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O. Max Gardner III Named North Carolina “Super Lawyer” for Fifth Consecutive Year

Law & Politics, a national attorney-led research team, in conjunction with The Charlotte Magazine, has named O. Max Gardner III of Shelby as one of the 2010 North Carolina “Super Lawyers.” This is the fifth consecutive year that Gardner has received this prestigious award.

Super Lawyers is a comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firm sizes and geographic locations. Only five percent of the lawyers in each state or region are named Super Lawyers. Law & Politics performs the polling, research and selection of Super Lawyers in a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Gardner received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969 and graduated with high honors from the UNC School of Law in 1974. Among others, he was a member of the Law Review, named the Outstanding Law Graduate of 1974, served as President of the Student Bar Foundation and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Following graduation, he served as the Senior Law Clerk to the Hon. William H. Bobbitt, the late Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and as Senior Law Clerk to the Hon. William Copeland, an Associate Justice of that Court.

Gardner worked for three years with the Smith Moore law firm in Greensboro following his Clerkships. His primary working partner at Smith Moore was the legendry J. McNeill Smith. Gardner later served as Treasurer in Smith’s campaign for the United States Senate.

Gardner served the Democratic Party of North Carolina as General Counsel from 1986 to 1992, during which time he worked closely with two different Governors. During this time, he also managed his law practice in Shelby, which he opened in 1977 after leaving Smith Moore. Gardner was also “Of Counsel” to the prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm of Sims Walker & Steinfeld from 1992 to 1996.

Gardner currently limits his practice to consumer bankruptcy cases and all consumer claims arising with respect to those cases. He has been widely recognized as the leading consumer attorney in America on “predatory mortgage servicing” in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. He has also taken the lead in pursuing the attempts of many creditors to collect debts notwithstanding the fact that the debts have been legally discharged in a bankruptcy case.

Gardner has been the lead attorney of record in many landmark cases but some of his most significant were Marshall v Spindale Savings & Loan, Stark v Crestar Mortgage, the Shelby Yarn Employees litigation, and Smith v First Union National Bank.

Gardner was named the Outstanding Consumer Lawyer of 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers at its Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. He has been elected four times as a member of the “Legal Elite” of North Carolina lawyers by his fellow attorneys in a state-wide poll conducted by Business North Carolina. His renowned “Bankruptcy Boot Camps” have been featured in the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Business Week, on a one hour segment of “Your Money” on CNN, and most recently as a Special Feature on ABC’s Nightline News. Max has also been quoted many times by all of the major print and electronic media in America. According to Robert Berner, a Senior Editor for Business Week, “Max is the go to guy on all consumer bankruptcy cases!”

Gardner is the grandson of O. Max Gardner, who was a former North Carolina Governor and United States Ambassador to Great Britain. Governor Gardner also served as Lt. Governor of North Carolina and as the Undersecretary for the United States Treasury under President Harry Truman. Gardner’s great uncle, Clyde R. Hoey, was also Governor of North Carolina and a distinguished member of the United States Senate. Governor Hoey is the only North Carolinian to have served in the State House, the State Senate, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

Gardner is a long-time member of NACBA and NACA and a frequent national speaker on bankruptcy law and consumer representation. Gardner is the father of three children, Max IV, Webb and Sarah. Max IV was killed in a tragic accident involving a drunk driver in April of 2005. Max and his wife, Victoria, live at Lizmere Farm, located deep in the heart of the South Mountains of Cleveland County near the small Town of Casar, where they breed and show their beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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