About The Firm
In 1981, North Carolina attorney Mona Lisa Wallace founded Wallace and Graham. Over the years that followed, she became nationally known for taking on cases no one else would. She represented members of working families claiming disease and injury caused by some of the largest corporations in the world. Mona has a proven track record for tenacity. Hard-nosed and persistent, she has succeeded for clients when no one else thought it possible. Today, she continues to represent her clients with passion, drive, heart, and a work ethic second to none.
In 1993, Bill Graham joined the firm. A former Assistant District Attorney and prosecutor, Bill has been instrumental in expanding the reach and capabilities of the firm. Bill is known for his compassion towards clients, exceptional recall, and his love and knowledge of medicine and medical conditions. He is a natural leader and shares Mona Lisa's passion for fighting for justice for hard-working Americans.
Together, Bill and Mona Lisa have grown Wallace & Graham to eleven qualified attorneys and over 55 paralegals and legal professionals. Operating from three buildings in the center of historic Salisbury, North Carolina, the firm has grown to have regional and national practice and scope.
Our firm is proud to represent clients in claims both large and small. Our firm is known for defending employees who suffer from work-related injuries, diseases, and cancers and have difficulty navigating the complexities of the civil justice and workers' compensation systems. We have successfully represented thousands of workers who tragically developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases and cancers as a result of their employment exposures. We have helped thousands injured by other drivers due to no fault of their own. We are proud of our work on behalf of retirees who lost pension and retirement benefits, and our work on behalf of consumers injured by unsafe products or harmed by fraudulent lending practices. We work on environmental cases to help neighbors negatively affected by companies' improper waste and toxin removals.
Many of our firm's recent hard-fought battles culminated in 2018, with a banner year for our firm and clients. In 2018 alone, Wallace & Graham secured three of the nation's top 100 verdicts ranked by size of the monetary award before the application of post-verdict cap laws. The firm obtained verdicts for awards of $473,500,000 in the case of Artis v. Murphy Brown, LLC; $50,750,000 in the case of McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC; and $32,700,000 in the case of Finch v. BASF Catalysts.
Artis and McKiver were two of our five hog farm jury trials tried in 2018-2019. Our hog farm trial team won five out of five (5/5) jury trials, and achieved record-setting verdicts exceeding $500 million. The Defendant – the largest hog producer in the world – Smithfield Foods has appealed the verdicts, and the battle continues, but the results of our cases have already caused positive change in the industry.
Finch v. BASF Catalyst is a gut-wrenching case tried before a federal jury in Greensboro by W&G Attorney Bill Graham and co-counsel, Jessica Dean. Franklin Delano Finch worked at a Firestone tire factory for 20 years installing molds in tire equipment. Defendant Covil Corp., a now defunct-pipe insulation company, installed asbestos-ladden insulation in the plant Mr. Finch worked in. The company failed to warn Mr. Finch and many others of the dangers their product posed, and Mr. Finch developed an asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, and died a horrific and painful death as a result of his disease. In October 2018, the jury awarded Mr. Finch's family $37,200,000.
In 2018, Mona Lisa also took on Duke Power regarding their coal ash pits and helped nearby neighbors secure city water to their homes to keep their families safe from potential toxic exposures.
Also in 2018, Mona Lisa and W&G Attorney John Hughes were recognized for their legal excellence and awarded the prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by national public interest firm Public Justice for their work on Inetianbor v. Western Sky – a predatory cash lender who defrauded thousands of borrowers in Florida and forced them in to arbitration. Mona Lisa and John were successful in winning payment of fine and restitutions to Florida agencies in excess of $14M for class members and the voiding of thousands of loans worth nearly $15M. The defendants were permanently prohibited from future lending in the state of Florida.
In 2019, our firm was again nominated, for the second year in a row, for American Trial Lawyer of the Year Award for our work on the complex and hard-fought hog farm litigation and jury trials. Please read more about our nomination.
We feel thankful and proud that we have been able to help thousands of clients over our past 40 years. We are thankful to so many, including: our co-counsel for sharing our vision and work ethic on behalf of our clients and for the important collaboration often necessary to maximize success; to each other for continuing to work together, persevere, and to bring joy and caring into an often stressful workplace; and to our clients, many of whom have become life-long friends and continue to believe in us, trust us, and give us strength for the next fight.
We look forward to many more years of bringing legal justice to our deserving clients. We pledge to continue to follow our mission to make our clients our priority, and to represent each client as we would our own loved one. Helping others is what makes our job rewarding. Building relationships with our clients and being there for them and their families during their deepest time of need is what Wallace & Graham is all about.
Our firm continues to operate and thrive under the leadership and four decades of experience of founding partner, Mona Lisa Wallace. Together, Mona Lisa and her partner of over 25 years, Bill Graham, have built a firm of seasoned and dedicated attorneys and legal professionals who share their high standard of excellence and perseverance on behalf of their clients. We know what it takes because we have been there before.
“Our Clients Are Our Priority” has been our mission since Day One. Our firm culture is focused on listening to our clients, caring about our clients, and developing legal strategies to advance their legal rights. We aim to lessen the burdens and improve the outlook for our clients as much as possible after a devastating life setback.
We are known as one of the hardest-working law firms for harmed and injured persons and their families. We are driven to overcome obstacles blocking our clients' access to justice. We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box. And we are not afraid to go up against some of the largest corporate actors in the world.