Michelle has been practicing in the area of family law for nearly 30 years. While her practice focuses solely on family law, she appears in both District Court (trial court) and in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina (appellate court). She is one of only three attorneys in the state who is a Board Certified Specialist in both the areas of Family Law and Appellate Law.
On the trial court level, Michelle has a tremendous amount of experience in litigating all actions of family law including complex equitable distribution, alimony and post-separation support, child custody and child support, and civil domestic violence (both defense and prosecution.) She has prosecuted and defended actions for alienation of affections and criminal conversation. She is well versed in drafting separation agreements as well as prenuptial agreements. She practices in Wake, Johnston, Orange, Lee, Forsyth, Harnett and Mecklenburg Counties.
On the appellate court level, Michelle’s practice involves handling all aspects of appeals in the Supreme Court of North Carolina and North Carolina Court of Appeals. Since 1999, she has presented written and oral arguments in cases involving the full range of family law and contract issues. She handles appeals from all counties in North Carolina in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina.
Michelle regularly lectures at Continuing Legal Education seminars in the areas of Family and Appellate Law. She is the former Chairperson of the Family Law Council of the North Carolina Bar Association. The purpose of this Council is to draft legislation and improve the practice of family law in the State. She is also former Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee. This Committee is tasked with drafting Rules of Court for North Carolina appellate courts. She serves on the Appellate Specialization Committee for the North Carolina State Bar which drafts and grades exams for Appellate Specialist candidates. She continues to serve on the Appellate Rules Committee. She is a fellow with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), North Carolina Chapter. Fellows in the AAML must have practiced a minimum of 10 years at a high level in the area of family law as well as held leadership positions in state family law organizations. They are vetted for membership through the National AAML.
Michelle graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in English and BA in Psychology. She received her JD from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Awards & Recognitions
- Listed among Business North Carolina MagazineLegal Elite: Family Law (2013-2019), Appellate (2018-2019)
- Listed among North Carolina Super Lawyers for Family Law (2015-2019)
- Listed among The Best Lawyers in America for Family Law (2016-2019)
- Listed among the Top 50 Women Attorneys in NC(2017-2019)
- Listed among the Top 25 Attorneys in Raleigh (2019)
Professional & Community Activities
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, North Carolina Chapter, President-Elect, 2019
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, National Fellow
- Wake County SPCA, Board Member, Secretary, 2019
- Leadership Raleigh 28
- North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section Chairperson 2011-2012
- Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee Member, North Carolina Bar Association 2011-2012
- North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee Chairperson 2016-2017
- North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee Member 2003-Present
- North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Section Council Committee Member
- North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section Vice-chairperson 2010-2011
- North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Council Member, Treasurer, Domestic Violence Chair 2003-2012
- North Carolina Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee Member, Family Law Section 2009-2012, 2015-2017
- North Carolina Bar Association Judicial Performance & Evaluations Committee
- 10thJudicial Bar Grievance Committee 2014-2016
- 10th Judicial District Bench Bar Committee, 2019
- Chief Justice’s Commission of Professionalism Ethics Instructor
- North Carolina Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee Member
- AAML Bi-Annual Symposium, Family Law Continuing Legal Education, Chair 2015-Present