Elizabeth Pharr McCullough


Elizabeth advises and defends health care providers in matters involving patient care issues and risk management issues. She has successfully handled numerous medical malpractice cases and has taken many of them to trial. She has obtained numerous defense verdicts in cases of alleged medical malpractice, a few of which are summarized on her “Milestones” page. Many of these cases involved catastrophic injury or death. Elizabeth also represents clients before the North Carolina Medical Board, the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, and the North Carolina Board of Social Work Certification and Licensure Board.

Elizabeth represents clients in federal court in Section 1983 civil rights litigation involving medical providers and manages the firm’s Section 1983 civil rights litigation, working closely with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office in the defense of those claims. She has successfully handled appeals in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, North Carolina Supreme Court, Virginia Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to representing clients involved in adversarial proceedings, Elizabeth educates clients and advises them in matters pertaining to HIPAA, HITECH and other security issues. Elizabeth represents providers in medical billing audits and recoupment procedures and pathology laboratories with waste management claims.

Elizabeth is the first woman elected to serve as a member of the firm’s Practice Management Committee.  This committee is responsible for the ongoing management decisions relating to long-term operation of the Firm. She is a shareholder, serves as a member of the firm’s recruiting committee, and is a member of the firm’s medical malpractice defense team. Elizabeth is also the leader of the firm’s Health Care Industry Group, which seeks to better serve the firm’s health care clients by providing them with services from all of our practice teams. She joined Young Moore & Henderson in 2004, after practicing with LeClair Ryan, P.C. in the medical malpractice/tort defense group in Richmond, Virginia. She is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America™ and holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.



Education & Bar Admissions

  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1999
  • B.A. with Honors, Davidson College, 1996

Admitted in

  • North Carolina, 2004
  • Virginia, 1999
  • U.S. District Courts for North Carolina
  • U.S. District Courts for Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America™, an invitation-only national trial lawyer honor society, recognizing effectiveness and accomplishment in trial work along with superior ethical reputation.
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America © in the area of Litigation-Health Care (2020)
  • Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers® 2009-2014 in the Rising Stars list, a category for attorneys age 40 and younger, consisting of no more than 2.5% of North Carolina Attorneys.
  • Listed in the “Young Guns” category, Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite™2009. Selection for this distinction is based on ballots sent to every licensed lawyer in N.C.
  • Matters listed in Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly top ten “Biggest Defense Verdicts”
  • WFU School of Law National Trial Team, 1997-98, 1999 regional champion


  • Alliance Medical Ministry, Board of Directors
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Tenth Judicial District Bar
  • Active Member of the North Carolina Medical Group Managers Association (NCMGMA)
  • Member, First Presbyterian Church

Publications & Presentations


  • Summary Judgment and public official immunity granted to physician as an employee of North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
  • Defense verdict for general surgeon who was alleged to have improperly cut biliary anatomy during gallbladder surgery.
  • Defense verdict for orthopedic spinal surgeons who were alleged to have caused permanent nerve injury as the result of a misplaced pedicle screw during a spinal procedure.
  • Defense verdict for an anesthesiologist who was alleged to have improperly administered medications resulting in the death of the patient.
  • Defense verdict for orthopedic shoulder specialists in a case involving a vascular injury during rotator cuff surgery.
  • Defense verdict for a general surgeon who was alleged to have failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism resulting the death of a 35-year-old patient following hernia surgery.
  • Defense verdict for an anesthesiologist in a case involving blindness in one eye following use of a horseshoe headrest during spinal surgery.
  • Directed verdict/summary judgment granted numerous medical negligence cases during trial.
  • Summary judgment granted in more than 65 Section 1983 civil rights claims against health care providers.

Disclaimer: The above information may not necessarily reflect the attorney’s entire record, and the outcome of any particular future matter cannot be predicated on the attorney’s or law firm’s past results.