AA Contact info

Deborah J. Smith
Phone: 919.821.6632
Fax: 919.821.6800

Practice Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S.District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • All North Carolina State Courts


Wake Forest University, J.D., 1989

Wake Forest University, B.A., 1986


  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Frank W. Bullock, Jr., United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
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Michael W. Mitchell

  • 150 Fayetteville Street, Suite 2300
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
  • Phone: 919.821.6670
  • Fax: 919.821.6800

Mike Mitchell is a trial and appellate lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in state and federal courts. In Chambers USA, Mike is praised for his "great insight" and sources note that "his client service is fabulous" (Chambers USA 2014).

Mike regularly advises clients on business strategies for resolving complex disputes. He has extensive experience managing complex business litigation, including ERISA and intellectual property litigation. He has tried cases in all three federal districts in North Carolina and in numerous counties across the State. Mike routinely handles cases in the North Carolina Business Court, and cases designated as Exceptional by the Chief Justice. He has handled appeals before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He also regularly represents clients in litigation in other states; most recently, New York, Texas, Florida and Michigan.

In 2015, Mike was appointed by Chief Justice Mark Martin to serve on the North Carolina Commission for the Administration of Law and Justice. In August 2013, Mike was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory to serve on the North Carolina General Statutes Commission. Mike also serves on the Civil Local Rules Committee of the Eastern District of North Carolina and he has worked to revise the local rules for the Tenth Judicial District for electronic discovery.

Mike has an interest in education policy, serving as the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education. In 2013, he accepted the opportunity to serve on a special advisory committee to Governor McCrory to consider changes to the composition of the Education Cabinet in North Carolina.

He has served in various leadership positions in the North Carolina Bar Association and currently holds several leadership roles in the Firm. Mike formerly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank W. Bullock, Jr., United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Appointed Member, North Carolina General Statutes Commission
  • Appointed Member, Board of Directors, Wake County Economic Development (WCED)
  • American Bar Association, Commercial Litigation
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Civil Rules Committee for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Commercial Litigation
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Administration of Justice Committee
    • Past Co-Chair, Bench Bar Liaison Committee, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Vice Chair, Board of Directors, North Carolina Business Committee for Education
  • Past Member, Wake Forest University Alumni Council
  • Currently holds various Firm leadership roles

Honors & Awards

  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina State Litigation Star (2013-2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Real Estate Law (2012-2017)
  • Business North Carolina "Legal Elite," Commercial Litigation
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Litigation: General Commercial (2014-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2011-2016)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers (2013, 2015)


  • Mike is representing a public company in ERISA litigation arising out of the denial of benefits to a former senior executive of a subsidiary. The case involves two different retirement plans, one of which is being challenged regarding its exempt status under ERISA. The case also involves an allegation by the former employee of wrongful termination to prevent him from qualifying for retirement.
  • He is representing a company in an ERISA case pending in the MDNC, arising out of the misappropriation of retirement funds by the fund's fiduciaries and record-keeper. One of the former fiduciaries is now serving a prison sentence for his misappropriation of these retirement funds.
  • He regularly represents a famous golf resort and technology companies in the Research Triangle Park in trademark litigation. 
  • In February and March 2013, he successfully tried a heavily-contested complex land use dispute in Onslow County. The trial included his examination of 13 expert witnesses and 4 lay witnesses on direct and cross examination over the course of five days of hearings.
  • In January 2013, he tried a jury trial on a breach of contract case in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
  • In December 2010, he served as lead counsel in a two-week jury trial in Wake County Superior Court on a breach of contract case. The jury returned a verdict of $37 million for the firm’s client. It was the largest verdict in North Carolina in 2010 and one of the top 60 in the U.S. This judgment was affirmed unanimously by the Court of Appeals in August 2012, and satisfied in full in September 2012 ($48.5 million including interest).
  • In 2009, he tried both a jury trial and a bench trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in consolidated cases arising out of an aviation accident in Martinsville, Virginia.
  • He has tried cases in all three federal districts in North Carolina, as well as in Buncombe, Gaston, Randolph, Moore, Lee, Wake, Cumberland, Nash, Pitt, and Onslow Counties.
  • He has experience representing clients in U.S. and foreign arbitration proceedings. He served as lead U.S. counsel in obtaining a multi-million euro arbitration award for breach of a patent license.  He also has served as an arbitrator.




  • NCBA 2014 eDiscovery: Process, Prospects and Perspectives - CLE: "Using Local Rules to Promote Best Practices for eDiscovery"
  • NCBA 2013 Litigation Section Annual Meeting – CLE:  “Managing Challenging People and Challenging Cases,” with Edward F. Hennessey, IV, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.; Joseph P. McGuire, McGuire Wood & Bisette, P.A.; Michael W. Mitchell, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P.; Allison O. Van Laningham, Turning Point Litigation/Van Laningham Duncan P.L.L.C.
  • NCADA’s 33rd Annual Meeting - Commercial:  “Bringing Your Commercial Case Alive for Judge & Jury – Tips & Strategies for Effective Courtroom Presentation of Commercial Cases,” with Hon. James L. Gale, Judge, N.C. Business Court; Clifton L. Brinson & Michael W. Mitchell, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P.; Jonathan D. Sasser, Ellis & Winters, L.L.P.