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Charles A. Bentley, Jr.

Mr. Bentley has had a longstanding interest in medical issues. He attended Auburn University on a track scholarship as a sprinter and worked as a student trainer in the athletic training room during football and basketball seasons under the legendary head trainer at Auburn, Kenny Howard, who was Athletic Trainer for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1972 and 1976. Mr. Bentley's track coach was Mel Rosen, one of the foremost authorities on sprints and short relays. Coach Rosen was the U.S. Olympic Men's Track and Field Coach for the 1992 Olympics.

Mr. Bentley was also Student Body President at Auburn his senior year in 1968. He maintains close contact with Auburn, has a home there, and frequently attends Auburn football games during the fall.

Mr. Bentley's first job following graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1971 was with a prominent Mobile, Alabama law firm, Johnstone, Adams, May, Howard & Hill (now Johnstone, Adams, Bailey, Gordon & Harris, L.L.C.). During his tenure there he provided legal advice to a major hospital regarding internal policies. He has maintained his Alabama law license.

In 1972 Mr. Bentley was on leave from his law firm while he was on active duty as an officer in the Medical Services Corps of the United States Army. During this time he graduated from the U.S. Army Medical Field Services School in San Antonio, Texas and he also had an assignment to the Judge Advocate General's Office for the 5th U.S. Army Headquarters in San Antonio. He was in the U.S. Army Reserves, Medical Services Corps, from 1972-78 and was honorably discharged as a captain.

Mr. Bentley moved to North Carolina in late 1973 to become a legal aid lawyer. From 1974 to 1981, Mr. Bentley served as Senior Staff Attorney, Managing Attorney and Interim Executive Director of the North Central Legal Assistance Program based in Durham. During this time, he had scores of cases in Juvenile Court involving complex medical issues which permitted him to gain experience examining and cross-examining medical experts in contested, highly emotional proceedings.

Mr. Bentley went into private practice in Durham in November 1981, and he was a founding partner in Glenn & Bentley, Glenn, Bentley & Fisher, and Glenn, Bentley, Mills & Fisher from 1982-1990. He was retained in his first medical malpractice case in November of 1982 when a 17 year-old college student died after being discharged from an Emergency Room with a basilar skull fracture. This case was settled in 1984 for a confidential amount. As part of the settlement the defendants were required to file an amended answer admitting negligence. In 1987 Mr. Bentley was retained by the mother of a six year-old girl who had all four limbs amputated due to delayed diagnosis of meningococcemia. That case was settled in 1990. The media reported that it was the largest payment for a medical malpractice case in North Carolina history at that time.

Mr. Bentley started his present practice in 1991, and he has been continuously sought after by patients and their families for representation. He is also frequently contacted by attorneys throughout the U.S. to consult on cases involving areas of medicine that he has gained experience in over 41 years of trial practice.

Mr. Bentley has been invited to lecture at continuing legal education programs on numerous occasions, including programs sponsored by the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Black Lawyers' Association, and Professional Education Systems, Inc. In 1998, Mr. Bentley was invited by the American Bar Association to present a demonstration in New York City at its annual meeting of a direct examination of a human factors expert in a case involving an inadequate and misleading drug label. The invitation followed national publicity he received after successfully litigating a wrongful death case against a major pharmaceutical company based on inadequate labeling of an experimental chemotherapy drug. Mr. Bentley is certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is also certified as a mediator by the Dispute Resolution Commission of North Carolina. He has an "AV Preeminent" peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics.

During his tenure as a legal aid lawyer, Mr. Bentley litigated class action cases based on employment discrimination, and he was also a consumer advocate. He testified as an expert witness before the Federal Trade Commission on issues relating to fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices in the sale of used cars. In private practice Mr. Bentley has continued his interest in unfair and deceptive trade practices litigation and consumer issues. He was lead counsel for a Durham plastics manufacturer that took on a Fortune 500 company in a ten-year legal battle. That case resulted in a successful jury verdict, two precedent-setting decisions from the Supreme Court of North Carolina and a substantial recovery resulting from an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

During 1999-2004, Mr. Bentley was part of a consortium of six law firms from North Carolina, New York and Georgia that litigated several national class action cases on behalf of consumers against mortgage insurance companies. The cases resulted in favorable settlements and injunctive relief correcting certain practices in the industry. Mr. Bentley maintains an interest in consumer and commercial issues, and serves as Vice-President of the Financial Protection Law Center that represents consumers in cases of over-reaching, predatory lending and fraud. He has also served for many years as a Volunteer Attorney for the Legal Information Service of the Women's Center of Chapel Hill.

During the past decade Mr. Bentley has devoted a substantial amount of time representing victims of crime.  He is an active member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association and the Inadequate Security Litigation Group of the American Association of Justice. 

During March of 2012 Mr. Bentley and co-counsel, Joe McLeod, settled an inadequate security case in Hoke County, North Carolina for $6.25 million.  The case was settled during the third week of trial after closing arguments and while the jury was deliberating.  A report of the case can be found on this website by clicking here. 

Within the past few years, Mr. Bentley successfully represented the family of Jaquan Waller, a sixteen-year-old North Carolina high school football player, who died as a result of second impact syndrome.  Mr. Waller, a star running back, had suffered a concussion at football practice but he was allowed to play in a game two days later without being cleared by qualified medical personnel.  Following the resolution of this case, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed a law requiring that any high school athlete who suffers a head injury must be cleared by qualified medical personnel before being allowed to return to play.  The law was named in honor of Mr. Waller and another North Carolina high school football player who died as a result of a head injury. 

Mr. Bentley’s work in the area of second impact syndrome and concussions is a natural outgrowth of his experiences as a student athletic trainer and varsity athlete at Auburn University. As a result of his experience in the case of Jaquan Waller, Mr. Bentley consults with other attorneys who are handling similar cases throughout the country.

Annually, Mr. Bentley participates in education programs sponsored by the American Association for Justice, including programs such as the Medical Trial Skills College and AAJ case workshop programs.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaquan Waller

CNN Presents: Big Hits, Broken Dreams

ESPN: Junior Jaquan Waller Collapses on Sidelines During Friday's game, Dies

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Bentley Law Offices, P.A.
3200 Croasdaile Drive, Suite 606
Durham, NC 27705
Tel: (919) 682-3700 | Fax: (919) 683-1080
E-mail: info@bentleylawfirm.com


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