James A. Harrell 90

James Andrew “Jim” Harrell, III is a lobbyist with Bode & Harrell, LLP in Raleigh. He served three terms as a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly representing the state’s ninetieth House district, including constituents in Alleghany and Surry counties. In 2014 he was named the 8th most powerful active lobbyist in the state legislature. He has represented RELANC since its inception in 2011.

Harrell, an Eagle Scout and native of Elkin, NC, is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and the Emory University School of Law. While a law student, Harrell worked for the District Attorney’s office in Fulton County, Georgia. He also served as a law clerk for North Carolina Supreme Court justice Franklin Freeman.

Harrell was elected to the NC House in 2002 and re-elected in 2004. He was elected to a third term with over 60 percent of the vote. During his final term, the 2007-2008 session, Harrell was chairman of both the House committees on Ways and Means and on Pensions and Retirement. He served as chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources committee in his second term and of Judiciary Committee II in the second half of his first term. Harrell also chaired or co-chaired select committees on Economic Development and on the rural economy in 2006.

He currently serves as a board member for the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and serves on the board of visitors for Appalachian State University. He is a past board member of the Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member and Sunday school teacher for White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.

Hunter Edwards

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

hunter-s-edwardsAs RELANC’s Vice-Chair and now Chairperson, Hunter is a key strategic leader and decision maker in policy and legislative matters.

Hunter earned his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, History, magna cum laude, with Honors, and his JD from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, cum laude. He earned Book Awards in Historic Preservation Law and Condominium and Community Development Law.

Hunter is a member of the Womble Carlyle’s Real Estate Group in its Charlotte office. He represents real estate developers, financial institutions, and individual investors in all phases of commercial real estate transactions.

Hunter regularly represents real estate developers, individuals, and other businesses in all aspects of complex commercial and residential development projects, including residential subdivisions, shopping centers, multi-family developments, and condominiums. He has experience documenting and closing commercial real estate transactions, negotiating commercial leases, reviewing and curing title issues, revising and amending development restrictions and agreements, and obtaining permanent financing solutions for his clients.

Hunter’s also regularly assists institutional lenders in documenting, negotiating, and closing commercial real estate transactions. His experience includes undertaking extensive title curative work, analyzing purchase contracts for national lenders, and assisting clients with general corporate matters.

Ben Kuhn

Ragsdale Liggett PLLC610x284kuhn-610x284

Ben is the Chairman of RELANC’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee. As such he leads the small group mobilized when an issue in RELANC’s wheelhouse requires quick action. He also directs decision making and response processes both before and after legislative action, and works with Jim Harrell and RELANC’s current Chairperson to determine strategic plans.

With over 17 years of experience, Ben Kuhn focuses his practice on real estate, business, land use, zoning, administrative law, and litigation. Mr. Kuhn represents and advises commercial and residential developers in connection with a wide range of real estate and business related issues. He regularly represents developers, property owners, and businesses engaged in or affected by the acquisition, development, construction, operation and leasing of commercial and residential properties across the Triangle area and throughout the state of North Carolina. Ben also represents business and individual clients in trial and appellate courts in order to protect their investments and property rights.

Ben serves as the Consumer Protection Attorney for the North Carolina Bar Association Real Property Section. In this role, he investigates consumer protection issues involving real estate transactions and serves as a liaison between attorney members of the Real Property Section and numerous State agencies responsible for enforcing laws protecting consumers in connection with real estate transactions.

Ben earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and his JD from Temple University School of Law. He was admitted into the North Carolina State Bar in 1997. He is an active member of the NC Bar Association, and has participated in the Real Estate and Zoning  & Land Use Sections. He is also   Past President of the Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association and was a founding member of RELANC, as well as Chairman in 2011. Ben is civic minded as well, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and its Acquisition and Development   Committee.

He has received numerous leadership and volunteerism awards, as well as awards recognizing professional excellence. He is LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® AV   Preeminent® Peer Review Rated and was recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in Real Estate Law from 2012-2015. Ben is a Founding Member and Past President of RELANC. He is is a frequent speaker and presenter at continuing legal education seminars on real estate and consumer protection issues. Ben is a strong advocate for his clients and those of other real estate attorneys, and is eager to draft opinions, articles, and legislation that will advance consumer protection.

Visit Ben’s blog titled  “The Real Estate Consumer Protection Law Blog” at https://yourslingshot.wordpress.com/

Visit Ben’s Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/23rllawyer

Previous Legal Experience:
Kuhn Law Firm, Founder and Managing Partner
Holt York McDarris & High, LLP, Raleigh, NC
Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, Raleigh, NC