Joseph W. Williford

Of Counsel

Joe’s work centers on medical malpractice defense and related practice areas. He has more than 35 years’ experience in medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and general casualty litigation.

Joe represents physicians, hospitals, long term care providers and medical device manufacturers in matters involving risk management and loss prevention, corporate compliance programs, internal investigations, fraud and abuse, credentialing, peer review and the defense of civil actions. He has appeared in cases in all the federal courts in North Carolina, the state trial courts throughout North Carolina and administrative hearings before the North Carolina Medical Board. In addition, Joe has argued cases before both the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Joe is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) and the American Society for Hospital Risk Management (ASHRM). He has served on the firm’s practice management committee. Joe holds an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Joe has also served as a hiking guide for a company based out of Colorado offering biking and hiking tours.

Education & Bar Admissions

  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1981
  • B.A., cum laude, Wake Forest University, 1978

Admitted in

  • North Carolina, 1981
  • U.S. District Courts for North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court



  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA)
  • American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM)
  • North Carolina Chapter for the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management

Publications & Presentations

  • Comment, The Use of Blood Tests in Actions to Determine Paternity, 16 Wake Forest Law Rev. 591 (1980)
  • Lecturer, Advanced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina, February, 1991, National Business Institute
  • Lecturer, Basic Workers’ Compensation, April, 1992, North Carolina Bar Foundation Continuing Legal Education
  • Lecturer, Nursing Home Litigation, August 2003, North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association
  • Presenter, “Peer Review Protection,” March 2014, local hospital staff
  • Lecturer, Informed Consent, May, 2013, ASHRM (NC)
  • Panel Participant, Negotiation: Finding the ‘Sweet Spot,’ May 2014, ALFA International’s 2014 International Health Care Seminar
  • Lecturer, The Practice of Medicine in the Age of Social Media, May 2014, Raleigh hospital
  • Presenter, “Nursing Documentation,” August 2014, local hospital staff



  • Osburn v. Maxwell, 135 N.C. App. 88, 529 S.E.2d 88 (1999), aff’d per curium 352 N.C. 143, 530 S.E.2d 54 (2000) (issue of informed consent as to FDA status of medical devices).
  • Moore v Standard Mineral, 122 N.C. App. 375, 469 S.E.2d 594 (1996) (workers’ compensation issue of average weekly wage in silicosis case).
  • Locklear v Scotland Memorial Hospital, Inc., 119 N.C. App. 245, 457 S.E.2d 764 (1995) (medical malpractice service of process issue).
  • Hardin v Venture Construction Co., 107 N.C. App. 758, 421 S.E.2d 601 (1992) (workers’ compensation issue of average weekly wage in death case).
  • Wallace v Haserick, 105 N.C. App.315, 412 S.E.2d 694 (1992) (medical malpractice affirmative defense issue).
  • Huggard v Wake County Hospital System, 102 N.C. App. 772, 403 S.E.2d 568 (1991), aff’d., 330 N.C. 610, 411 S.E.2d 610 (1992) (medical malpractice involving service of process as to “John Doe” defendant).
  • McKenzie v McCarter Electric Co., 86 N.C. App. 619, 359 S.E.2d 249 (1987) (workers’ compensation involving aggravation of pre-existing condition).
  • Jones v Beaunit Corp., 72 N.C. 351, 424 S.E.2d 624 (1985) (workers’ compensation involving occupational disease).
  • Smith v Intermedics, Inc., 767 F.2d 82 (1985) (product liability claim involving pacemaker).

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.

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