How others in the legal community, our colleagues and peers, view the work we do is an important measure of its quality. Over the years we have been fortunate to earn a reputation for hard work, preparation, and fighting for our clients, and to be publicly recognized for these qualities about which we care so deeply. 

#1 Verdict in NC in 2017

May 13, 2018

Award of $9.5 million against City of Charlotte is the highest in North Carolina in 2017, according to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.


David Rudolf selected for inclusion in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

May 11, 2018

David Rudolf selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following practice area(s):
• Bet-the-Company Litigation
• Commercial Litigation
• Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar
• Criminal Defense: White-Collar
• Litigation – Securities


Gordon Widenhouse selected for inclusion in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

May 10, 2018

Gordon Widenhouse selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following practice area(s):
• Appellate Practice
• Commercial Litigation
• Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar
• Criminal Defense: White-Collar


Rudolf and Widenhouse Named in 2018 Best Lawyers in America

April 16, 2018

David Rudolf and Gordon Widenhouse have again been listed in The Best Lawyers in America.  Rudolf was  listed in the areas of: Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense:  White-Collar and Non White-Collar, and Securities Litigation.  Gordon Widenhouse was listed in the areas of: Appellate Practice, Commerical Litigation, and Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Non White-Collar.


Rudolf Widenhouse receives a Tier 1 ranking in the 2018 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

December 15, 2017

This Tier 1 ranking was determined through the firm’s overall evaluation, which was derived from a combination of the firm’s clients’ impressive feedback and  the high regard that lawyers in other firms in the same practice area have for the firm.  Tier-1 rankings were achieved in:

Commercial Litigation
Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar
Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Governmental Investigations
Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation

Appellate Practice
Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar
Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Governmental Investigations
Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation


Sonya Pfeiffer selected as Chair of Criminal Section, NCAJ

July 01, 2017

The Criminal Law Section of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice is the largest section of the NCAJ, with over 600 members.  As Vice-Chair, Pfeiffer will focus on establishing enhanced communications between the members of the Section and the NCAJ leadership.


Sonya Pfeiffer Profiled by N.C. Advocates for Justice

May 13, 2017


Sonya Pfeiffer Chairs Panel Discussion of Academy Award winner “Spotlight”

March 17, 2017


Sonya Pfeiffer Appointed to NCAJ Mass Incarceration Task Force

January 29, 2016

NCAJ President Chris Nichols has appointed Sonya Pfeiffer to serve on the Mass Incarceration Task Force created by NCAJ’s Board of Governors.  The issue of mass incarceration has received a great deal of publicity both nationally and locally, and is a priority for NCAJ.


David Rudolf Again Named to Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers List

December 06, 2015

See the full list here.


David Rudolf Interviewed on NPR Regarding Expert Witnesses

November 19, 2015

On November 19, 2015, David Rudolf appeared on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show to explain the use of expert witnesses in civil and criminal trials.  To listen to the interview, click here:


Sonya Pfeiffer chairs Mountain Magic, NCAJ’s preeminent fall conference

October 15, 2015

As Chair of this Continuing Legal Education Seminar and NCAJ Fall Conference, Pfeiffer secured the attendance of several prominent national legal speakers, including Roger Dodd and David Ball.



David Rudolf Quoted in Atlanta Journal Constitution Story on Police Shootings

October 15, 2015

In five years, only one police officer in Georgia was indicted for shooting a civilian, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News investigation of 171 fatal police shootings across the state from 2010 to 2015.

Read story here:




Rudolf & Pfeiffer Speak to Inn of Court in Asheville

September 30, 2015

David Rudolf & Sonya Pfeiffer were invited to give the opening presentation for the 2015-2016 Harry C. Martin Inn of Court in Asheville, North Carolina. Their presentation on September 30, 2015, Seeing is Believing: Proving Your Case With Demonstrative Evidence, was attended by more than 60 members of the Asheville Bar, including two federal judges.


Pfeiffer named to Board of Governors of NC Advocates for Justice

June 02, 2015

NCAJ provides continuing legal education for lawyers aimed at enhancing the quality of the legal profession, offers public education programs aimed at enhancing public access and understanding of the legal system, supports the writing of amicus briefs for the appellate courts, and advocacy work at the legislature in the areas of criminal and civil justice. The association has served its members for over 50 years.  See announcement:


Pfeiffer selected as a member of Women in the Profession Committee and reappointed as member of the Communications Committee, NCBA

June 01, 2015

The Women in the Profession Committee serves as a resource for the North Carolina Bar Association by, among other things, identifying ways to encourage and maintain the active participation and advancement of women in the Association and the legal profession.

The Communications Committee educates and informs the public of NCBA programs and projects, helps the public understand the rule of law and the role of lawyers in society and instills confidence and respect of the legal system by using whatever media are most effective and appropriate.


Gordon Widenhouse interviews Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

May 16, 2015

The Honorable Antonin Scalia gave the keynote address at the 2015 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Raleigh on May 16 (NHSMTC Awards Gala). “We are extremely excited that Justice Scalia has agreed to attend the NHSMTC next month,” said Gordon Widenhouse, Host Director for the competition in Raleigh. “He is an engaging speaker and will provide the highlight to our hosting this event.”


Sonya Pfeiffer Quoted in NC Lawyer’s Weekly

February 01, 2015

In February 2015, Pfeiffer was quoted in a NC Lawyer’s Weekly article on changes in forfeiture and seizure rules, voicing concerns among criminal defense lawyers.

Read Article:


Gordon Widenhouse Receives NC Bar Distinguished Service Award

June 19, 2014

On June 14, 2014, Gordon Widenhouse received the Distinguished Service Award from the NC State Bar.  The John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award program honors current and retired members of the North Carolina State Bar throughout the state who have demonstrated exemplary service to the legal profession.



David Rudolf Named 2014 Lawyer of the Year – Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar

August 16, 2013

David Rudolf won the distinguished award of 2014 Lawyer of the Year in Charlotte for Criminal Defense:  Non-White Collar.  Rudolf was also named in the 2014’s Best Lawyers in America in three other categories:  Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Securities Litigation.


David Rudolf Quoted In USA Today

July 04, 2013

David Rudolf comments in USA Today about the Hernandez case.

David Rudolf, the attorney who represented Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth in a murder trial 2001, believes that even if Hernandez didn’t fire any of the five shots that killed Lloyd in a North Attleborough, Mass., industrial park, prosecutors will offer a deal to the trigger man to nail the former New England Patriots tight end on the murder charge.


David Rudolf speaks at the ABA Southeast Region White Collar Seminar

June 13, 2013

On June 13, 2013, David Rudolf was a speaker at the ABA Southeast Region White Collar Seminar on Securities Fraud.  He spoke on sentencing, and particularly on calculating loss amounts, in securities fraud prosecutions.


Gordon Widenhouse Receives NCAJ Award For Excellence in Teaching Trial Advocacy

May 21, 2013

NCAJ presented M. Gordon Widenhouse, Jr. with the Charles Becton Award for excellence in the teaching of trial advocacy.


Top Verdicts of 2012

January 08, 2013

In securing a not guilty verdict in federal court for a client charged with structuring, Sonya Pfeiffer and David Rudolf hand a federal prosecutor his first courtroom loss in nearly two decades.  The verdict is named by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as one of North Carolina’s top verdicts of 2012.


David Rudolf Named 2013 Lawyer of the Year in Criminal Defense: White Collar

December 15, 2012

Mr. Rudolf was named the Best Lawyers’ 2013 Charlotte Criminal Defense: White-Collar “Lawyer of the Year.”  Only one lawyer in each practice area in each city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year”.

He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers in United States in the practice areas of Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar, Commercial Litigation, and Litigation – Securities.


Charlotte Magazine: Best Lawyers In Charlotte

October 03, 2001

“ A long-held distrust for authority and the government has led David Rudolf to defend those who might seem indefensible. But for him, popularity isn’t as important as improving the system, one case at a  time.”

Read the story. How Does This Man Sleep At Night?


Rudolf’s Talent is a Cut Above

January 28, 2001

Rudolf Cut Above



Carruth’s Lawyer Not One to Back Down

December 28, 2000



Carruth’s Lawyers Highly Respected

December 28, 2000



When The Husband Is The Suspect

December 16, 2000

A book by renowned criminal defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey discusses a number of high profile murder cases in which the husband or boyfriend was charged with killing his wife or girlfriend.  One of the cases, North Carolina v. Rae Carruth, was defended by David Rudolf.  Here is what Bailey had to say about Rudolf’s performance:

“[If the jury had believed] that Carruth had indeed blocked [the victim’s] car when the shooter in the Nissan opened fire — a claim that had some some strong evidentiary support — it is likely that Carruth would have been convicted of murder in the first degree.  That this close call was resolved in favor of Carruth can clearly be attributed to the excellent work by a high-caliber defense lawyer, David Rudolf of Chapel Hill.”

Read an excerpt from When The Husband Is The Suspect.




December 14, 2000

Ed Jones was infamous as a convicted jewel thief who escaped from more federal prisons than any inmate in the history of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, earning himself the nickname “Hacksaw.” Mr. Jones was represented on a post-conviction petition by David Rudolf, and was released from prison as a result of Rudolf’s work.  Mr. Jones described his search for a lawyer as follows:

“After some extensive checking, I was told that the man I needed was David Rudolf. . . .  He would be expensive, but there was no one better in the entire South.  I figured, well, you get what you pay for, and called him.  An agreement was reached, Dave took the case, and immediately went to work.”

Read an excerpt from Hacksaw.


Lovers And Madmen

August 03, 2000

Lovers and Madmen is the story of Julienne Busic an American charged with her husband and 3 other Croatian nationalists with the hijacking of an airplane. Mrs. Busic was represented by David Rudolf.

“ Our attorneys do such a good job defending us, they believe in us, respect us, want to perform a miracle in spite of the overwhelming evidence against us.  My attorney, Dave Rudolf, puts his entire heart and spirit into the case. I see it transforming him as the trial continues, shattering some of his illusions, some important ones, sapping him of his idealism. But he is so imbued with enthusiasm that I find myself entertaining the possibility of an acquittal, or at least a term of probation in lieu of imprisonment. ”

Read an excerpt from Lovers and Madmen.


The Government vs. Erotica

March 09, 1987

North Carolina v. PHE, Inc. involved the prosecution of a mail order distributor of sexually explicit materials represented by David Rudolf.  Phil Harvey, the founder and President of PHE, described a critical meeting with his team of attorneys.  The issue was whether to fight the charges or plead guilty and pay a fine:

“ While we ruminated, Dave Rudolf suddenly stood up and said, ‘Goddammit, we’re talking about the First Amendment here!’ He looked at me. ‘If you don’t stop the government, who will? Every time we agree to a fine, they raise the ante. If we agree to these guilty pleas and escalating fines, there’ll be no end to it.’ He was addressing everyone now. ‘Someone’s got to take a stand. If not PHE, who will?’ ”

Read an excerpt from The Government vs. Erotica.