Rick Harper Sylva, NC Lawyer personal injury and workmans compensation
Attorney Richard B. Harper

A board certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist

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Richard Harper

Richard Harper has been practicing law since 1981 and has owned his own law practice in Sylva since 1993. His practice focuses on representing injured workers in the workers’ compensation system and others with personal injuries.

Richard was honored by Best Lawyers as the Asheville area 2019 and 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in the category of “Workers’ Compensation-Claimants.”

He has regularly been selected by his peers for inclusion in the prestigious Best Lawyers list (2007-2019) and Super Lawyers (2008 – 2012, 2016 – 2017, 2019).

He has been board certified as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 2000. He was one of the first ten lawyers in North Carolina inducted into the national College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. He is currently serving on the board of the national organization Workplace Injury Litigation Group (WILG).

A frequent contributor at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), he has authored a chapter on medical compensation in one of the leading books on North Carolina workers’ compensation law. Richard is an active member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and served two terms as the chair of the Workers’ Compensation section. He has been formally honored by the section for his representation of injured workers and has also served on the NCAJ’s Executive Committee and on the Legislative Committee. In addition to the formal positions he has held with the NCAJ, Richard has represented the interests of injured workers in legislation drafting sessions at the General Assembly in Raleigh.

Richard served as a Deputy Commissioner with the North Carolina Industrial Commission for two years before he began practicing in Sylva. He has also worked in general civil litigation practices where he successfully represented land owners in condemnation cases.

Richard graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in History. He received his law degree from the Campbell University School of Law, where he was a published member of the Campbell Law Review, was a member of the Holderness Moot Court team, and received the Howard Christian Citizenship Award.

Richard has been married to his wife and law partner, Patti, for more than forty years. Now that his four children are grown, he has retired from serving as a youth sports coach and spends his spare time cheering on the UNC Tarheels, hiking with his boxer “Pepper,” playing with his grandchildren, and being active in his church.

Contact Information

Phone: (828) 586-3305

Email: rick@harperlawfirm.com

Mail: P.O. Box 395, Sylva, N.C., 28779

 

Education, Experience & Professional Honors and Recognitions - (Click to View)

Education

      • J.D., Campbell University School of Law
        • Law Review
        • Moot Court
        • Howard Christian Citizenship Award
        • Wiggins Scholarship
      • B.A. in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
        • Dean’s List

Experience

      • Deputy Commissioner, North Carolina Industrial Commission: 1987 to 1989
      • Private practice of law: 1981 to 1987; 1989 to 2018

Professional Honors and Recognitions

      • N.C. State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law: 2000 to present
      • Best Lawyers in America: 2007-2019 in Workers’ Compensation
      • 2019: Asheville Area “Lawyer of the Year” in Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants
      • 2016: Asheville Area “Lawyer of the Year” in Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants
      • North Carolina Super Lawyers: 2008 – 2012, 2016-2017, 2019

Professional Memberships and Bar Association Activities

      • North Carolina Advocates for Justice:
        • Membership Vice-President: 2005-2006
        • Workers’ Compensation Section Chairman: 2001-2003
        • Executive Committee: 2005-2006
        • Legislative Committee: 2011-2012
      • Workplace Injury Litigation Group (WILG)
        • Member of Executive Board
      • National College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
        • One of first 10 N.C. lawyers chosen for induction

Selected Publications and Presentations

    • Authored “Chapter 9: Medical Compensation,” in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: A Practical Guide to Success at Every Stage of a Claim (Johnson & Cammarono eds., LexisNexis 3rd ed. 2016).
    • NCAJ 16th Annual Workers’ Comp Roundtable – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Raleigh, NC on March 4, 2011. Prepared and presented paper entitled “Annuities: When They Are Beneficial and When They Should Be Avoided”
    • “Navigating Claims Through the Industrial Commission” – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Raleigh, NC on May 7, 2010. Prepared paper and oral presentation on “Legal Aspects of Work Restrictions and Limitations”
    • “NCAJ Workplace Torts Seminar” – sponsored by NC Advocates of Justice in Chapel Hill, NC on December 5, 2008. Prepared and presented paper entitled “Handling Complex Rating Cases – Is N.C. Gen. Stat. Sect. 97-31 Your Most Favorable Remedy?”
    • “Avoiding CMS, Structured Settlements, Appellate and Industrial Commission Mistakes”– NCATL Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation CLE Seminar sponsored by the NC Advocates of Justice (formerly NC Academy of Trial Lawyers) in Chapel Hill, NC on December 7, 2007. Participated in a panel discussion on “Ramifications of the Year’s Most Important Appellate Court Decisions.”
    • “When Mediators Listen, People Talk: Understanding the Law, the Parties and the Process” – 13th Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting sponsored by the NC Bar Association Foundation in Cary, NC on May 5, 2006. Presented a lecture/paper with Vachelle Willis entitled “Workers’ Compensation and Legal Update and Medicare”
    • “When Mediators Listen, People Talk: Understanding the Law, the Parties and the Process” – 13th Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting sponsored by the NC Bar Association Foundation in Cary, NC on May 5, 2006. Participated in a Round Table Discussion as a panel member on the topic “Was My Face Red – Mediation Mistakes from Which We Can Learn ”
    • “Eleventh Annual Workers’ Compensation Round Table” – sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on March 4, 2005. Participated in panel discussion and presentation on “CMS and Medicare Set-Asides and Allocations”
    • “NC Academy of Trial Lawyers” (currently NC Advocates for Justice) – Trial Briefs Magazine in May 2002. Wrote article entitled “Barriers to Justice: Telling the Story,” a case involving self-employed worker killed on the job; family unable to recover because of doctrine of contributory negligence in North Carolina
    • “Third Annual Workers’ Compensation Roundtable”– sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on September 12, 1997. Presented paper entitled “Protecting Future Medicals.”
    • “Workplace Torts and Workers’ Compensation” – sponsored by NCATL in Raleigh, NC on November 18, 1994. Presented paper entitled “Top Ten Things That Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Do To Hurt Their Clients’ Cases”
    • “Overview of Workers’ Compensation Act” – sponsored by NCATL at Research Triangle Park, NC on February 21, 1992. Presented paper entitled “Overview of Workers’ Compensation ”
    • Richard Boyd Harper, Criminal Procedure – Rape Victim Shield Statute, 3 Campbell L. Rev. 113 (1981).

Our  Attorneys

Attorney Richard B. Harper

Richard Harper has been practicing law since 1981 and has owned his own law practice in Sylva since 1993. His practice focuses on representing injured workers in the workers’ compensation system and others with personal injuries.

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Attorney Patti Owen Harper

Patti Owen Harper began practicing law in 1981.
In recent years her practice has focused on workers’ compensation, while she has previous experience in wills and estates. She also serves as the firm’s office manager.

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Attorney David W. Harper

David W. Harper returned to the mountains after graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Law in May 2015 and passing the July 2015 North Carolina Bar Examination.

David’s practice focuses on representing injured employees in workers’ compensation claims, as well as assisting plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.

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Attorney Joshua O. Harper

Josh Harper joined the family firm after beginning his legal career as a litigation associate at one of North Carolina’s largest law firms.

Josh now focuses his practice on representing claimants in workers’ compensation matters, as well as assisting plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.

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Contact:

 

Phone: (828) 586-3305
Fax:     (828) 586-4795
Email: kurt@harperlawfirm.com

Monday – Friday  |  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed for Lunch | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Saturday |  Appointment Only
Sunday | Closed

The Harper Law Firm, PLLC

 

P.O. Box 395
1336 Savannah Drive
Sylva, North Carolina 28779

 

 

Disclaimer

Information presented on this website should not be construed as formal legal advice, nor should it be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship.  Additionally, sending an email to The Harper Law Firm, PLLC or any of its lawyers at the email addresses set forth in this website will not create an attorney-client relationship.

Testimonials contained on this site are not intended to demonstrate a guarantee of outcome or result. Every case is different.