotte was honored on Friday, Oct. 12, as the fifth recipient of the Johnathan R. Harkavy Award. The award is presented as merited by the Labor and Employment Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association in recognition of a career that exemplifies outstanding service, leadership, and significant contributions to the development of employment law in North Carolina.
The award was presented in conjunction with the 34th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor & Employment Law Program in Asheville.
Gresham has practiced with Tin Fulton Walker & Owen since 2011, and before that with Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter. He is a graduate of Davidson College and Boston University School of Law. An extended biographical sketch appears below.
“While Gresham practiced pretty exclusively on the plaintiff’s side,” his nomination reads, “he was well respected by most members of the bar and particularly those who had occasions to interact with him. That was clearly apparent during the discussion of the members of the Harkavy Award Committee.
“While he was and is a vigorous litigator, Gresham pursues that role in a professional manner. He respects his opposing counsel and other members of the bar, and is also readily approachable by other members of the bar seeking advice about a variety of topics.”
Previous recipients of the award are Jon Harkavy (2008), John Doyle (2009), Dan McGinn (2010) and Travis Payne (2012).
Bio (courtesy Tin Fulton Walker & Owen)
John Gresham began his law practice in Charlotte in 1976 following two years of service as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge James B. McMillan in Charlotte. Gresham, as he is known to both colleagues and clients, was a partner with Ferguson Stein Chambers Gresham & Sumter until joining Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in 2011. Gresham’s practice focuses on employment and labor litigation, public employee rights, constitutional law, personal injury, and general civil litigation. Gresham has devoted a significant part of his career representing public school teachers and UNC employees. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for a decade in the areas of First Amendment and employment litigation, and as a Super Lawyer and Legal Elite by Business North Carolina in employment litigation and labor law. He continues to hold the AV®Preeminent rating from Martindale–Hubbell, first awarded over twenty years ago.
Gresham graduated from Davidson College and Boston University School of Law, where he won the Bigelow Prize for greatest potential for scholarship and teaching, and published a note in the Boston University Law Review on the employment rights of veterans. He has taught employment law and civil rights litigation at the Vermont Law School and Campbell Law School.
Well known for his trial skills, Gresham has also argued and won influential appellate cases in the areas of constitutional rights and labor relations. For example, in Corum v. University of North Carolina, the North Carolina Supreme Court found that an individual remedy exists under the North Carolina State Constitution for a violation of state constitutional rights. In Reed v. United Transportation Union, the United States Supreme Court expanded the time period in which union members could sue for violation of their rights.
Gresham has served as President of the Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation and as a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Board of Directors. He has served on numerous bar committees, including the Appellate Rules Study Committee and the Mecklenburg County Grievance Committee. Gresham has also served as Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Education Law Section, and received that Section’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006.
Outside of his practice, Gresham has served as the president of the Dilworth Community Development Association, as a member of the Board of Dance Charlotte, and as a board member for the Council for Children’s Rights. For a number of years he also coached teams in Dilworth Little League and Charlotte Junior Soccer.