Let's talk! (704) 827-3941
Text Us! (704) 800-6454

Our Team

Legal Advisors Who Are Always Here For You

Meet the Team here at Stott, Hollowell, Windham & Stancil, PLLC! To speak to someone directly or receive forward-thinking legal solutions, contact us today! 

Richard D. Laws


Richard Laws is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest School of Law. He has practiced law in Gastonia, North Carolina since 1979, with a concentration on residential and commercial real property. Mr. Laws has closed more than 2,000 home sales in that time and gets great satisfaction from helping his clients achieve their dream of home ownership.

Because of the economic growth being experienced in North Carolina, Mr. Laws has been increasingly involved in commercial real estate transactions, both simple and complicated. He is pleased to also offer his services to clients in the commercial world.

Mr. Laws is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, and is a member of both the Gaston County Bar and North Carolina State Bar Association. He loves to help clients make their dreams become reality through the world of real estate.

Area of Focus: Real Estate

Hailey E. Hawkins


Originally from Pennsylvania, Hailey Hawkins moved to Charlotte after college to teach high school math through Teach for America. While teaching in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, Hailey met her husband and fell in love with the city. She ultimately decided to attend law school in North Carolina.

Hailey has a strong work ethic and a desire to help others. With her background as a teacher she has developed the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Her goal is to provide the customer service and quality legal advice that clients deserve.

Hailey graduated summa cum laude in the top five percent of her law school class. During law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board and Law Review, and had the opportunity to intern with the Honorable Graham C. Mullen in Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina.

Hailey is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and the Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina. She is a member of the Gaston County Bar and the North Carolina State Bar Association.

In her free time, Hailey enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughters. She also enjoys baking and spending time outdoors with friends.

Areas of Focus: Estate Planning, Trusts, Estate Administration,  Special Proceedings, Surplus Funds and Property Partitions, and Guardianships

Stephen T. Hegedus


Stephen was born in Charlotte and raised in Mount Holly. After being admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in April 2014, Stephen saw the need for affordable legal services in his community and opened his own law office in Mount Holly.

Stephen attended Appalachian State University where he was an active member in the Appalachian State Marching Band and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a Minor in German in 2009.

He earned his Juris Doctor from Elon University School of Law in 2013, where he was a founding member of the Elon Law Pro Bono Board, interned with Legal Aid of North Carolina, and externed with the Alamance County District Attorney’s Office.

Stephen is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, and is a member of both the Gaston County Bar and North Carolina State Bar Association.

When Stephen is not in the office or in court, he is spending time with his husband, playing the saxophone with the Charlotte Pride Band, helping with Mount Holly Rotary Club, staying active at the YMCA, and hiking the trails at Crowder’s Mountain.

Areas of Focus: Real Estate and Business Formation

Joy M. Chappell


Joy grew up in Lincolnton, North Carolina and moved to Gaston County in 2001, where she currently resides. She began her legal career as a paralegal for 13 years before becoming a lawyer in 2009. Her more than 25 years of experience in the legal field has served her well in that she has a compassionate client-centered approach to helping individuals and families obtain the best possible outcomes with their family law issues.

Joy graduated with her Masters in Business Administration degree in 2003 and obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 2009. During law school, Joy had interned with the Gaston County Public Defenders’ office and for the Honorable Carl Horn, III in the Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina.

Joy is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and the Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina. She is a member of the Gaston County Bar, the North Carolina State Bar, and the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Joy is a volunteer attorney with the Gaston County Domestic Violence Legal Clinic through the Gaston County Sheriff’s Department and has also handled numerous pro bono cases with Legal Aid of Gastonia in family law-related matters.

In her free time, Joy loves spending time with her son, hiking, traveling and attending fitness classes.

Area of Focus: Family Law

Benjamin C. Unger


Benjamin C. Unger was born in Florence, Alabama, but grew up in Franklin, North Carolina. He acquired his Bachelor of Arts in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Appalachian State University. He then obtained his Juris Doctorate from Campbell Law School.

Ben practices in the areas of real estate and estate administration, and speaks both English and Spanish. He is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, and is a member of the Gaston County Bar Association. He and his family are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.

Area of Focus: Real Estate

Timothy L. Patti

Retired Superior Court Judge

Timothy L. Patti was a superior court judge for the 27A Judicial District of North Carolina. Judge Patti retired in 2010. Since then, he has focused on bringing a steady and reliable approach to mediation.

Judge Patti graduated magna cum laude from Belmont Abbey College in 1976. He graduated with his J.D. degree from Campbell College School of Law in 1979. Throughout his entire career, he has taken the pursuit of justice seriously. Through mediation, he takes pride in helping clients find solutions to their legal issues.

Area of Focus: Mediation

Mirsada H. Kanwisher


Mirsada grew up in Georgia where she attended the University of Georgia and earned Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Spanish in 2013, before moving to North Carolina the same year. While in law school in North Carolina, Mirsada met her husband, and moved to Gastonia, where she now resides. During law school, Mirsada participated in a Domestic Violence Clinic and a Wills Practitioner Clinic where she received hands-on experience. She also volunteered with several different pro bono programs providing simple estate planning documents for seniors, first responders, and other members of the community.

After graduating from law school, Mirsada joined the Gaston County Public Defenders’ Office as an intern and after being admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 2017, she became an Assistant Public Defender in Gaston County. Mirsada is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Gaston County Bar Association. She also served as an officer for the Gaston County Bar for four years.

In her free time, Mirsada enjoys spending time with her husband, her daughters, and her pets. She also enjoys working on DIY projects around her home and spending time with friends.

Areas of Focus: Estate Planning, Trusts, Surplus Funds and Property Partitions, and Special Proceedings

Jake Edwards


Jake was born and raised in Gastonia.  He completed his undergraduate degree at UNC Wilmington in 2015 and then moved to Chapel Hill where he graduated from the UNC School of Law in 2018.  While in law school he worked for local nonprofit organizations, received awards for his pro bono service, and interned with the Honorable Judge Robert (Bob) N. Hunter, Jr. at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

After law school, Jake returned to Gastonia and spent his first years of practice at the local Legal Aid office.  He then spent time working in estate planning and estate administration before taking a position with the North Carolina Department of Commerce adjudicating hearings.  Jake is excited to be back in his hometown with the opportunity to continue to serve our local community.

Jake is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and is a member of both the Gaston County Bar and the North Carolina State Bar Association.  His work focuses on Estates, and he is currently serving in the role of an appointed Public Administrator for Gaston County.

Areas of Focus: Estate Administration, Trusts, and Estate Planning

Jesse B. Caldwell IV

Civil Litigator

Jesse grew up in Gaston County.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNC Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor degree from the Charleston School of Law, Jesse returned to his home county to practice law.

Jesse spent ten years working in the Gaston County Public Defenders Office as an Assistant Public Defender, including five years serving as the Chief Juvenile Defender for Gaston County.  He has argued countless times in Juvenile, District and Superior court and has tried dozens of jury trials in Gaston County Superior Court. 

In 2021, Governor Cooper appointed Jesse to serve as the Resident Superior Court Judge for District 27A.  As judge, Jesse presided over Superior court in a dozen counties across North Carolina conducting Criminal and Civil jury trials, hearing and ruling on a variety of motions and pleadings.  After serving as judge, Jesse focused his practice on Civil Litigation. 

Jesse is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and is a member of the Gaston County Bar and the North Carolina Bar Association.

When Jesse is not in the office or in court, he enjoys spending time with his family, weightlifting, kayaking and studying WWII history.  Jesse is also active in his church and rotary club.

Area of Focus: Civil Litigation

Charlton K. Torrence, III

Attorney, of Counsel

Charlton K. Torrence, III is an Attorney, of Counsel at Stott, Hollowell, Windham & Stancil, PLLC. He has an extensive background of legal work with Estate Planning and Corporate Law.

Torrence graduated from the University of North Carolina with his B.A. degree in 1985. He then earned his J.D. law degree, also from the University of North Carolina, in 1989.

Torrence is a member of the Gaston County Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina State Bar. He is proud to help his clients protect their business, their family, and their future through legal help.

James W. Stancil


James W. Stancil graduated Wake Forest University with a B.A. in 1974 and a Juris Doctor in 1978. He has maintained a law office in Mt. Holly continually since then. His practice has covered many areas of law with a focus on estate and real estate law during the last several years.

He has received the AV rating by the Martindale-Hubble law rating service recognizing the highest excellence in experience and integrity. He has developed a close working relationship with lenders and real estate professionals in the area, and will continue in the daily operations of Stott, Hollowell, Windham & Stancil, PLLC by providing assistance, advice, and counsel.

He has served on several boards in the local community and enjoys outdoor activities in his spare time.

Sara Parker

Family Law Paralegal

Sara was born and raised in Gastonia, North Carolina with her parents and younger brother. She graduated from Forestview High School in 2009 and earned her Associate’s in Applied Science in 2017 from Gaston College. Sara has worked solely in family law since 2016.

Her top priority is to help the attorney in making sure the client’s experience is a positive one. She is passionate about helping clients during stressful situations.

In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs, shopping, going to the rodeo, watching Disney movies, and reading.

Carol C. Beasley

Real Estate Paralegal

Carol was born and grew up in Wilmington, Ohio, but spent each summer in Gastonia on her grandfather’s horse farm, then known as Nolen Stables. After graduating from Ohio University cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Carol moved to Gastonia.

Carol graduated from Duke University’s Paralegal Education Program and became a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal that same year. She has worked as a real estate paralegal for over ten years. 

Carol strives to help clients feel at ease when starting the closing process by maintaining clear communications with all parties involved. Her top priority is to make closing a pleasant experience for everyone. 

When she’s not working, Carol likes spending time with her parents, her son, Marvin, and her sweet, fat cat, Seth Thomas. She also enjoys visiting art and history museums, painting, drawing, writing, listening to music, and singing in her church choir.

Dona J. Carey

Real Estate Paralegal

Dona J. Carey earned a BS in Political Science/Sociology from Bradley University along with a BA in Elementary Education and an MS in K-12 Leadership and Administration. Dona has acquired over 12 years of experience working as a real estate paralegal in MA and NC. 

After completing her twentieth year in the public school system as a teacher/administrator, she has returned to being a real estate paralegal and looks forward to developing lasting relationships with clients and agents in the Gaston County area. In her free time, she co-owns and manages a dance studio with her adult daughters in Gastonia and enjoys playing golf, cooking, and socializing with friends.

Paige L. Reel

Estate Paralegal

Paige L. Reel was born and raised by her mother in Lincolnton, NC. She continues to live in Lincolnton to this day. Paige graduated from North Lincoln High School in 2010. Helping people and making someone’s day a little less stressful makes her happy and keeps her going.

Paige initially attended Gaston College pursuing different career paths. Nine years later, she decided that paralegal work was the perfect fit for her. She is currently attending Gaston College pursuing a degree in Paralegal Technology.

In Paige’s free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, lazy days with her husband and four furry children, reading, exploring new areas, and shopping.

Kimber R. Thomas

Estate Paralegal

Kimber Thomas was born and raised in Cherryville, NC. Kimber graduated from Cherryville High school in 2019 and will earn her associates degree in Paralegal Technology at Gaston College.

Kimber strives to make sure that clients have a positive experience even in such stressful times. In her free time, Kimber enjoys riding horses for fun and competitively. When she is not at the barn, she is spending time with family and her other pets.

Nicole Norburn

Special Proceedings Paralegal

Nicole grew up in Maine, where she earned an A.S. in Criminal Justice from York County Community College and a B.A. in K-8 English Education from the University of Southern Maine. Nicole’s children are grown, and she now resides in Sherrills Ford with her husband.

Nicole has always had a passion for helping others. As she began her work career, she was drawn to the healthcare and education fields. After working in health care for over twenty years, she felt ready to explore a new vocation. In 2012, she earned a criminal justice degree and began working in a private investigation office. While working as an assistant private investigator/office assistant, she was required to communicate with attorneys and paralegals on a daily basis. At that time, Nicole began to take an interest in paralegal work.

Most recently, Nicole was the owner of a local background screening business and she also performed title research for a nationwide title service. Nicole is currently completing her paralegal education at Mitchell Community College, in preparation for North Carolina State Bar paralegal certification.

Most of Nicole’s free time is spent with friends and family. She also has a love of the outdoors, and she can often be found golfing and hiking.

Savannah Michelle Sipe

Legal Assistant

I have split my time living in New York and North Carolina. After graduating from high school in 2019, I decided to move back to North Carolina to attend college. I graduated from Pfeiffer University with a BA in Criminal Justice, and I plan to continue my education toward graduate school.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with family and friends, and I also enjoy a good thrift shopping trip. I strive to brighten someone’s day whether it is through a smile or helping assist with a tough matter.

Tomika C. Merritt

Office Administrator

Tomika C. Merritt was born and raised in Gastonia, NC where she presently resides. She is a graduate of Hunter Huss High School and attended Gaston College for computer programming. In addition to those achievements, she is also a Certified Life Coach specializing in Marriages and Women & Children.

Before coming to work for Stott Hollowell, Tomika worked in the mental health field for over 15 years and most recently worked in housing for 2 years. She is well known for not meeting a stranger and making anyone she encounters feel as if she has known them for many years before. Her motto is “If I am having a bad day, you will never know because I will be too busy making sure no one else is having one”!

 In Tomika’s free time you can find her spending time with her husband, 5 children, and 4 grandchildren, singing either with the band she sings with all over North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Atlanta, and abroad, singing in church, in many weddings or with her family choir. She’s an actress and writer, and loves to cook!

Rita G. Hunt


Wendy Cody

Real Estate Paralegal

Mary Anne Auten

Legal Assistant

Tracy M. Moore

Real Estate Paralegal