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Running is a way of life

Clay Hodges, partner in the firm, would like to introduce his new website:  www.northcarolinaproductliabilitylawyer.com.  The website provides helpful and timely information to individuals who have been injured by failed medical devices like artificial hips, knees, transvaginal mesh, and harmful drugs.  Please check out the new site, and feel free to email or call Clay (919.546.8788) for further information.


On October 7, 2013 Harris Sarratt & Hodges participated in and made a financial contribution towards the 24th Annual Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic. The major benefactors of this year’s event was Fostering Bright Futures Program at Wake Technical Community College and the Rotary Club’s Styres College Scholarship Fund. Fostering Bright Futures Program helps provide a support structure for Wake County foster youth making the transition from foster care to post-secondary education and independent adulthood.

The Styres Scholarship Fund provides an annual award to a deserving Wake County public high school graduate who has demonstrated need and has overcome various obstacle to achieve their fullest potential. Harris Sarratt & Hodges, LLP happily supports these great programs in the Triangle.


Harris Sarratt & Hodges proudly supports Burning Coal Theatre Company


I was playing (poorly) in a charity golf tournament last week when a friend I had known for more than ten years asked me, “what kind of law do you practice?”

I was taken aback.  I had always assumed he knew the specific type of law I practiced.  But it was not my friend’s fault that he did not know; it was my fault.  None of us should presume that our friends, family, acquaintances, or even our professional colleagues have a clear sense of the kind of the work we do.

So here is what I do:

I practice civil litigation, mainly representing plaintiffs in personal injury and product liability cases.  For more than twelve years I have represented individuals who have been injured through the negligence of others.  I have represented injured persons in cases involving defective products, particularly failed medical devices like artificial hips and knees (see my website: meddevicelaw.com).  I have also handled cases involving car accidents, slip and fall, and other forms of negligence.  Recently I have handled several multi-district litigation cases involving failed artificial hip components manufactured by Depuy and Zimmer.

And here is what my firm does:

My law firm also practices business litigation.  This means the firm represents individuals and companies who have disputes with others over contracts or other business dealings.  As civil litigators, we file lawsuits on behalf of individuals and companies who have been harmed financially and otherwise by the bad acts of others.  We also defend individuals and companies who have been sued.  In the past few years alone the firm has handled disputes involving non-compete agreements, shareholders’ agreements, construction contracts, buy-sell agreements, rental contracts, the failure to perform under a contract, and simple unpaid debts.  The firm has also litigated claims involving professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, misrepresentation, fraud, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.  Essentially, if you have a business dispute that escalates to litigation, the lawyers in my firm can help.

Resist Temptation for the Quick Legal Answer

Well-meaning people occasionally call me saying they have a “quick question” about a legal issue.  I certainly empathize with this expectation.  It is human nature to hope that a vexing legal question may have a simple, tidy, quick answer.

But in the legal world, answers are rarely simple and quick.  If you are involved in a legal dispute, it is crucial that you receive careful, accurate, complete legal advice.  If you have a question about a provision in a contract, you should expect that your attorney will take the time to analyze the relevant language in light of all facts and circumstances involved.  If you are contemplating litigation, you should have a full and candid discussion with your attorney about all the legal issues¹, the risks of litigation, the costs and time involved, and the potential outcomes.

It is very important that you slow down, understand the problem, and make the best choices for yourself, your company, your family, and your future.

Please call Harris Sarratt & Hodges, LLP today and allow us to help you find the proper path forward in a complex legal world.

– Clay Hodges

¹ And just as it is often unwise and potentially alarming to Google your health symptoms, I discourage searching out answers to legal problems on the Internet, as so much of what you find may be interpreting another state’s laws, may be outdated, or may simply be wrong.  Such “information” can turn out to be very costly in the long run.

Clay Hodges Marks Twelve Years as Soup Kitchen Volunteer

Clay Hodges has been a volunteer at the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen for twelve years.  Located at the church of the Good Shepherd in downtown Raleigh, Shepherd’s Table serves hot meals to hundreds of individuals every day of the week, Monday through Friday.  Clay serves with the “Wednesday Team,” and he has also brought along his children to serve.  John Sarratt of the firm has also volunteered at Shepherd’s Table.  Please check out the soup kitchen’s website (http://www.shepherds-table.org) for more information on this remarkable community service operation.

John Sarratt at UNC School of Law

For the past two years John Sarratt has served as an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Law working with former Dean and Burton Craige Professor of Law Judith Welch Wegner in a course entitled “Becoming a Professional: Exploring Skills and Transition Into Practice.” The course has the additional dimension of being conducted by video conferencing with the University of Cincinnati College of Law and their current Dean, Louis Bilionis, a former law professor at UNC. The course is designed to give students experience in different types of professional environments to prepare them for their career as lawyers.

In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at UNC, Sarratt has spoken to student groups at the Wake Forest, Duke, Campbell and Elon Schools of Law, and has been a speaker at the UNC Festival of Legal Learning every year since 2004.

Kristina Sandine starts Hoodies for the Homeless

I am very pleased to announce that our office manager, Kristina Sandine, has started a donation service in Raleigh called “Hoodies for the Homeless.” She is collecting hoodies (hooded sweatshirts, coats and sweaters) to pass out to the homeless or those in need of warmth this winter.

Though she is not currently accepting monetary donations, if you have gently used sweatshirts or coats you would like to donate to this cause please feel free to stop by the office with your donations! She would like to reach as many people as possible this season in hopes of providing a little warmth to those less fortunate.

Harris Sarratt & Hodges proudly supports Kristina’s efforts, and we hope you will participate.

Read more →

John Sarratt Receives Recognition for Extraordinary Volunteer Service

For over 30 years, our partner, John Sarratt, has been an active volunteer in professional and community activities.  In the past, he has served as President of Legal Services of North Carolina (now Legal Aid of North Carolina), which is the organization that provides basic legal services to North Carolinians who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  He has also served on the Boards of Directors of the North Carolina Bar Association, Wake County Bar Association and Greensboro Bar Association (which is where he started his career in 1972).

More recently, John has received recognition from the Chief Justices’ Commission on Professionalism for “meritorious and extraordinary service … by providing sound and consistent leadership, guidance and personal assistance to countless attorneys, judges and legal personnel.”  This year he was recognized by Legal Aid of North Carolina for “singlehandedly raising over $1,000,000 for Legal Aid of North Carolina.”  In January, John will be awarded the CLE Volunteer of the Year award by the North Carolina Bar Association for his “exceptional dedication and service” in speaking to groups of lawyers as part of the continuing legal education required of each lawyer.  Over the years, John has made CLE presentations to well over 50 groups of lawyers across the state.

John has also volunteered his time and energy outside the legal community, serving among other roles as President of Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, and as Senior Warden of his church, St. Mark’s Episcopal.

John’s efforts over the years to improve the quality of legal services provided by all lawyers, and his commitment to public service, is a reflection of the values and priorities of Harris, Winfield, Sarratt & Hodges, where our motivation comes from a desire not only to achieve the best results for our clients, but also to uphold the highest standards of the legal profession.

N0010912 Osteoarthritis, bilateral hip prostheses
Credit: Wellcome Photo Library. Wellcome Images
Osteoarthritis, bilateral hip prostheses

Xray, hips with artificial joints
1970s to 1986 Published:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK, see http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html

Depuy Orthopaedics (a company owned by Johnson & Johnson) has recently issued a recall of its “ASR” artificial hip components. There has been an alarming failure rate associated with the Depuy ASR XL and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, and patients with a failed hip component may suffer hip pain, inflammation, metal toxicity, loosening of the components, and total hip failure.  Often, these problems require costly and painful hip revision surgeries.

The Depuy ASR Recall applies to hip replacement surgeries using Depuy ASR products performed in July 2003 and thereafter.

If you or someone you know has had hip replacement surgery in the last seven years and suffered complications, please call Clay Hodges at 919-546-8788 for a free consultation.  Our law firm can determine if you have the defective Depuy ASR hip components, and if so, we will work hard to protect your legal interests relating to this unfortunate product failure.