Photo of Peter J. Marino

Peter J. Marino

AA Contact Info

Mikayla Matheney
Phone: 919.838.2125 


Pete Marino chairs Smith Anderson’s Construction practice group and co-leads the Real Estate Development practice group and has been integrally involved as lead counsel for the Firm in some of the most significant projects in the state and region, including a LEED-certified World Headquarters project for a leading Fortune 500 company, and North Carolina's first Turnpike and Light Rail project. In Chambers USA, clients say he’s "truly an expert in the field," and "incredibly responsive and diligent" (Chambers USA 2021). His practice includes all facets of Construction and Development law arising out of public and private projects, and he has advised on numerous solar and other LEED-certified and sustainable projects.

Pete has extensive experience in representing owners, developers, general contractors, sureties, design professionals and large subcontractors on a wide variety of construction and development matters and serves upon request as an independent arbitrator in construction disputes. He is experienced in construction contract drafting and negotiation, lien, bond and licensing issues, claims administration and avoidance, and regularly handles owner-contractor-subcontractor disputes, including mediation, arbitration and litigation.

Pete counsels construction, owner and development-industry clients to identify, evaluate, avoid and manage risk in a variety of contexts and often serves in an outside general counsel role. He regularly represents clients in various public construction bid, contracting and litigation matters involving highway and other public infrastructure and military projects. He has represented clients in connection with contracting, bid and claim disputes related to reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, among many other national and international projects.

  • American Bar Association, Construction Forum Section, Division II, Immediate Chair and Steering Committee Member
  • Court Appointed and Certified Arbitrator for the Tenth Judicial District, North Carolina
  • Regional Transportation Alliance
    • Freeways Division, Chair
    • Highway Funding Task Force, Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Construction Law Section
    • Past Chair and Vice Chair
    • Lien Law Committee, Past Co-Chair
  • Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Real Property Section, Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association and Carolina’s Chapter of the Association of General Contractors, Joint Committee Member
  • Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, Past Member 
  • Salvation Army of Wake County, Advisory Board Member
  • East Central Community Legal Services, Board of Trustees, Past Member
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Construction (2019-2022)
  • Best Lawyers®, Construction Law and Litigation–Construction (2008-2022)
  • Best Lawyers®, "Lawyer of the Year," Raleigh Construction Law (2020-2021)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2023)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Construction (2008-2015)
    • Hall of Fame since 2011
  • Top Construction Lawyer in North Carolina, Legal Elite peer selection edition, Business North Carolina magazine (2011)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Continuing Legal Education Volunteer of the Year, North Carolina Bar Association (2009-2010)
  • Outstanding Volunteer Attorney Award, Legal Aid of North Carolina (1998)
  • Outstanding Volunteer Attorney, The Volunteer Lawyers Program, Wake County (2004)



  • Serve as outside counsel to international airport with regard to 11,500 foot runway project and other construction and facilities related projects.
  • Represent an international contractor in connection with project close-out claims related to 9.6 mile light rail expansion project.
  • Represented a national contractor in a successful bid dispute resulting in award to client of contract for North Carolina’s first light rail project.
  • Represented a national contractor on a sustainable roof-top solar project involving a 200,000 square foot Civic Center project.
  • Represented a prime contractor on a bid and all other legal issues related to North Carolina’s first Turnpike Authority highway construction project ($800 million I-540 extension project).
  • Represented a large pharmaceutical company in connection with construction and development of its LEED-certified world headquarters located in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company on design-build engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for construction of the “next generation” nuclear power plant project estimated at $4 billion.
  • Represented a national contractor on bid issues and claims arising from a $140 million state and federal interstate highway project.
  • Represented a pre-cast concrete subcontractor in federal court litigation involving a $40 million state prison construction project.
  • Represented a developer in state court litigation involving construction defect claims in a 140-unit town home complex.
  • Represented a national contractor in a dispute involving airport authority and a national concrete contractor in connection with a $10 million airport aircraft taxiway-bridge project.
  • Represented an international pharmaceutical company on design-build and EPCM agreements for numerous construction and LEED-certified sustainable retro-fit projects in the U.S., United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.
  • Represented an international contractor in litigation with a government prime contractor arising from performance of the Communications Sector Design/Build Services IDIQ Project in Iraq.
  • Served as general counsel for a national general contractor on challenging Public Safety Center project including bid, bond and subcontractor default issues, as well as design and scheduling-related claims and project closeout issues.

News & Publications



  • Managing Editor and Co-Author, North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook (2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Editions)
  • Author, “Recent Developments in Construction Law,” manuscript prepared for seminar, “Managing Complex Construction Law Issues in North Carolina,” January 26, 2006
  • Author, “The Contractor’s ‘Sledge Hammer’ The Sale of the Owner’s Property (or Threat Thereof) Under North Carolina’s Lien Law” published in the Change Order, Volume 19, Number 2, April 2005; Republished in North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys publication The Defender, Winter 2006
  • Author, “The Swain Amendment – An Adequate Fix to the Double Liability Problem?” published in Change Order, Volume 14, No. 1, January 2000

Speaking Engagements


  • 03.20.2023
  • Panelist, "RTA 2020 Transportation Breakfast: A Fast Vision for the Triangle," Virtually Presented by Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina
  • Presenter, "Sustainable Funding for Highways, Transit and Other Public Infrastructure," Regional Transportation Alliance's 2018 Summit Series, RTP, N.C.
  • Presenter, “The Proposed ‘Complete 540’ Toll Road Project Initiative in Wake County,” Executive Committee Meeting of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Presenter, “NCDOT Highway Improvement Projects,” The Cary Chamber of Commerce, Cary, N.C.
  • Moderator, “Has It Really Been a Decade? The 2017 AIA Contract Documents,” ABA Forum on Construction Law, Boston, Mass.
  • Panelist, Regional Business Leaders Panel, Regional Transportation Alliance Breakfast, Cary, N.C.
  • Speaker, "Owners: So You Want to LEED? - Here's What You Need to Know," ABA Forum on Construction Law 2017 Midwinter Meeting, Palm Desert, Calif.
  • Speaker, "Differing Site Conditions and Change Orders," ABA Construction Forum, Regional CLE Program, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Speaker, "Lien and Bond Law – The New and the Old," seminar given at Construction Law 2013: Practice Smarter, Not Harder!  2013 Construction Law Winter Program, NC Bar Center, Cary, N.C. 
  • Speaker, "Hot Topics in Public Construction," and panel discussion member: MILCON Summit, Koury Conference Center, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Speaker, "Introduction of the 2007 Revisions to the AIA Form Contracts," and Panel Discussion Member: "AIA vs. ConsensusDOCS," NCBA Construction Law Section 2008 Construction Law Winter Program, NC Bar Center, Cary, N.C.
  • Speaker, "Managing Complex Construction Law Issues in North Carolina," sponsored by National Business Institute, North Raleigh Hilton, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Speaker, "Highlights of a Construction Law Practice: Contracts, Breaches and Damages, Liens, Bonds, and Licensure Issues," North Carolina Bar Association Practical Skills Seminar

Bar & Court Admissions

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


University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1990

Lemoyne College, B.A., 1987

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