Catherine Barnes

Catherine's natural curiosity about the legal system and how it functions led her to join Lucas, Denning and Ellerbe, P.A. (LDE) as a paralegal in 1996.

Catherine currently works with our civil litigation and criminal law legal teams. She is responsible for drafting documents including correspondence, complaints and motions, reviewing and analyzing discovery, legal research and working directly with our clients on day-to-day communication.

Catherine is an honors graduate of Johnston Community College where she received her associate's degree in paralegal technology. She received the Student Government Association Award and Outstanding Paralegal Award for the Class of 1996 while in school.


Talitha Ekis
Bilingual Legal Assistant

Talitha works as the firm's bilingual legal assistant helping to serve our Spanish-speaking clients. For the past year, Talitha has assisted our attorneys with interpretation for Spanish-speaking clients in personal injury and workers' compensation cases.

Talitha also assists with oral and written communications, case management and ordering medical records for our clients.

She received her certificate in Massage Therapy from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N.C.

A new resident to Johnston county, Talitha grew up in Peru and Ecuador, South America, where her parents served as missionaries. Through their missionary work, the family performed as a Christian gospel group for hospitals, retirement centers, orphanages and churches.

Talitha has lived in Johnston County for one year with her two children and enjoys dancing and spending time with her children.


Jenna Gudac
Office Assistant and Courier

In addition to studying Human Resources Management at Mt. Olive College, Jenna works as our office assistant and courier. She serves as the courier for legal documents, is responsible for office assistant duties and works as our receptionist.

Jenna's past experience includes working at a sporting goods store .

Jenna grew up in Pine Level, N.C., with her family including her twin brother. Jenna enjoys playing soccer, singing, shopping and hunting. She is active in her local church and volunteer fire department ladies auxiliary.


Jennifer Gudac

Jennifer coordinates communication between various parties in legal cases and assists our attorneys in obtaining benefits for injured workers. A North Carolina Certified Paralegal, she has worked with LDE for the past five years.

Jennifer joined LDE to become more directly involved in helping injured workers.

Jennifer holds a diploma in paralegal science.

Outside of the office, Jennifer spends her time with her family and is involved with the Pine Level F.W.B. Church and a community Bible study with more than 300 other women and children. Her favorite hobbies include taking road trips to study architecture of old homes, playing the piano and organizing interior spaces.


Amy Morris
Legal Assistant

Amy joined LDE in 2002. She supports our attorneys in criminal law proceedings. Her day-to-day activities include drafting correspondences, complaints and motions, performing legal research and working directly with clients.

In addition, she assists our clients with seeing their case through to completion including file preparation, legal document filings and obtaining updated information from the court house.


Linda Nowell
Office Manager and Bookkeeper

Linda has been employed at LDE for 18 years and works at the center of the firm as our office manager and bookkeeper.

Linda manages the day-to-day operations of the office to ensure that everything runs smoothly. She manages general office administration, financial accounting and serves as our receptionist. She received an associate's degree in applied science and accounting from Johnston Community College.

A lifelong resident of Johnston County, Linda enjoys reading, cross-stitching, kickboxing, traveling and spending time with her family.


Daneen Poste
Legal Assistant

A legal assistant for our legal team for the past 14 years, Daneen assists our attorneys with pre-litigation activities for personal injury cases.

Daneen grew up in Tarboro, N.C., and has been a resident of Johnston County for the past 15 years.

Outside of the office, Daneen enjoys spending time with her husband and son and riding motorcycles.


Lydia Strickland
Legal Assistant and Secretary

Lydia Strickland joined the firm more than 21 years ago and currently assists our personal injury legal team as a legal assistant and secretary.

You'll meet Lydia if you seek our personal injury legal services. Lydia meets with new personal injury clients, obtains information needed for their claims including their medical records, coordinates communication with insurance adjusters and assists our personal injury legal team inobtaining settlements for clients.

Prior to joining LDE, Lydia worked at Boyce, Mitchell, Burns and Smith in Raleigh, N.C., where she served as receptionist and legal secretary for 12 years.

Lydia is a lifelong resident of Johnson County who grew up near Kenly, N.C., Outside the office, she can be found enjoying one of her many hobbies including reading, shopping, doing yardwork or relaxing at Topsail Island. She has one daughter, LeeAnna, who is completing her graduate studies at East Carolina University.


Debra Underhill
Litigation Paralegal

As a litigation paralegal, Debra assists our attorneys with filings and schedulings once cases are sent to litigation.

Debra received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her associate's degree in paralegal technology from Johnston Community College.

She is a lifelong resident of Johnston County who enjoys reading, traveling and walking her Schnauzer.