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J. Heydt Philbeck

Bailey & Dixon, LLP
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J. Heydt Philbeck
Bailey & Dixon, LLP

Heydt Philbeck concentrates his practice on complex civil litigation in the areas of civil rights, employment law, contract disputes, unfair business practices, state and federal personnel law, constitutional law, and occupational licensing. Heydt's primary practice area focuses on the representation of employees and individuals who have been harmed by the actual or prospective illegal actions of others. He has represented individuals from all walks of life, including professors, doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, nurses, law enforcement officers, state employees, state agencies, federal employees, unemployed, and homeowners and small-business owners, among others.

Heydt is an experienced trial advocate who has tried over 100 jury and bench trials to verdict. He has successfully represented clients before the North Carolina Supreme Court, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, he has appeared for clients in the United States District Court for all three federal districts in North Carolina.

Heydt's legal abilities and ethics have been recognized by his peers who voted him "Best Lawyers in America" (Woodard/White) (2010-Current) in four practice areas including Civil Rights, Employment Litigation, Employment Law, and Commercial Litigation. Based on peer ratings, Law & Politics has listed Heydt as a "Top 100 Lawyers in North Carolina" for four different years (2009, 2014, 2015, 2019). Business North Carolina magazine has listed Heydt as among North Carolina's "Legal Elite" for multiple years (2007-Current) and Law & Politics has listed him as a "North Carolina Super Lawyer" for multiple years (2006-Current) based on peer ratings. Lawyers' Weekly publication has recognized him as a "Leader in the Law" for overall contributions and impact for North Carolina jurisprudence and community. In 2005, the Triangle Business Journal has named him as a Top "40 under 40" Leadership Award recipient. In 2021, North Carolina Lawyers’ Weekly listed Heydt as a “Power Lawyer” for the employment law practice area. He is a fellow in the Melvin M. Belli Society and is a member of the Million-Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums.

Heydt regularly volunteers services pro bono for such programs as Project Together, which provides representation for victims of domestic abuse. He also mentors youth by serving as a judge for the Capital Area Teen Court program and as a judge for the Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition at Campbell Law School. Heydt has been a long time fellow at Leadership North Carolina, Leadership Triangle, and at the North Carolina Institute for Political Leadership


Elon University, B.S., Magna Cum Laude; President of Student Government (1987-1988); Externship: U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Summer, 1987), 1989

Georgetown University, Certificate, Engalitcheff Institute of Comparative Political and Economic Systems, 1987

Valparaiso University, School of Law, J.D.; Externship: Hon. Sidney S. Eagles, Jr., North Carolina Court of Appeals (Summer, 1990), 1992

Jurisdictions Licensed

North Carolina State Bar

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

United States Court of International Trade

United States Tax Court

Reported Cases

Newberne v. Dept. of Crime Control & Public Safety, et al 192 N.C. App. 703, 666 S.E. 2d 195 (2008) (In a case of first impressions, N.C. Court of Appeals held that plaintiff's settlement of an administrative claim did not prejudice his ability to bring a Whistleblower claim in Superior Court even though the claim arose from the same termination).

Caldwell v. Johnson, Administrator, EPA 289 Fed. Appx. 579 (4th Cir. 2008) (Unpublished) (first U.S. Court of Appeals case in nation to hold that Title VII retaliation standard announced in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Burlington Northern v. White applied to federal employees).

Trayford v. North Carolina Psychology Board 619 S.E. 2d 862 (2005); aff'd, 360 S.E. 2d 462 (2006) (Court affirmed petitioner's interpretation of statute over that of regulatory board, which interpretation is generally given substantial deference).

Newberne v. Dept. of Crime Control & Public Safety, et al 359 N.C. 782, 618 S.E. 2d 201 (2005) (landmark North Carolina Supreme Court case for claims under the state Whistleblower Act).

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

American Association for Justice

National Employment Lawyers Association

Southern Trial Lawyers Association

North Carolina Bar Association

Wake County Bar Association

Melvin Belli Society

College for Labor and Employment Lawyers

Litigation Counsel of America

Multi-Millon Dollar Advocates Forum

Leadership North Carolina

North Carolina Institute for Political Leadership

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