Isn’t He Iconic: North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Designates Smith Anderson Attorney Kirk Warner a “Legal Icon”

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly 

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly has selected Smith Anderson attorney Kirk Warner as one of the state’s Legal Icons, described as senior leaders in the legal community who have made their mark on their firms, community organizations and local, state and national bar associations.

Kirk is a lead trial lawyer, focusing much of his work on complex and challenging product liability and commercial bet-the-company litigation. Kirk leads Smith Anderson’s Products Liability, Mass Tort and Catastrophic Loss, Asbestos and Toxic Torts, and Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation practice groups and is a senior litigator in the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Complex Contract Disputes and Construction Litigation teams with trial experience spanning across many litigation areas.

Among his leadership roles outside of the firm, Kirk is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the longest-serving Commissioner on the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission. He is also an honorary member of The North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and Commissioner on the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission. Kirk has served on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Board of Governors, its Executive Committee and founded its Military & Veterans Law Section. He also is the current Vice-Chair of the NC State Bar’s LAMP Committee and the President of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Armed with three master’s degrees, Kirk is a retired Army Colonel, Iraqi War Commander and Senior Army Judge Advocate who was legal counsel to three Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and major Commands. He has led major investigations and tiger teams for the U.S. Department of Defense and large corporations and has commanded at all levels, from company to brigade. Kirk was featured on CNN’s Lou Dobb’s Tonight “Heroes” series and has published two award-winning books: Zone of Action: A JAG’s Journey Inside Operations Cobra II and Iraqi Freedom and A Hoot in Hell’s Island: The Heroic Story of World War II Dive Bomber Lt. Cmdr. Robert D. “Hoot” Gibson.

Kirk devotes endless energy and enthusiasm to helping veterans reestablish themselves and go on to be leaders in their communities, just as they were leaders on the battlefield. Having seamlessly maneuvered combat operations and walked the line between military and legal life, Kirk is a renowned leader within the military and veterans community with a particular devotion to other war veterans who have a difficult time readjusting to life back home. Kirk is a driving force behind the state’s Veteran’s Treatment Court, a diversionary court designed to help veterans who have been thrust into the justice system due to mental health disorders, trauma or substance abuse that arose following their military service in combat zones. Kirk also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Veterans Life Center of North Carolina, a residential and first-of-its kind program designed to help at-risk veterans.

Kirk describes his greatest professional accomplishment as serving as senior legal counsel to the U.S. coalition while commanding a team of Army JAGs for major combat operations during the liberation of Iraq and the nation-building that followed.

"We brought order to chaos, lead Geneva tribunals, established new court systems, prosecuted pirates and those who had committed crimes against humanity," Kirk said. "We forged new legal ground in nation-building, tackled daunting tasks under impossible conditions, brought humanity and order to the fight by instilling the Rule of Law and Law of War into the battle theater and beyond."

Profiles of all of the "Icon" winners can be viewed here.


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