Hickory death-penalty lawyer Lisa Dubs (’87) is earning the spotlight

Tears welled in Lisa Dubs’ eyes as the Mecklenburg jury acquitted her client of murdering his pregnant fiancee. Her voice cracked as she hugged Michael Mead.

“I told you we’d do it,” she said.

The high-profile verdict last week was the latest victory for a Hickory-based defense attorney who is gaining a reputation as one of the best capital defenders in North Carolina.

“I wouldn’t have any qualms with Lisa Dubs representing me if I were charged with a crime,” Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid told the Observer. “She’s good.”

Kincaid said Dubs, like all good lawyers, makes prosecutors prove their case before they take clients’ liberty away.

“The most important things to being a good lawyer are being prepared, knowing your case and knowing the kind of jurors you’re looking for,” the Catawba County judge said. “Lisa Dubs does all that very well.”

Dubs has represented more than 100 clients charged with murder during her 24-year legal career. A dozen of her clients have been tried for their lives. Only one was sentenced to death.

In 2007, Dubs helped free Jerry Anderson of Caldwell County, who was charged with murdering his wife and stuffing her body in the toolbox of her pickup, when a jury deadlocked.

She helped acquit Christy Holland Seitz, a 22-year-old charged with murdering her boyfriend, who was shot to death in 1996.

Last year, she helped negotiate a deal sparing Elisa Baker a possible death sentence. Baker, who Dubs no longer represents, is charged with murdering her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.

“There is not a finer lawyer in North Carolina,” said defense attorney Scott Reilly, who currently represents Elisa Baker. “She’s totally devoted to doing what she can to help her clients.”

Read the full story here.